Theater Close-Up

FULL EPISODE

School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play

Jocelyn Bioh’s play explores colorism in this comedy directed by Tony Award winner Rebecca Taichman and produced by MCC Theater. Paulina (MaameYaa Boafo) - the queen bee at an exclusive Ghanaian school - is set on competing in the Miss Universe pageant. However, the arrival of Ericka (Joanna A. Jones), an American transfer student, captures the attention of the recruiter and Paulina’s friends.

AIRED: August 16, 2019 | 1:15:21
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

>> You are about to see a play

as it was written and performed

onstage.

Some may find the language or

content objectionable.

Viewer discretion is advised.

Next on "Theater Close-Up"...

>> She is this year's

recruiter for the

Miss Ghana Pageant.

>> From the most elite school in

Africa, meet some girls...

>> No one ever stands a chance

when it comes to Paulina.

>> And don't you forget it.

>> Hey, Paulina!

>> ...who are nasty as can be.

>> No one crosses me.

>> The young girls and the older

ones, too.

>> If it doesn't benefit you --

Eh, eh -- who cares?

>> That's right.

>> Join us for the MCC Theater

production of playwright

Jocelyn Bioh's

"School Girls; or, The African

Mean Girls Play."

>> Hey!

[ Cheering ]

♪♪

♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

>> Major support for

"Theater Close-Up" is provided

by...

...and...

Major support for MCC Theater's

production of "School Girls" is

provided by...

...and...

[ Upbeat music plays ]

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

[ Record scratches ]

>> Seriously, Nana?

After all I've said, you are

still eating porridge?

>> Yeah, is this your idea of a

diet?

>> Well, it's a smaller portion.

>> Are you determined to look

like a cow?

>> Ha!

>> A cow!

>> Listen, Nana, I don't know

how many times I have to say it.

>> "We have a reputation to

maintain."

>> "To stay fit."

>> "Looking fine-fine."

>> "All the time."

>> Listen, I get it, you never

got to eat what you wanted when

you were younger --

>> But you can't make up for

lost time now.

>> Yeah, the time is lost.

>> So...

Do you want to be fat-fat?

Or fit and popular?

>> Yeah, choose your choice.

>> Um...

Popular.

>> Good.

Then let me help you make

smarter choices.

I need an apple, anyway.

>> Oh, we can get it for you,

Paulina.

>> No, no, no, it's fine.

I'm trying to burn some more

calories.

>> I'm sorry, Nana.

>> Yeah, sorry.

>> We just don't want her coming

after us.

>> No, I get it.

>> She has been acting so crazy

lately.

>> I know, this pageant!

She's always judging everything.

>> [As Paulina] "You like your

hair like that?"

>> "Those shoes are hideous."

>> "You know girls...

Apples are a very good source

of fiber, eh!"

>> Like we know what fiber is!

>> She's just looking out for

us, like she always has.

>> Looking out for us? Please!

>> Oooh, yeah.

>> I still can't believe you

were able to forgive her, Ama.

>> Forgiveness.

>> Had that got back to your

father...

>> A pastor.

>> ...who knows what would have

happened.

>> Crucifixion!

>> Can we not bring that up

right now?

>> Fine.

>> Sorry.

>> She's just acting up because

her and Kofi broke up again.

>> No, she told me they're back

together now.

>> Whatever.

I can't keep up anymore.

>> Well, she promised me and

Gifty dresses for the audition.

So I won't ruffle too many

feathers before then.

>> Feathers.

>> But your father can afford to

get you and Gifty any dress you

want already.

>> But you know he won't get us

frivolous things!

>> And to him, dresses from

America?

"Frivolous!"

>> We know we won't be picked,

but we can at least look good.

>> Hey!

>> Hey!

>> Whatever.

Paulina only made us all sign up

to audition because Headmistress

said there needed to be at least

5 names on the list.

>> But we could have a chance.

>> Please, Nana, no one ever

stands a chance when it comes to

Paulina.

>> And don't you forget it!

>> Hey, Paulina!

>> Welcome back!

>> Here you are, Nana.

>> Oh, thanks Paulina.

>> I got you the smallest one.

I can't say it enough, ladies --

regulation is your friend.

>> Totally.

>> Our friend.

>> Our best friend.

Other than you, of course,

Paulina.

>> Aww, you're so sweet, Gifty.

>> Thank you, Paulina.

>> You know, girls, apples are a

very good source of fiber, eh.

My American cousins told me

there is a parable there that

says...

"An apple a week,

keeps you from being sick."

>> Yeah. They're really good.

>> They keep you from being

sick.

>> Portion control, Nana. Ah!

Anyway, I'm so tired this

morning.

Do you see it under my eyes?

I'm tired, right?

>> No! Never!

>> You look beautiful.

>> Really!

>> Hmm.

I was up all night writing a

letter to my Kofi.

>> Aww! How is he?

Is his training going well?

I'm glad you're back together.

>> Don't you miss him?

>> Of course I miss him, but if

I'm going to get married --

>> Married? No way!

>> Ooh!

>> Well, eventually be married

to a potential soccer player,

I have to get used to us being

away from each other.

>> But he's planning to come to

the big dance, yes?

>> Of course! He can't wait.

I'm really looking forward to

you all meeting him.

>> Oh, so he is definitely going

to come this time?

He's missed the last two.

>> Because he was busy, like I

said.

>> Right.

>> And what about you, Ama?

Is your Osei going to come?

>> Yes, he is.

>> I'm telling you, Ama,

Osei is so fine.

>> So fine!

>> That skin, that smile, that

body...

>> Perfect.

>> You are a lucky one, eh.

>> Thanks, girls.

>> Yes, well let's just hope he

keeps his eyes fixed on you this

time.

>> Pardon?

>> Oh, I did not want to make a

big deal about it, but he was

practically all over me at the

last dance.

>> I didn't see any of that.

>> Eh, well, you wouldn't.

He must be one of those slick

ones, eh?

A womanizer.

>> Yeah. > Womanizer.

>> So, Paulina.

Have you decided what you are

going to wear for the Miss Ghana

audition?

>> Are you making a dress for

yourself again?

Your designs are so gorgeous.

>> Or are you wearing something

you cousins in America gave you?

I can't believe how many options

they sent.

>> Yeah, it was a lot.

>> I know.

Well, you know my Auntie Salo

works at that high-class

restaurant I was telling you

about.

>> Ah yes, White Castle.

>> A castle with food.

>> And she is always shopping

for me at all the trendy

American boutiques.

Conway. Wal-Mart.

The list goes on.

But since this is such a big

moment in my life, eh, she sent

me an outfit purchased at the

most famous retail place in all

of New York City --

>> Where?

>> Chinatown!

>> There is a China in

New York?

>> That's right.

Hey, ladies, eh, I will be

wearing my very own Calvin Klean

dress to the dance.

> Oh, my goodness!

>> I don't even know who that

is!

>> I am so jealous of your life,

Paulina.

>> Oh, I know. I'm so blessed.

>> Yeah, you really are.

>> Oh, Ama, don't worry.

I know you can't afford to get a

nice dress for yourself, so I'll

let you wear one of my options.

I'm sure one of them will fit

you.

>> Thanks, Paulina, but I think

I'll be okay.

>> Are you sure?

I mean, you're my best friend,

and I really need you to look

good, Ama.

>> You are so thoughtful,

Paulina!

Giving us all dresses.

>> What are we going to do

without you when you and Ama

graduate?

>> I don't know.

So take this last year to soak

up my wisdom, mm?

>> Or maybe you girls will be

just fine on your own, eh?

Thinking for yourselves is not

hard, you know?

>> Eh-eh. Think for myself?

>> Why would I do that?

>> And what is that supposed to

mean, Ama?

>> I'm just saying that they are

smart girls, and they don't need

to follow anyone --

>> Well, I just think they

appreciate that I protect them!

Like the way people make fun of

Mercy because her rich daddy

won't buy her new shoes.

>> He's very frugal.

>> Or the way people talk about

Gifty, now that she's had to

repeat her first year.

>> Not cool.

>> And Nana here, who ate lunch

by herself every day until I

brought her into the group,

finally giving her some friends.

Isn't that right, Nana?

>> Yes.

>> A-ha!

>> Look Paulina, I'm not trying

to start anything, okay?

>> Are you sure?

Look, you're not still mad about

that thing, are you, eh?

I thought we were over it.

>> I am. We are.

>> Good.

>> Oh, good morning girls.

>> Good morning, Headmistress.

>> Good morning, Headmistress.

>> How are you this morning,

Headmistress?

>> I'm well, thank you.

A bit busy this morning.

We have a new student coming in

today.

>> Really?

We're already in our second week

of school.

>> I know.

So I trust you all will help in

getting her settled quickly,

yes?

>> Yes, of course.

>> What a week we're having, eh?

We were just talking about how

excited we all are about the

Miss Ghana recruiter coming

tomorrow.

Isn't that right, ladies?

>> Yes!

>> So excited, yes.

>> How many girls will they be

selecting?

>> Is it true that it's only

one?

>> Yes, only one.

>> I told you!

>> And if she wins that, then

she'll go on to the

Miss Global Universe Pageant

with girls from all over the

world!

>> Now, I am not a big fan of

competitions myself.

You know what I always say --

>> "Education is the only gift

that no one can take away."

>> That's right.

And I want you all to remember,

that even if you are not

selected, it is not the end of

the world.

God still loves you!

Amen?

>> Amen.

>> Good.

>> But, Paulina, you are going

to be Miss Ghana 1986.

>> Yes, of course!

We all know that you are most

beautiful girl here at Aburi.

>> Yeah...

>> Well...

>> Okay, girls...

>> Hey!

And no one from West Africa has

ever made it to the top of the

Miss Global Universe pageant.

>> Is that so?

>> Yes!

It is always some girl from

South Africa or Ethiopia.

>> Do you remember when the

winner from Namibia was a white?

>> A white?

>> Well, they said that she was

born and raised there, so

technically, she is African.

>> Oh, so then it would be no

problem if the winner of

Miss Italy had black skin?

>> Oh, please!

You know there would be many

problems with that --

>> She probably wouldn't even

make it to the stage --

>> That is what I am saying!

>> I'm just letting you know

how they got around the rules!

>> Okay, girls! Calm down.

>> But you know what else I

heard?

>> What?

>> That this year's winner will

accompany Bobby Brown to an

American awards show!

>> What?

>> Bobby Brown?!

>> I would die.

>> Eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh!

Inside voices, please!

>> Oh, my God, if I could listen

to "Mr. Telephone Man" a million

times a day, I would!

>> Me, too!

>> ♪ Mr. Telephone Man

Hey!

♪ There's something wrong with

my line when I dial ♪

>> [ Gasps ]

[ Screaming ]

[ Laughter ]

>> Wow! [ Laughs ]

Paulina!

You will be in all the American

magazines, eh?

Eating at fancy restaurants.

>> Rubbing elbows with famous

people.

>> Elbows!

>> I know.

>> Don't you think Kofi would

mind?

>> Of course not.

He would not want to interfere

with my modeling career.

>> You say what?

>> Modeling.

That's the plan, after I

graduate, you know.

Become the next Iman.

>> College is cute, but I'm

thinking about my future

realistically.

>> Listen, I'm sure that Kofi is

going to be very excited to tell

everyone that he is with the

most beautiful woman in Ghana...

>> Ghana!

>> Or in the whole world.

>> Universe!

>> Ladies, please, though.

>> It is true!

Who else could beat you?

>> Girls, I'd like you all to

meet Ericka Boafo.

She has just transferred into

Aburi.

>> Hello, everyone.

>> Hi.

>> Ericka, this is Gifty,

Paulina, Mercy, Ama, and Nana.

Paulina and Ama here...

are in their last year, as well.

>> Welcome to Aburi, Ericka.

>> Thank you.

>> Ericka is joining us all the

way from The States!

>> The United States of America?

>> So are you a white?

>> Gifty!

>> No, it's fine, Headmistress.

I am a little pale.

Clearly, I have been missing

some of that good African sun.

[ Laughter ]

>> Sorry for the quick tour,

Ericka.

I need to go and set up some

classrooms --

We're a bit short-staffed today.

But, if you need anything,

Ericka, please don't hesitate to

ask.

>> Thank you, Headmistress,

but I'm sure I'll be fine.

>> Yes, we'll take good care of

her.

>> Lovely. See you all soon.

>> [ Laughs ]

Please, Ericka. Have a seat.

>> Thank you.

>> So You're fromAmerica?

>> Yes. Well, no.

I mean, I'm Ghanaian.

I've just been living in

The States for a while.

>> Oh, well that's exciting.

I have some cousins who live

there, as well.

>> Really? Where?

>> Like, all over.

>> Where did you live?

>> I went to school in the

Midwest area.

Ohio.

>> Ohio.

>> I've never even heard of that

one before.

>> It's nothing special.

>> Aren't your cousins from

New York, Paulina?

>> Is that near Ohio?

>> Yeah. They're in New York.

And all over America, like I

said.

>> And you're in your last year,

as well?

>> I am.

I hope I haven't missed too

much.

I know you all started classes a

week ago.

>> I'm sure you'll catch up.

>> I appreciate Headmistress

making an exception for me.

>> A special exception, it

seems.

What do your parents do?

>> Oh, my dad has a company...

A cocoa factory, actually.

>> Boafo?

As in Boafo Cocoa Farms?

>> Yes, you know it?

>> Oh, they make some good

cocoa!

>> Chocolate.

>> Yes, of course.

My boyfriend works at that dairy

farm.

>> He does?

>> Yeah!

>> Oh, you must be talking

about, um, eh...

>> Osei.

>> Right.

>> Yeah! You know him?

>> Not really, but I think I've

seen him around.

>> Osei says that your parents

travel a lot -- he rarely even

sees them.

>> Yeah, he's right, they are

always busy traveling.

The schedule was becoming too

much.

Transferring schools all the

time.

So we decided that I should

finish my schooling here in his

hometown.

>> So when was the last time you

were here?

>> I can't even tell you.

So, forgive me.

It's going to take me a while to

get my accent and get used to

the heat.

>> I'm sorry, Ericka, but I have

to ask -- what did you use to

get your hair that long?

>> Oh, this is just natural.

>> Wow. You are so lucky.

>> Thanks, but Headmistress

scheduled my haircut for next

week.

>> I mean, mine is that long,

too.

When I straighten it, you can

see.

>> I wish my hair was easier to

manage.

>> Well, I have tons of products

you could try -- a bunch of

things that I got in America.

>> Ooh, like what? Hair grease?

>> Oil?

>> Lotion?

>> All of that.

You girls should come to my

dormitory and try them out.

We can have a little makeover

party, or something.

>> Oooh, a makeover party.

>> A party to get made over!

>> Count me in!

>> Yeah, I want to try

everything.

>> 'Cause your stuff must be top

quality!

>> Clearly!

Even the Caro-Light they have in

The States must be top shelf.

You don't even have any

blemishes!

>> The what?

>> You know? The cream.

>> Bleaching cream.

>> The ones they sell here will

just burn your skin off.

>> Fire.

>> And they give really bad

blisters.

>> Nasty.

>> Oh, well --

>> But I would love to try

yours!

It seems like it works really

good.

>> Quality.

>> Oh, no. I mean, I don't --

I mean, this is just my natural

tone.

>> Eeh!

>> Wow. You really are blessed.

>> Our other cousin has lighter

skin, too.

>> She's Albino!

>> It's still light!

>> Anyway, I can't wait for this

party!

Are you free after class today?

[ Gasps ] Do you have a boombox?

The one I had broke down.

>> That thing never worked,

Gifty.

>> It did!

You just had to hold the plug in

place and it was fine...

>> Let it go!

>> I do have one, actually!

And I brought some new music

with me, too.

>> Do you know of...

Bobby Brown?

>> Are you kidding? I love him!

I went to a New Edition concert

last year.

>> You did?!

>> Yeah, I even have a poster

that he signed.

>> Oh, my goodness!

>> He signed a poster!

>> And she has it!

[ Screaming ]

>> I told you!

>> Eh!

You have to forgive them,

Ericka.

We don't always get such fancy

new students like you in our

school, with your music and

your lotion and your makeup.

>> All the things we need

to look good for the recruiter!

>> Recruiter?

>> For the Miss Ghana Pageant!

>> Oh, yeah!

I saw that list in the front

office.

I signed up for it.

Looks like fun!

>> It is going to be fun!

>> And you can definitely be the

next Miss Ghana.

>> Oh, really? Eh?

>> I mean --

>> Yeah, I thought it might be

fun way to make some friends.

>> So you're not really that

interested?

>> Well, I've never thought

about beauty pageants before.

>> Surely someone has told you

that you are perfect for

modeling, or something.

>> I mean, maybe once or twice.

>> Oh, but now you're seriously

thinking about it?

>> I guess so.

>> It's just a pageant.

What do you have to lose?

>> Well, other than to me.

Obviously.

>> Right...

>> So do you have a boyfriend,

Ericka?

>> Not anymore --

>> 'Cause I do! Kofi.

He's in Kumasi training with the

Ghana Black Stars.

He's a soccer player.

He's even been to the World Cup.

>> That's nice.

>> World Cup?

>> But you don't have a

boyfriend, huh?

>> I've just been focused on my

studies and my

extracurriculars.

>> Well, you should join the

show choir.

We're all in it.

Well, it's just us.

But it's really fun.

>> Oh, yeah?

>> And sometimes Headmistress

lets us pick our songs.

>> Like the one we're working on

now.

>> We've been rehearsing all

week!

>> And she is letting us perform

it for the recruiter as part of

the auditions.

>> Since we all have a solos!

>> Which is special, since

Paulina usually gets those.

>> Actually, I've been lead

soloist for the past two years.

>> Oh, that's nice.

You must be really good.

>> I am.

Headmistress likes to make

everyone feel like they have a

fair chance, but we all know I'm

the best.

These girls sing like hyenas.

[ School bell rings ]

>> I should probably get to

class.

I just wish I knew where I was

going, though.

>> Oh, what room are you looking

for?

>> 138 - Advanced Algebra?

>> Oh, I have that class, too.

I'll show you the way.

>> Great. Thanks.

If nothing else, I'm glad I know

how to get to the most important

place on campus.

>> Where is that?

>> The cafeteria!

I'm so greedy, I already can't

wait for lunch.

[ Laughter ]

>> Hey, Nana.

Have you forgotten where your

loyalty lies, eh?

>> What?

You know I am always nice --

>> Eh, eh, eh!

I don't give a damn about nice!

There's no room for that here

in this group, you hear me?

Hello, do you hear me?

Or do you have food stuffed in

your ears, too, you freakin'

cow?

>> Yes, I hear you.

>> Now, since you keep getting

caught with snacks in class,

you have another detention after

school today, yes?

>> Yes.

>> Good, because...

I need you to sneak into

Headmistress's files, pull

Ericka's out for me.

>> What?!

>> You heard me.

>> Paulina...I can't do that.

Do you know how much trouble I'd

get in if Headmistress found

out?

>> Do I look like I care?

>> What do you even need with

her files, anyway?

>> None of your business.

>> Well --

>> Eh?

>> You're going to have to ask

someone else because...

I can't do that, Paulina.

Headmistress has already warned

me that if I get any more

detentions, it is going to

affect me getting into college

You know how much that means to

me.

I'd be the first in my family.

>> Mm, well, obviously, eh,

it doesn't mean enough, eh?

>> Paulina, no. Please --

>> "Eh, Paulina, no!

I want to go to school!

I want to go to college!"

Give me a freaking break, okay?!

>> I'm just hungry.

>> Okay, then eat...

I'll just tell Headmistress

about all the places you're

stashing food.

Then...

you'll get more detentions,

maybe even expelled.

And I know you don't want to be

go back to your mother with the

way she likes to starve you, eh.

I mean, I can't blame her.

I'd be ashamed if I had a

fat-ass daughter, too.

>> Paulina, please.

I can't do that --

>> Oh, eh? Eh? Eh?

You can avoid all this strife,

if you just get me Ericka's

files.

Like I told you to do the first

damn time, eh?

We have an understanding now?

>> Yes.

>> Good.

Oh, and don't get caught!

[ Upbeat music plays ]

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

>> Francis Adwoa Frimpong!

Look at you!

>> Eloise?

>> I asked some students where I

could find you and they said the

cafeteria.

Yes, I'm just doing a bit of

food inventory.

>> Of course you are.

Oh, Franny. Come here!

It's so good to see you!

>> Yes. Quite the surprise.

>> [ Chuckles ]

Whew, let me just catch my

breath for a second.

I can't tell you the last time

I have been up here in the

Aburi Mountains.

>> Yes, it is definitely a

workout.

>> I can't believe we used to

race up these hills everyday!

Feels like 100 years ago, right?

>> Sometimes...

>> Right.

[ Sucks teeth ] Mm, mm, mm.

>> Pardon me, Eloise...

>> Mm-hmm.

>> But what are you doing here?

>> Darling, I'm one of the

recruiters for the

Miss Ghana Pageant.

>> Oh, well, isn't that a

coincidence?

But we weren't expecting you

until tomorrow.

>> Yes, I know, but Aburi was

the last school on my list, so I

decided to come up earlier,

go see my mum and some family --

make a trip of it, you know?

I haven't been back home in over

10 years.

Can you believe that? Mm!

>> Yes, I can.

>> Anyway, I am so excited to be

a recruiter this year.

I feel very committed to finding

a winning girl.

You know -- and I don't mean to

brag...

>> You? Of course not.

>> But if one of my recruits

becomes Miss Ghana 1986,

I will get a big promotion!

>> Really?

>> And you know what that means?

>> Um, a bigger crown?

>> No.

It means big, big, big money!

For both myself, the winner,

and a generous donation to the

school --

In this case, Aburi.

>> Well, I was not aware of

that.

>> I know that, love.

It's my job to tell you.

>> That would be wonderful.

Things have become a bit tight

around here.

I am managing, but, you know,

we could always use some help.

>> Yes, I heard about girls

testing pretty low in recent

years, budget cuts, missionaries

pulling their funding.

>> We are managing. Trust me.

>> Of course you are.

Getting a few girls to work off

their detentions with manual

labor, eh?

Headmistress Mary used to pull

those same stunts when we were

students here.

>> No!

I'm just trying to teach the

girls responsibility and --

>> Oh, oh, oh, oh!

Don't take offense, Franny!

It was a joke.

But, seriously, if we find the

right girl here --

She wins. I win.

And Aburi Girls School gets a

big old paycheck.

Doesn't that sound great?

>> It does.

>> God only knows how much of

your own personal money you've

poured into this place.

>> I love this school, Eloise.

I don't mind the sacrifice.

>> Aww...

But, let's get to the matter at

hand, eh?

The girls.

>> Yes!

They are all very excited.

>> I remember when I was first

discovered.

Selling mangos at my mother's

fruit stand when a recruiter

just spotted me.

It was a wondrous time in my

life.

That is, until the day I was

crowned Miss Ghana, of course.

>> And you represented our

country with much...

pride.

>> And I hope to give some lucky

young lady here that same

chance...

You know, it's funny, because,

as I was passing through,

I happened to notice a lovely

young lady.

>> Oh?

>> Oh, she is absolutely

gorgeous.

Yea tall, brownish hair,

lovely shape...

Fair skinned.

>> Oh!

You must be talking about

Ericka.

She has just transferred into

the school.

>> Well, she is absolutely

perfect for the pageant.

As I said, I have turned over

every rock and shook down every

bush in Ghana, it seems --

Honestly, I was getting

desperate.

But, alas, God provides!

>> All the time.

>> Now, she is a girl who can

actually stand a chance against

the likes of beauty queens from

Spain, Brazil, France, or

Colombia.

>> Well, yes, she's lovely, but

I think many of my girls would.

>> You know...

It has become clear that MGU

judges are fond of girls who

have a more universal and

commercial look.

>> So you are saying what,

exactly?

>> That we are just looking for

girls that fall on the other end

of the African skin spectrum.

>> Now, wait a minute, Eloise...

How can you -- of all people --

co-sign with that?!

>> Um, big money! Big promotion!

One step closer to owning the

Miss Ghana pageant.

Something a woman has never

done!

>> Oh, please, this is not about

women's equality, this is about

you!

And I'm not going to have my

girls be used as pawns in your

nonsense.

>> Hey, hey!

This pageant is not nonsense!

It is an amazing opportunity for

a girl from our country to

travel the world and to

represent Ghana.

>> [ Groans ]

>> I feel insulted that you

would doubt my efforts.

The MGU platform is a highly

respected one.

>> Ha! Platform?! Please!

>> Listen, Francis --

>> You haven't changed one bit

since secondary school.

If it doesn't benefit you --

Eh, eh! -- who cares!

>> That's right!

And look at what that attitude

has afforded me, darling.

I'm Miss Ghana 1966.

And here you are, still trying

to keep up with the popular

girls.

>> And here you are, still

trying to be one.

>> Aye!

>> Good afternoon, Headmistress.

>> Paulina, what are you doing

out of class?

>> Sister Donkor was not feeling

well, so she dismissed us, uh,

a few minutes early...

Hello!

>> Hello.

>> [ Gasps ] Paulina!

This is Eloise Amponsah --

>> I know.

>> Miss Ghana 1966.

She is this year's recruiter

for the Miss Ghana Pageant.

>> Miss Ghana 1966!

In the flesh!

I can't believe it.

>> Oh, thank you, dear.

Uh, Paulina, you said?

>> Yes. Yes. Paulina Sarpong.

I'm in my last year here at

Aburi...

>> How lovely.

>> Oh, um, we weren't expecting

you until tomorrow.

>> Oh, well, I was just so

anxious to see what Aburi had to

offer, I couldn't wait.

>> I see.

Well, I believe that it has

always been my calling to do

something influential.

If I was chosen to be

Miss Ghana, God will use me as a

vessel to show the world how

beautiful our country is and

change the stereotypes of how

Africans are perceived.

>> Thank you for that.

>> You're welcome.

>> Eh, Paulina, please tell

Miss Amponsah more about your

achievements here at school.

>> Oh, yes, I'm very involved --

I'm on the debate team, the

table tennis club, and I'm the

lead soloist in our show choir.

I'm also in a long-term

relationship with a

Ghana Black Star soccer player.

>> Ooh, an athlete.

Hold on to that one.

>> Oh, I plan to.

I know Kofi is my true love.

>> Personally, I think Paulina

would make for a great

contestant in the pageant.

>> Sure.

How tall are you, love?

>> Oh, I can be any height you

need me to be with right pair of

high-heeled shoes.

>> And I can see you don't have

a problem with your weight.

Agh, Miss Amponsah --

>> These things are important to

note, Headmistress.

>> Well, I workout nearly every

day, and I always try to eat

appropriately.

>> Oh, well, you are ahead of

the game because, trust me,

it doesn't get any easier when

you are my age.

>> Oh, which cannot be a day

over 25, eh?

Surely you were too young to

compete the first time around.

>> Aww, how cute.

I have to say, Miss Amponsah,

I think you might be looking at

your next Miss Ghana right here.

See how she knows all the right

things to say.

[ School bell rings ]

>> Ah...

That old, school bell.

Hmm...

Anyway, I look forward to seeing

what you and the rest of the

girls have to offer when I'm

back tomorrow.

>> Me, too, and, again, it

really was such an honor meeting

you.

>> Oh, thank you, love.

Let me get going now.

>> Yes.

>> Let me show you out,

Miss Amponsah.

>> Good afternoon, Headmistress.

>> Hello, Nana.

>> I was just about to head to

the front office.

You still need me to sort all of

those records by the end of the

day, yes?

>> Uh...yes.

But let me just see this guest

out.

>> Yes, Headmistress.

>> So, Were you able to, eh?

>> Here.

>> Great. You can go now.

Oh! And, Nana?

>> Yes?

>> I've decided...

You can't be a part of our group

anymore.

You're not really...

mixing with our aesthetic.

Come check in with me when

you've dropped about 15 --

20 pounds, okay?

Good luck.

>> You know what, Paulina...

>> What, eh?

>> You're not as special as you

think you are!

>> I'm not?

>> No! You're not!

And I can't believe that I used

to feel lucky that I was your

friend and that I was actually

proud that you claimed me.

But, you know what, I am lucky,

because I will never, ever be

you!

>> Nana, of course you won't.

>> Hey, Paulina.

>> Hi.

What are you doing here?

>> Just waiting for the girls.

They told me to meet them here

so we could walk over to the

dorm together.

>> Yes, your little "makeover

party."

>> Yeah...

You can come too, you know?

Open invitation --

>> No, I have more important

things to do.

>> Well, if you change your

mind --

>> I won't.

>> Okay.

>> You want some chocolate?

>> No... Calories.

>> Right.

>> Also, you should know that

any sort of sweet is not allowed

on the campus or dormitories.

It's considered contraband.

>> Oh...

I thought we all just knew to

keep it a secret.

>> Mm, secrets, eh? Eh?

Is that your thing?

>> No, but it's just chocolate.

>> Ah, right, your daddy's

cocoa.

Do you have an endless supply?

>> Not really.

>> Hmm.

I've driven past that property.

Nice mansion.

>> Didn't spend much time there.

>> Ah, yes. America. Ohio.

Don't you think your friends

miss you?

>> I don't know.

I had a pretty small circle.

>> I know the feeling...

It's not like we just let anyone

into our group.

>> Oh!

Is there a test you need to

pass, or something?

>> [ Chuckles ] Listen...

Ericka, eh?

You're new here, so let me help

you understand some things, eh?

I have been running this school

for a long time.

Nothing and no one crosses me.

>> Okay.

>> Eh, and you should know that

no one cares about your makeup,

your music, your fancy American

things.

>> Clearly you do.

>> Excuse me?

>> You're the one who keeps

bringing it up.

Why do you care so much?

>> I don't.

>> You sure about that?

>> Very.

>> Listen.

Paulina, I don't know what your

problem is, but I'm not afraid

of you, okay?

It's going to take a lot more

than some empty threats to shake

me.

>> Oh, no threats here.

Just a warning.

>> Sure.

>> Eh...

>> Hi!

>> Hey, Paulina.

>> Ericka, you ready to head

over to the dorm?

>> Makeover party!

[ Giggling ]

>> What's her problem now?

>> Not sure.

>> Probably another one of her

mood swings.

>> Always something with her.

>> Well, let's go!

I'm ready for this makeover

party!

>> Can't wait to see your dress

options, Ericka!

>> Honestly, we never really

liked the ones that Paulina's

aunt sent anyway.

>> Is that the one who works at

White Castle?

[ Giggles ]

>> What?

>> Ericka told me about that

place and, you guys, it isfar

from being a castle.

>> What?

>> No! For true?

>> They sell fast food there.

>> Burgers and fries.

>> Like McDonald's?

>> But not....

>> Oh, and Chinatown...

>> All they sell there are

knockoffs.

>> Knockoffs?

>> It's all fake!

But Ericka has the real stuff.

>> Calvin Klein.

From Macy's Department Store.

>> Oh, wow.

>> A store with departments.

>> Mm-hmm.

That's right, and you girls are

going to look amazing!

>> Wow, Ericka, it's like you

were sent from heaven.

>> A dress angel.

>> Oh, come on.

>> It is true.

We are going to kill this

audition.

>> Yeah, and we have a list of

sample questions the recruiter

might ask.

I'm feeling very nervous about

that section.

>> Oh, come on, Mercy, it can't

be that bad.

>> Mm.

>> Let's just practice one,

yeah?

>> [ Gasps ] Yes! Rehearsal!

This is great.

Okay, so you be the host, and

we'll be the audience.

Here. Sit, Ama.

Okay...

You ready?

>> No...

>> You got this, cousin!

[ Clears throat ]

"So, if you could be either fire

or water, what would you be and

why?"

>> Well...

I am a human being

and I do not know how it is

to be fire or water.

And, for that reason...

I really do not have an answer

to this because, as you see,

I am a human being.

I am a girl who has emotions,

and fire and water do not.

So...

>> Yay!

>> We'll practice a bunch of

times tonight.

>> Oh, good.

I'm going to need it.

>> And those questions are silly

anyway, Mercy.

>> And it doesn't matter how we

answer the questions, because

the recruiter will be too

focused on our amazing dresses!

>> That's right.

So let's head over to my dorm

and pick some looks!

>> Yes!

>> Makeover party!

>> You girls want some more

chocolate?

>> Yeah!

[ Upbeat music plays ]

♪♪

♪♪

>> "And now, please welcome,

Miss Ghana 1986 contestant,

Paulina Sarponnnng!"

Whaaaaa!

[ Breathes deeply ]

Okay.

Stand straight, smile, look like

you're having an amazing time.

"What would you do...

to change the image of Ghana

if you were selected to be

in the

Miss Global Universe Pageant?"

Should I be crowned --

I will make it my mission

to become influential in our

political gover--

our politicalcommunity and make

Ghana stand out as an African

nation that has thrived since

our free...

Since our independ--

Since our independence.

Independence.

Look confident. Be conf--

Be confident.

Look confident, be --

This is yours, Paulina.

Look confident, be confident.

Look confident, be confident.

[ Sighs ] This is yours.

Look confident, be confident.

This is yours, Paulina.

You have this.

You have this. This is yours.

You look confident, you be --

You look confident, you be

confident.

This is yours.

You look conf--

This is yours.

You look confident.

You be confident.

You look conf--

This is yours.

Nana.

>> Paulina.

Ready for the pageant?

>> I have been ready.

>> Sure.

>> Look at you, your dress is

actually pretty nice.

>> I know.

>> Mm.

Look confident, be confident.

You have this.

>> You know...

my hands are a little dry.

Do you have any cream?

>> No.

>> You sure?

>> Don't worry, Mercy.

Your hair looks great!

>> Oh, God, I'm so nervous.

>> Whoo, Nana!

>> You look so pretty!

>> Yes! Oh, my God!

>> [ Gasps ] Pretty girl!

>> Thanks, girls.

>> Heh. Pretty.

>> This girl!

>> Heh! This one here.

>> Paulina.

>> Look at you ladies.

I'm sure you'll get points for

effort.

>> And look at you, Paulina!

That knockoff Calvin Klean looks

great.

>> Actually...

this is a new designer.

I like to keep up with the

hottest fashions.

>> Oh, really?

>> Yeah, you know I'm a

trend-setter.

>> Oh, here she goes, still

telling lies.

>> Running her mouth again!

>> Well, we're glad today is the

audition.

Gives you a chance to take a

break from spreading rumors

about us all over school.

>> Me?! Whatever.

>> Yeah, you!

>> Spreading rumors!

>> And rumors hurt!

>> Oh, please, I have better

things to do.

>> Then why did you start

telling everyone in our

dormitoryagain that I am not a

virgin?

You know that's not true!

>> I don't know what you do to

keep Osei.

>> Or that I'm cheating in

English class?

>> Oh, everyone knows you can't

read, Gifty!

>> I'm getting better!

>> Or telling everyone that I'm

lying about my father being a

doctor!

>> Eh...

Why else would he let you dress

like you're from the bush, eh?

>> Well, at least she knows who

her father is.

>> Yeah!

>> Excuse me?

>> Tell me, has your mother

figured it out yet, or is she

still busy spreading her legs

for every man in your village?

[ Nana giggles wildly ]

>> Ama...

After all I have done for you...

>> All you've done?

You talk about all of us like

we're dogs!

I'm supposed to be your best

friend, and look at what you say

about me, my family, and my

boyfriend.

>> Oh, he's trash, Ama.

>> At least he is real!

>> Hey!

>> Everyone with half a brain

can figure out that you have

been making Kofi up!

>> No, I haven't!

>> He never calls for you.

>> Never!

>> Never shows up to the dances.

>> Never!

>> And I don't know how you get

these letters he allegedly

sends.

I work in the mail room

and I've never seen a letter

come for you, not even once!

They all just magically appear!

>> Mag-ic!

>> I'vealways known you were

jealous of me, Ama!

>> Of what?!

>> Oh, of everything!

You want to dress like me, act

like me, be me!

You don't even want to be

yourself!

>> Yeah, okay!

Tell me...

How many times did

Headmistress have to send you to

hospital our first year, eh?

Your face full of blisters and

blood from all the bleaching

cream you would use!

>> What?!

>> Bleaching cream?!

>> Ama...

You promised.

>> No!

I'm done covering for you!

Everyone should

know the truth, Paulina!

And the truth is you hate

yourself so much, you would do

anything to change!

>> [ Laughs ]

Well, since we're being

all honest, eh, eh?

Do the girls know that your

father is in prison, hmm?

That the pastor was stealing

money from his own church?!

Ahhh!

>> [ Crying ] You are such a...

>> A what?

A what?!

>> Paulina, that's enough!

>> Hey, you don't want me to get

started on you, Ericka!

>> You need to relax, okay?!

>> You need to stay

out of my way!

I will take you down you, too!

>> Oh, yeah?

>> Yeah! So don't mess with me,

sweetie puss!

>> Oh, my goodness!

Look at how lovely you girls

look!

>> Thank you, Headmistress.

>> Girls, I'd like to

introduce Ms. Eloise Amponsah,

former Miss Ghana 1966!

>> Yay!

>> She is one of the recruiters

for this year's pageant.

>> I...

>> Good afternoon, ladies.

It's such a pleasure

to meet you all.

>> Thank you, Ms. Amponsah.

>> Yes!

It is very nice to see

you again.

>> Yes.

>> Right, you remember Paulina.

And this here is Ama.

>> Hello.

>> And Mercy and Gifty.

>> Good afternoon.

>> We are happy to receive you.

>> Our shy little Nana here.

>> Hello, ma'am.

>> Ma'am?

Please, save that for my mother.

And, Headmistress, who is this

lovely young lady?

What is your name?

>> Ericka Boafo.

>> She has just recently

transferred into the school from

the States.

>> America?! Wow.

>> Yes, but I have returned to

Ghana now to complete my studies

here, in my home country.

>> [ Paulina snickers ]

>> Paulina?

>> Sorry, Headmistress, she...

Sorry, it's nothing.

My apologies.

>> Right.

As I told you, Eloise, the

girls picked this song

themselves and have been working

on it all week in preparation

for this audition.

>> Lovely.

>> Ericka here hasn't had time

to rehearse with us but she says

she knows the song very well.

So, just do the

best you can, okay?

>> I will.

>> Great!

Please have a seat here,

Ms. Amponsah.

>> Thank you.

>> Let's get into formation

here.

When I point to you, step out to

sing your part.

Ama, why don't we start with

you?

Straight backs.

Chests up.

And just let the music float out

of you, okay?

Here we go.

♪♪

>> ♪ Ooh, ooh

>> ♪ I believe 'de children

are 'de future ♪

♪ Teach dem well and let dem

lead the way ♪

♪ Show dem all 'de beauty

they possess inside ♪

>> Nana!

[ Nana's barely audible ]

>> ♪ Give dem a sense of pride

to make it easier ♪

>> ♪ Ooh...

>> ♪ Let 'de children's

laughter... ♪

[ Laughter ]

>> Gifty!

>> ♪ Everybody's searching

for a hero ♪

♪ People need someone

to look up to ♪

♪ I never found anyone who

fulfilled that need ♪

>> Get ready, Mercy.

You are next.

>> ♪ A lonely place to be

♪ So I learned

to depend on me ♪

>> [ Mercy, high pitched ]

♪ I decided long ago

never to walk

in anyone's shadow ♪

>> Eh-Eh, Mercy!

>> ♪ If I fail, if I succeed

>> Bring your key down a little.

>> ♪ At least I'll live

as I believe ♪

♪ No matter what they

take from me, they can't take ♪

away my dignity ♪

♪♪

>> ♪ Because the greatest love

of all is happening to me ♪

>> Paulina is next.

>> ♪ I found the greatest

love of all inside of me ♪

♪ Ooh...

>> ♪ I believe the children

are our future ♪

♪ Teach them well and let

them lead the way ♪

♪ Show them all the beauty

they possess inside ♪

>> Ericka, you're next, dear.

>> ♪ Give them a sense of pride

to make it easier ♪

♪ Let the children's

laugh- [ Laughs ] -ter ♪

♪ Remind us how we used to be

>> ♪ I decided long ago

never to walk in anyone's

shadow ♪

♪ If I fail, if I succeed

At least I'll live

as I believe ♪

♪ No matter what

they take from me ♪

♪ They can't take away

my dignity ♪

>> Praise God!

>> ♪ Because the greatest

love of all

is happening to me ♪

♪ I found the greatest

love of all inside of me ♪

>> ♪ Whoa, whoa

[ Cheering ]

>> Bravo, Ericka!

You are quite a talent!

You would make quite the splash

at the Miss Ghana Pageant!

>> Bravo! Bravo!

>> Noooo!

>> Calm yourself, Paulina!

Calm yourself!

>> Noooo!

No!

She can't be the next

Miss Ghana, 'cause she's not

even a real Ghanaian!

>> You say what?

>> She was born in America!

Her mother is white!

Ericka Johnson!

>> What?!

>> Boafo isn't even her

real name, oh!

>> Paulina!

>> It's in her files!

>> Her files?!

>> She's a bastard!

>> Hey!

>> Her father only claimed her

now 'cause her mother is dead!

>> I can't believe this!

>> Who the hell do you

think you are?!

>> I said to not mess with

me, didn't I?!

>> Hey! Girls, stop this!

>> That is none of your

business!

>> No one wants you here,

not even your own father!

>> Paulina, enough!

Why are you yelling at me?

Nana gave me her files!

>> What?!

>> Nana!

>> Is that true?

>> I can explain, Headmistress.

>> And that's not the first

time, Headmistress.

>> No, I only did it for you!

>> Hah!

Was that before or after you

erased all of your detention

marks?

>> Excuse me?!

>> That is not true,

Headmistress!

>> She said you're trying

to keep her from getting into

college!

>> Unbelievable!

This is unbelievable!

>> Franny, I don't know

what's going on, but can I just

pick someone and skedaddle?

>> Well, it can't be Ericka!

The rules clearly state you

have to be born in Ghana to real

Ghanaian parents!

No knockoffs! Eh?!

>> Knockoffs?!

>> You are so disgusting,

Paulina!

Everything everyone says --

>> You are so crazy and

desperate.

>> Ericka...

Is this true?

>> Well...

>> It's probably another lie!

That's all Paulina does!

>> Spread rumors and lies!

>> Paulina...

>> Eh-Eh! Is that blood?!

>> Blood?!

>> Yes, what is going on there?!

>> Ama, get me a bowl of cold

water and a washcloth.

Now!

>> Uhhh!

>> You wish you looked like

Ericka!

>> Shut up, Nana!

>> No!

You shut up, Paulina!

>> Give it to me!

Give it to me!

Give it to me!

>> Eh-Eh! Bleaching cream!

>> I'm so sick of your ass!

>> Hey. Hey! Stop it!

>> Nana!

>> She said "ass."

>> Can't you see, Paulina?!

You're a freaking bitch!

That's why everybody hates you!

>> Ericka!

>> You are a half-caste bastard!

>> Oh, I can't believe this!

I can't believe this!

This is absolutely

reprehensible behavior!

You should all be ashamed

of yourselves!

>> Sorry, Headmistress.

>> Eloise, I assure you,

this is far and beyond their

usual characters.

>> I would hope so.

>> Can you please step out

for a moment?

I need to deal with all of this.

>> Mmm. Sure.

Mmm.

>> Paulina and Ericka, you two

sit down!

The rest of you, report

straight to your dormitories!

And be prepared, because you

will all be receiving several

detentions for your actions

here today!

>> Yes, Headmistress.

>> [ Sighs ]

>> Should I give this to you?

>> Uhh, I'll take it, Nana!

Now, go!

I mean...

I don't know where to begin

with all of this.

In all my years

as headmistress of this school,

I've never seen anything like

this.

Stealing files!

Foul language!

Fighting!

All of which

is grounds for expulsion!

>> I didn't do --

>> Headmistress, she was --

>> I did not ask either of you

to speak!

Have I not gone above and beyond

for you girls?! Eh?!

Paulina...

[ Snaps fingers ]

I have looked after

you like you were my own child.

Took care of you, paid for

things your mother couldn't

afford.

>> [ Crying ]

>> And let's not talk about

the countless hospital bills

I have Incurred only to have you

turn around and begin

using this mess again?!

And you, Ericka.

I know this is

a tough time for you, but

fighting is not the way to deal

with those feelings!

>> Headmistress --

>> I am not finished!

While the two of you are

students in my school, your

studies will your number one and

only priority!

Do you understand?!

Now, I'm going to go and find

Eloise and when I come back,

you two better have fixed this

or no one is going to the

pageant.

>> Please, please!

>> Do I make myself clear?!

>> Yes.

>> Yes.

>> Good!

>> [ Crying ]

>> You crossed the line.

>> I'm not sorry!

Ms. Amponsah should know

the truth!

It's against the rules!

>> Please!

This isn't about the pageant!

>> It's the truth!

>> If you don't like me, fine!

But you had no right --

>> You stole all of my friends!

>> That's how you treat your

friends?

>> You came in here, acting like

you've got everything!

>> Lotion and makeup?!

>> Like you didn't have a care

in the world!

>> Listen, you don't know

anything about my life, okay?!

>> Oh, really?

>> Nothing!

I wasn't rich.

I didn't have friends.

>> Whatever!

>> You think those white kids

wanted anything to do with me?

You think there were any other

black kids in Portsmouth?!

I was always alone!

And my father was here.

With his cocoa factory and

his wife and children.

Living this perfect life.

Not even thinking about me.

Ashamed of me, his white

daughter.

>> Please! [ Sighs ]

>> And you think my life was

easy?

My mother is all I had.

And you try watching your mother

die and talk to me about how

easy that is...

Did you ever stop to think

that I might be jealous of you?

>> [ Sucks teeth ]

>> That you know where you

come from?

That you have a family?

I'm sorry you don't

see how lucky you are.

>> Lucky?

Are you serious?

Lucky where?! Eh?

That my mother has eight

children, most of us with

different fathers?

Lucky that we're the poorest

people in our village?

Lucky that I'm the darkest

one in my family?

That even with the little bit of

our money, my mother gave me

bleaching cream instead of food,

'cause that would "serve me

better in life"?

That's not luck, Ericka, okay?!

Only luck I had was getting

a scholarship into Aburi.

[ Sighs ] And you...

Mmm?

You're the daughter of one of

the richest men in this country.

You'll always have something...

Always.

Trust me, my mother...would

have gladly traded me

in for you.

Clearly, she was right.

>> No, she wasn't.

>> Yes, she was.

Listen, the world's already

decided...

You're better than me.

>> That's not true.

>> Ericka, yes, it is.

[ Sniffs ]

>> I'm back, girls.

And I believe you have something

to say to Ms. Amponsah?

>> Yes. Um...

We're very sorry for our

behavior, Ms. Amponsah.

>> Yes, very sorry.

This will never happen again.

>> Thank you.

But trust me, I understand how

heated things can get when it

comes to competition.

After all, I am Miss Ghana 1966

and I did not

get that prestigious title

without getting a bit of dirt on

my hands.

>> I've already asked

Ms. Amponsah if she would like

to come back another day to make

a decision, but --

>> Oh no, no, no.

This is time-sensitive.

>> Right.

>> Now, besides that "episode,"

you have a lovely

group of girls, but it's clear

that the standouts are certainly

Paulina and Ericka here.

Though in light of what Paulina

has discovered, Ericka would be

disqualified if the

MGU Committee found out.

>> Yes, I understand.

>> And that is why we are not

going to tell them.

>> Now, wait a minute, Eloise!

You can't do that.

>> Oh, I can and I will.

>> Well, I won't allow it!

I will call the MGU Committee

myself if I have to.

>> Listen, I don't have

time for this!

I've got a pageant

I need to win.

>> But like this?

>> Well, you can't get anywhere

in this world by playing fair.

>> But you would ruin these

girls dreams, because of

something this stupid?!

>> Yes, because I want to win.

>> But you won, Eloise!

They named you Miss Ghana!

>> Yes, and once I left Ghana,

no one cared!

Those MGU judges didn't even

blink my way!

I might as well have been

invisible!

So if I have to push every

darkie out of the way, so be it!

I want my damn promotion!

I want, for once in my life, to

finally be seen!

And anyway, I'm not the

only person who will benefit

here.

If Ericka wins Miss Ghana,

she gets the crown, Aburi gets

a generous donation, and Ghana

will finally get some real

recognition on a global

platform.

How is that not a win-win for

everyone?! Hmm?

>> It's not for Paulina --

>> Who cares about P--

>> [ Crying ]

>> Listen.

Paulina...

Dear?

You are a beautiful and

bright young lady.

And I think you would make

a fine candidate

for the Miss Ghana Pageant...

Next year.

>> [ Sniffs ] Okay.

>> I can't make any promises

on whether you'll be selected,

but I am Miss Ghana 1966 and my

recommendation will hold some

weight.

>> [ Crying ]

Okay.

>> But I can speak for

what I will do if you don't keep

that mouth of yours shut about

all this.

Do you understand?!

>> Yes.

>> Good.

Do we all have an understanding?

Mmm?

>> [ Sniffs ]

Yeah.

>> Yes.

>> Good.

Now, I can't wait to show the

recruiting team the diamond

I have found in this mine!

Just you wait, Paulina.

You'll see all the doors

Ericka is going to open for you.

She is going to put Ghana

on the map!

You'll be thanking her,

trust me!

Now, dear, let's talk

about dresses, mmm? [ Laughs ]

>> [ Crying ]

[ Crying louder ]

>> ♪ Every girl in

the high school ♪

♪ School girls

♪ Every girl in

the high school ♪

♪ Every girl in

the high school... ♪

[ Laughing ]

♪ School girls,

school girls ♪

♪ Every girl in

the high school ♪

>> ♪ School girls

[ Birds chirping ]

>> Really good.

Now, let's --

>> Can we hurry up?

It's almost time for the

pageant!

>> I know, but let's

just read these next sentences

and then we'll be done.

>> Okay.

"Are you there, God?

It's me, Margaret.

I'm in my new debroom."

>> "Bedroom."

>> "Bedroom.

But I still have the same deb."

>> "Bed."

>> [ Sucks teeth ]

"Bed.

It's so quiet here at..."

[ Sighs ]

"Night."

>> Really, really good, Gifty!

>> Hey! Thank you!

>> You see?

You just had to take your time

with it.

>> Yeah, and this Judy Blume

knows her stuff.

>> You know, now that

Headmistress is having

that library built on campus, we

should ask her for more books

like this.

>> Yeah, books.

Where is everyone?

This is the Miss Global Universe

Pageant!

>> I know.

>> And Headmistress promised

that we could watch it after

last period!

>> I'm sure Headmistress is on

her way, Gifty.

>> This anxiety is too much, oh!

[ Gasps ]

Hey! Nana!

>> Hey! Nana!

>> We haven't seen you in

forever!

>> Hey, girls.

Finally off detentions.

>> I know.

Finally done.

>> We thought we'd never

see you again!

>> I can't imagine.

Being on detentions for

two whole months.

>> 60 days.

>> No food.

>> I had food, oh.

>> No water.

>> It wasn't a dungeon,

you guys.

>> Eh, it basically was!

>> Basically.

>> Going from class then

straight to the office to work.

>> Eating lunch.

>> With Headmistress just

watching over you like...

>> [ Laughs ]

You guys are so silly.

>> Glad that Headmistress saw

that we weren't involved in all

of that.

>> I don't know if my spirit

could take two months of

detentions.

>> I'm just glad it's over.

>> Yeah.

Anyway, it feels like

we have so much to catch up on.

What's going on with you?

>> Well --

>> Ooh! So I was able to

convince my dad to let me and

Gifty stay here.

>> Uncle James is the best.

>> Hey, after "audition day,"

things were touch and go,

>> Touch and go.

>> But I had to explain to him,

just sit him down and talk

straight business, you know?

Daughter to father.

>> Eh.

>> And it was hard, oh.

Trying to explain to him how it

is to be the child of a doctor,

at one of the best schools in

Ghana, trying to get good

grades, look after my cousin,

and not have new shoes...

>> So hard.

>> But I promised him that Gifty

and I would stay out of trouble

and get good grades for the rest

of the year. And!

He said if we do that, ehh,

he might get me and Gifty...

You are not going to believe

this, Nana.

>> What?

>> A new pair of Nikes!

>> Hey!

Hey!

Hey!

[ Laughter ]

>> Can you believe it?!

>> Oh, I can already feel how

good they will be on my feet.

>> Ah, so good.

>> That's amazing.

Congrats, ah?

>> Oh!

And Gifty is reading now!

>> Mmm?

>> And she's pretty good, too.

She just finished her first

book.

>> Really?!

>> Yes!

"The Babysitter's Club."

Really powerful stuff.

>> Ah! Good for you.

>> Eh, anyways, enough about us.

What's been up with you, Nana?

>> Well...Headmistress is

letting me join the soccer team

next week.

>> Mmm.

>> I'm going to be playing

goalie.

I'm really excited about it.

>> Hey!

>> That's nice.

>> Good for you, Nana.

>> Thanks.

Headmistress thinks

some extracurriculars will help

with my college applications.

>> Speaking of -- where is

Headmistress?

The pageant!

>> I'm sure she's coming, Gifty,

relax.

>> Nana. Finally free, Eh?!

Welcome back!

Oh, my God! [ Laughs ]

>> Thanks.

It's good to be out again.

>> I'm sure.

I heard you got a few

detentions, too.

>> I did.

Only for a week, though.

Which was fine.

Working in the

mail room is the worst.

If I never have to see another

envelope again for the rest of

my life, I'll be okay.

>> Ama, aren't you going to tell

Nana the good news?

>> Hello?!

>> Oh, yeah, I got accepted to

University of Ghana, early

decision!

>> Wow, Ama!

That's amazing.

Congratulations!

>> Thanks.

I am still waiting to

hear from the schools I applied

to in America, but I'm really

excited about U of G.

>> Um, Ama, that is not the

news we were talking about.

>> Yeah.

Who cares about college?

>> What?

>> Uhh...hello?!

>> Oh, I mean, it's not even

a big deal.

>> Excuse me, yes, it is!

>> Okay!

Osei told me that he wanted

to make things official and...

he proposed!

>> Ahhhh!

>> It's supposed to be a secret,

you guys!

>> We said we'd wait to share

the news with our friends until

after we told our parents.

So, we're not official yet.

>> You might as well be!

>> And you better claim him.

>> Because if you don't...

>> We will!

>> So...has anyone seen Paulina?

>> Not really.

Just in class.

>> I heard she's still

really sad.

Very depressed.

>> Mmm.

I've barely seen her.

Especially since she had to move

dormitories.

>> And to the scary dormitory,

too.

>> I heard Headmistress only

puts delinquents in there.

>> And I heard she's barely

eaten anything.

>> And it takes her a long time

to get out of bed.

>> It's probably best she's

not around people.

Maybe she's learned something.

>> You know, she wrote me

a letter.

Slipped it under my door.

>> She wrote you one, too?

>> Us, too.

>> I'm sure Headmistress forced

her to.

>> Ha. I can't believe she lied

about all of that.

>> Who would make up a story

like that?

>> And so detailed?

>> Right. That Ericka's not

Ghanaian? White mother?

>> That is too much, oh.

>> Did you write her back?

>> Eh, I thought about it.

>> Thought.

>> But I didn't.

>> No.

>> Still...

I've decided to forgive her.

>> Mmm.

>> Clearly, she's lost her mind.

>> You think she'll come out and

watch today?

>> Well, she didn't watch the

Miss Ghana Pageant.

>> Who can blame her?

>> True.

>> You think Ericka will

actually win the

Miss Global Universe Pageant?

>> Ahh.

You never know.

I still think she's the best

Miss Ghana we have ever had!

>> Yeah, she will at least make

the top 10.

>> Top 10 for sure.

[ Laughter ]

>> Paulina, how are you?

>> Yeah. How's your heart?

Are you okay?

>> You need something?

>> Ladies, I'm fine.

It's just nice to be out in the

fresh air again.

>> Yeah, of course.

>> Yeah, fresh air.

>> [ Sighs ]

This has been a really

difficult time on my spirit,

you know?

And I've done a lot of

self-reflection ever since the

pageant.

And...I know God is

working on me.

With his grace, I will get

through this.

>> Amen.

>> Nana, Ama?

>> Mmm.

>> Mm-hmm.

>> You got my letter, yes?

>> I did.

>> Yeah.

>> And I...I know that we may

never be friends again...

>> Nope.

>> Probably not.

>> Which is fine...

Look, just know I'm sorry, okay?

>> Whatever.

>> Yeah, okay.

>> Well, we're glad to see you,

Paulina.

>> We didn't know if you

were going to come and watch.

>> Maybe you'd be too upset.

>> Girls, it's fine.

Ericka won Miss Ghana.

Good for her.

>> Girls, can I get a bit of

help here, please?!

>> Yes, yes, yes, yes!

Good afternoon girls.

Yes, I know you are all excited.

>> Yes!

>> Gifty, get the cord.

>> Okay.

>> Eh-eh. Don't tangle it.

>> I won't.

You plug it in, oh.

>> Nana, help me move this.

>> Okay. Ah, this is so

exciting!

>> I know!

Oh, don't forget the popcorn.

>> I got it!

>> What a day, eh?

We get to see one of our

own Aburi school girls

on international television!

>> Oh, my goodness!

What if she wins?!

>> That would be amazing!

>> I know!

>> Okay, are we all set up now?

>> Yes!

[ Music plays on TV ]

>> And now, Ghana News Network

takes you back to the

Miss Global Universe Pageant

broadcasting live from Orlando,

Florida.

>> Whoo! Florida!

>> Good evening, ladies and

gentlemen, and welcome back to

the Miss Global Universe

Pageant!

We have people tuning

in from all over the world

tonight, isn't that exciting?

>> Yes!

>> But not as exciting as

announcing our top 10

semi-finalists!

>> Ahhh!

>> They're already

at the top 10!

>> I'm going to pass out!

>> Do you see Ericka?

>> There's so many girls.

>> Shh!

>> Our celebrity panel judged

each young lady for poise and

grace while they wore an

evening gown of their own

choice.

>> I wonder which designer

Ericka wore?

>> You think she knows

Calvin Klein?!

>> Oh, for sure!

>> Shh!

>> Each judge personally

interviewed each of our

contestants with the aid of an

interpreter when needed.

>> Interpreter?

Like they found someone who

speaks Twi?

>> Yeah, right.

>> Now, all of these scores

will determine who will be our

10 semi-finalists.

As you can see, I've been

joined here on stage by all

of our contestants.

>> How many Africans do you see?

>> Eh-Eh!

There are too many girls!

>> Ahh, you know I can't

count that fast!

>> Shh!

>> You need to relax!

>> ...and the competition

scores will only be shown

to you at home.

>> Ehhh!

>> Exclusives!

>> Here now, are the names of

our 10 semi-finalists, all

competing for the title of

Miss Global Universe 1986!

[ Cheering ]

>> The first name on the list

is...Miss Brazil!

>> They gave her an 8.4!

>> What's the highest

you can get?

>> Probably a 10.

>> I think the audience will

like...Miss France!

>> Which audience?

>> 'Cause I don't like her!

>> And let's welcome...

Miss Italy!

>> Wow, she's got the lowest

score so far, 8.2.

>> What are they even basing

these scores on anyway?

>> Who knows?

>> And now, come on down...

>> Miss Ghana!

>> ...Miss United States!

>> Of course!

>> 9.0! Please!

>> Yeah, please!

>> We're halfway there now

with...Miss South Africa!

[ Cheering ]

>> South Africa!

>> Wait, you guys!

She's a white!

>> Again?

>> These people...

>> And here comes...

Miss Switzerland!

>> 8.3?!

With that crazy hair?!

>> Two words: Hot. Comb!

>> Gifty!

>> It's true.

>> Next is...Miss Venezuela!

>> Oh, she looks good.

>> That's nice.

>> Number 8 on the list of our

semi-finalists is...

Miss Greece!

>> Hey! There's Ericka!

>> Where?!

>> Girls, please!

You're going to miss the last

two countries!

>> One of them better be Ghana!

>> 'Cause Miss Greece looks

crazy!

>> Now, ladies and gentlemen,

we have two names to go and one

of those names is...

Miss Colombia!

>> Colombia?!

>> Where is that?

>> South America.

You need to pay attention in

geography, Gifty.

>> Shh!

>> And now number 10,

the last contestant who has

a chance to become

Miss Global Universe...

>> Please say Ghana!

>> She is...

[ Chanting "Ghana!" ]

>> ...Miss Sweden!

[ Music plays on TV ]

Up next, the Evening Gown

Competition, featuring

a performance by R&B star

Bobby Brown!

[ Turns down volume ]

>> Wow.

>> Wow.

>> I can't believe it.

>> Yeah.

>> Maybe it's a mistake.

>> Ericka looked pretty, though.

>> Not pretty enough.

>> Girls, I know you are

disappointed...I am, too.

But look at the bright side,

you got to see one of your own

classmates on television,

representing our country.

That is a very big deal.

And who knows, maybe next year,

things will be different.

>> Yeah.

>> Maybe.

>> I guess.

>> So...

All of that?

For what?

>> [ Sucks teeth ]

All for nothing?

>> All for nothing.

[ Turns up volume ]

[ Music plays on TV ]

>> And we're back with the

top 10 most beautiful women in

the world!

[ Applause on TV ]

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ "Candy Girl" by

New Edition plays ]

>> ♪ Candy girl

>> ♪ My girl's like candy,

a candy treat ♪

♪ She knocks me hot up off

my feet ♪

♪ She's so fine as can be,

I know this girl

is meant for me ♪

♪ Candy Girl

You are my world ♪

♪ You look so sweet

You're a special treat ♪

♪ Candy girl

All I want to say ♪

All I know ♪

♪♪

>> Major support for

"Theater Close-Up

is provided by...

Major support for

MCC Theater's production

of "School Girls,"

is provided by...

♪♪