The Journey from 1957: Miss Ghana, a pageant changing society
The first President of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame founded the Miss Ghana Beauty Pageant as an initiative in 1957 to offer the “Independent” Ghanaian woman a platform to positively impact society.
As Ghana marks 64 years since the country liberated itself from colonial rule, The Spectator tracks how the scheme has kept this mission and impacted society.
The current organisers believe that the core idea, Beauty with a Purpose, has not changed though the role of women in society keeps evolving.
Ms. Monica Amekoafia, Volta Region’s representative who won the very first Miss Ghana competition in 1957, had early on participated in both the District and Regional events which she came tops, prior to the main competition.
After conquering the two competitions in her home Region, she represented her people at the Accra Community Centre where she contended for the Miss Ghana title with other representatives from the Eastern and Western Provinces as well as the Ashanti and Northern Territories.
The organisers, Exclusive Events, in an interview with The Spectator, said “there is an umbrella body, Miss Ghana Foundation, which coordinates various projects the scheme embarks on. Over the years, past Miss Ghana queens have taken up different social projects that help transform and positively impact lives of the most vulnerable or less privileged in society.”
The Chief Executive Officer, (CEO) Ms. Inna Patty, a former Miss Ghana winner, said the scheme focused on, Health, Environment, Education, the Aged and Streetism in various communities to bring smiles on the faces of dejected people.
Provision of potable water: In partnership with National Petroleum Authority the foundation constructed a Mechanized Borehole for the people of Nabuli in Gushegu District of the Northern Region.
Health: As ambassadors of National Blood Bank the foundation helps to encourage Ghanaians to donate blood voluntarily and frequently through various blood drives and sensitisation workshops.
They have been raising funds to sponsor the cost of corrective surgeries of children suffering from Spinal deformities known as Scoliosis at the Foundation of Orthopaedics and Complex Spine (FOCOS) Hospital in Accra.
Miss Ghana winners have been actively involved in various health campaigns including, The Protect the Goal, UNAIDs, Feminine Hygiene clinics in partnership with Tobinco Pharmaceuticals & Embassy of France, and buruli ulcer, infant maternal mortality among others laudable programmes of national concern.
Recently, they embarked on COVID-19 protocol sensitisation and donations of PPE since the disease struck the country last year.
In the area of education, they had embarked on Women in IT programme with IPMC, Mentorships in some Senior High Schools, provision of scholarships and the Don Bosco Project.
Additionally, they had donated food, clothing, organised medical screening and supplied drugs to the aged and orphanages in the country.
Challenges According to the organisers, embarking on some of these projects was capital intensive and not meant for the faint hearted.
They believed some participants did not see the platform as a patriotic or sacrificial one to help impact other lives. Some are mainly interested in the cash, car and crown. This smacks of self-centredness.
“We shall continue to empower our young women, because, an empowered woman is powerful beyond measure and beautiful beyond description, as brilliantly articulated by Steve Maraboli,” Ms. Patty said.
It is on record that Miss Ghana Competition was put on hold in1961-1966, 1969-1985, 1991-1993, 2011, 2014, 2016.
However, the 2013 Winner of Miss Ghana, Guiseppina Nana Akua Baafi is said to have resigned.
By Edem Mensah-Tsotorme