FULL PICTURES of the Miss Ghana UK 2012 event (including swimwear and evening wear outfits) can be found in our special Facebook Miss Ghana UK 2012 gallery. Please check it out, and don’t forget to Like our Facebook page to get updates and new pictures from UK urban events and gossip!

This year’s Miss Ghana UK final was held on Saturday night at Troxy in East London with 17 girls competing for the winning title. It was the 20th Miss Ghana UK event and each year, the event has grown with bigger sponsors and a more committed set of objectives to empowering young women both in Ghana and here in the UK.

We’re happy to report that Miss Ghana UK 2012 ran smoothly without hiccups under the expert and professional stewardship of hosts Kwaku Owusu Frimpong and Sharon Boakye. Special appearances were made by Premiership footballer Emmanuel Adebayor and UK-Ghanaian MCs Kwamz and Mista Silva who were there to perform their latest songs.

Empowering Women

The theme for this year’s pageant was empowering women, and each contestant was asked to deliver a short presentation about a woman who had inspired her in life.

There were four main sections to the event which kicked off with a tribal dance gathering before the contestants came on individually wearing traditional dress to introduce themselves and talk about their empowering women.

They then took part in a swimwear parade which was followed by an evening wear round. Finally, each contestant had to display a chosen ‘talent’ i.e. some form of creative self expression. These talents ranged from poems, to monologues, and even a fantastic dance routine of Beyonce’s Run The World (by Jasmin Assanoh, winner of Best Personality).

The aim was to demonstrate the young ladies’ strength, beauty, emotional intelligence and creative talents, all of which, combines, would be scored by the judges to determine who would be crowned Miss Ghana UK 2012.

The 17 Miss Ghana UK 2012 Contestants

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Contestant 1: Joy Danquah, aged 20, a university student from Woolwich, South London

Tribe: Kwahu, Eastern Region and Ga, Greater Accra
Woman of Empowerment: Sojourner Truth

Isabella Baumfree (Sojourner Truth) was born on 1797 in Ulster County, New York. She was first sold to slavery at the age of 9.  Sojourner Truth fought her way to gain justice and civil rights during slavery in America. She made a famous speech which related to her experiences called “Ain’t I A Woman.”

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Contestant 2: Rita Benkyi, aged 20, a nurse from Mitcham, South London

Tribe: Obuasi, Ashanti
Woman of Empowerment – Mrs Gladys Irene Ofori-Atta

Mrs Gladys Irene Ofori-Atta was born in Ghana, trained as a nurse, worked in Ridge Hospital and Holy Family Hospital as a scrub nurse. In the UK, she worked in Nevill Hall Hospital in West Hertfordshire and is now an operating department practitioner.

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Contestant 3: Yasmin Botchway, aged 23 from North West London

Tribe:  Fanti and Ga
Woman of Empowerment – Doreen Lawrence OBE

Doreen Lawrence is mother of murdered teenager, Stephen Lawrence. Doreen has campaigned tirelessly for 18 years for justice for her son and through her relentless campaigning the Met Police was discovered to be institutionally racist leading to reform and a change in the law, reopening of her son’s murder case. It was earlier this year that 2 men were finally convicted for her son’s murder and sentenced to life in prison.
18 years later. One woman against the world. A true inspiration and testament to the power of a woman.

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Contestant 4: Gloria Boateng, aged 18, a university student from Kent

Tribe: Ashanti
Woman of Empowerment – Dr Maya Angelou

Maya Angelo is a poet, author and screenwriter. She has published many books and fought in the civil rights movement alongside Dr Martin Luther King. She worked in Ghana for many years as a freelance writer for the Ghanaian Times and also worked as an administrator at the University of Ghana. Dr Maya Angelo is now 84 years old however, she is for many, and will forever be an icon.

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Contestant 5: Leona Mawudoku, aged 23, a graduate from Essex

Tribe: Ewe/Hohoe Volta Region
Woman of Empowerment – Julian Achemdey Kudzi

Julian Achemdey Kudzi was the first woman to leave her village in Bla, Hohoe, to go to Cape Coast’s Holy Child School. She went on to study ACCA Chartered Accountancy in London in the 1950s/60s and succeeded in a white male dominated profession while being self funded student, a mother of four, a wife and a minority in society. She maintained her Ghanaian heritage in her children and grandchildren even to today.

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Contestant 6: Jasmin Assanoh, aged 18, a Business and Management student from South East London

Tribe: Father from Adanse and Mother from Nsuta – Ashanti
Woman of Empowerment – Tina Turner

Anna Mae Bullock was born in 1939 in Nutbush in Haywood County, Tennessee, USA, but is better known as Tina Turner.  She is a woman of empowerment who represents women – young and old, who have faced obstacles in their life. She shows that it is possible to succeed in life with the trust in God, yourself and with a goal to reach for.

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Contestant 7: Jessica Sarkodie, aged 20, a Law student from Southgate, North London

Tribe:  Asokore-Mampong, Ashanti region
Woman of Empowerment – Constance Briscoe

Constance Briscoe is one of the first black women in the UK to become a Judge. She’s also the author of two bestselling books – Ugly, and Beyond Ugly – documenting her troubled childhood at the hands of her mother and step-father. Although her past was an emotional and physical struggle, she overcame these obstacles to reach unimaginable heights in a profession fiercely barred to members of her gender and race.

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Contestant 8: Esme Sackey, aged 19, a Fashion student from Essex

Tribe: Fanti
Woman of Empowerment – Nicola Efua Sackey

Nicola Efua Sackey comes from Elmina in the Central region of Ghana. She is a 28-year-old Sport Events Manager and Marketing Executive at the Marcel Desailly Sports Complex in Ghana. The sport complex is the first of its kind in Ghana. Nicola is also Miss Ghana UK 2008.

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Contestant 9: Narissa Agyemang Badu, aged 21, a university student from Chessington, Surrey

Tribe: Ashanti/Fanti
Woman of Empowerment – Oprah Winfrey

Oprah is a well known talk show host and was the richest black woman in America in the 20th century. She has been through a lot in life but has still been able to excel.

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Contestant 10: Ashley Nti Agyemang, aged 18, a university student from Ilford, Essex

Tribe: Kwahu, Pepiasi – Eastern Region
Woman of Empowerment – Patricia Mawuli

Patricia Mawuli is among the youngest pilots in Ghana and also the country’s first female pilot.

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Contestant 11: Denise Asare, aged 21, a Law student from London

Tribe: Akan- Eastern Region- Kwahu/Akim Oda
Woman of Empowerment – Estelle Akofio – Sowah

She is a mother and an entrepreneur. She is currently the country manager for Google Ghana and also helps to lead the African Leadership Initiative West Africa (ALIWA). She is an ambitious business woman who strives and works hard towards the development of Ghana.

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Contestant 12: Linda Essandoh, aged 22, a Law and Business student from Borehamwood, Hertfordshire

Tribe: Fante from Gomoa Nyanyano in the Central Region. Maternal side is Ga-Dangbe and hails from Osudoku in the Eastern Region.
Woman of Empowerment – Nana Akosua Abrefi Asare

Nana Abrefi was an average girl who entered Face of Ghana Holland and won. She shows that no matter your circumstances or who you are, there are no limitations. That is what is inspiring about her and drives Linda to know that she too, can rise up and out of obscurity and become someone who touches lives and makes them better.

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Contestant 13: Abigail Agyei, aged 21, a recent Law graduate from Romford, Essex

Tribe: Kumasi, Ashanti
Woman of Empowerment – Nana Oye Lither

Nana Oye Lither is a Ghanaian human rights lawyer and advocate who for the last 20 years has been at the fore of campaigning against human rights abuses in Ghana. She continues to work hard in her community helping poor people in Ghana access justice with her Human Rights Advocacy Centre. The centre undertakes projects, research and advocacy on several topics such as human rights, HIV, gender rights, maternal mortality, reproductive rights, abortion and death penalty cases.

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Contestant 14: Esther Titi-Lartey, aged 19, a university student from North London

Tribe: Akuapim, Fanti and Kwahu
Woman of Empowerment – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

In 2005, Liberians elected the “iron lady”, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for a six year presidential term to provide leadership, vision, and help restore hope to a people devastated by nearly two decades of destruction of their lives and property. The task was an enormous one: stabilizing the fragile security in the country, uniting a nation polarized by ethnic divisions, reconciling and healing deep wounds after the war, reducing high employment, restoring the economy, solving the massive infrastructural deficit, dealing with rampant corruption and rebranding the nation from the status of a failed state to a decent respectable nation.

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Contestant 15:  Zara Adu, aged 24, a financial associate from Camberwell, South London

Tribe: Fanti/ Kwahu/ Dangbe
Woman of Empowerment – Dr Pat Adjin-Tettey

She is the founder of Southwark Phoenix Women’s Health Organisation which is the Women’s Health Organisation formed in the Southwark, Lambeth and Lewisham boroughs.

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Contestant 16: Phylis Berko, aged 22, a university graduate from West Norwood, South London

Tribe: Wasa/Nzima Akuapim
Woman of Empowerment – President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

She is the current president of Liberia and the first female president of Africa. She is a great woman of substance who stands for justice and change. She has piloted her country – Liberia – into becoming a peaceful nation and has also paved the way to inspire and empower African women to step up to the challenge of running for president.  She is also eradicating the stigma portrayed by the western world of a de mining factor in women’s rights in Africa.

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Contestant 17: Deandra Baafuor-Kusi, aged 18, an International Business, Finance and Economics student from Dartford, Kent

Tribe: Effiduase  & Kumawu
Woman of Empowerment – Tosin Akinluyi

Tosin Akinluyi is the only black female Executive Director at Morgan Stanley Investment Bank and leads the Global Commodities Analysis Team, a role of great power in the male dominated finance sector. Not only does she handle the roll with great excellence, she also strives to empower other young women interested to work in the banking/finance industry; she is a co-founder and sponsor of the Morgan Stanley Step In Step Up programme.

And the winner is…

Contestant 14, Esther Titi-Lartey was announced as this year’s winner, who in her application described a true Ghanaian woman as

a virtuous woman, who holds onto her beliefs, faith and culture. She’s submissive to authority and shows respect to her elders. She remembers that a true woman is hard working and always puts her family and others first. She is the one who believes there is elegance in being simple and true beauty comes from within.

Esther’s ‘talent’ performance on the night was a dramatic and moving monologue called The Childless Woman in which she played a traditional Ghanaian woman who was pleading to God to bless her with a child after 15 years of marriage. The crowd erupted with joy when she left the stage and reappeared ‘with child’.

First runner-up Esme Sackey, sang a beautiful cover of Beyonce’s song I Was Here while second runner-up Deandra Baafuor-Kusi, who performed a poem called What Do You Know About Ghana, also won the Best Traditional Wear title.

Other titles awarded were Most Eloquent which was given to contestant 13, Abigail Agyei.

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FULL PICTURES of the Miss Ghana UK 2012 event (including swimwear and evening wear outfits) can be found in our special Facebook Miss Ghana UK 2012 gallery. Please check it out, and don’t forget to Like our Facebook page to get updates and new pictures from UK urban events and gossip!

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