Ghana must celebrate Miss World Africa 2013!

The 63rd edition of the Miss World beauty pageant ended last Saturday September 28, 2013 at Bali Nusa Dua Convention Centre, Indonesia with Miss Megan Young representing the Philippines being crowned Miss World 2013.

This year, several countries returned to the pageant and the likes of Cameroon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kosovo, Uzbekistan made their debut showing at the event making this year’s edition the biggest turnout with 127 contestants in the 63 years history of the pageant.

Ordinarily, the crowning moment of Miss World wouldn’t have been big news in Ghana but thanks to Miss Ghana 2012, Caranza Naa Okailey Shooter who earned a place in the top three, the story has been much different as compared to previous editions.

Yes, Ghana did not win the ultimate crown of Miss World but this is our first time of coming so close to the grand prize and this is unprecedented. And so she is worth celebrating.

Until last Saturday when Naa Okailey made Ghana proud when she placed third at the Miss World pageant and thus became Miss World Africa 2013, Ghana had tried fruitlessly in the previous years to make it to the top at Miss World.

Ghana’s participation at Miss World started in 1959 with Star Nyaniba Annan as the country’s representative. After her, 21  other contestants from Ghana have been there but none has been able to make it to the top 10, a reason why Ghana must celebrate Naa Okailey for making all of us proud.

It seems as Ghanaians, our penchant for disregarding things of importance is very alarming especially those closely related to the creative arts. We tend to shun anything that has creative arts attached to it and treat it with disdain.

It has been well over a week since Naa Okailey made Ghana proud and nothing has been done or heard from the government of Ghana or the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, which supervises pageants in the country.

Naa Shooter

Miss World Africa 2013, Naa Okailey Shooter

Yes, Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts showed up at the airport to welcome Naa last Monday when she arrived but is that enough?  I wonder when this country will treasure achievements or successes chalked in the creative arts industry like this one. From the look of things, we are gradually allowing this pass shamefully.

It is not however clear if our complete disregard for the creative arts is at play here or we are just ignorantly failing to come to terms with the magnitude of the feat that Ghana has achieved at Miss World, consequently putting our dear country up there on the world map.

If we as a country really understand what placing third among as many as 127 equally beautiful and brainy ladies from all over the world mean, perhaps the right things would have been done and I would not have been here talking about it.

Coming third at Miss World is a feat worth celebrating. That placement made sure Ghana was sold to the world that weekend. That achievement made Ghana feature on major international news websites.

That placement advertised the country on those major international websites for free, something the country would have spent millions of dollars on before getting such attention but we got it without paying a pesewa.

The earlier we take the arts seriously, the better it will be for us all in this country. It is an industry that can earn the country huge foreign exchange. We can begin by treasuring such successes when it is achieved for the country. If we constantly make noise and remind people going outside to represent the country to do well, when they achieve the ultimate, it’s imperative that, they are celebrated. The creative arts players have been taken for granted for far too long, it is high time they are celebrated too.

Touch wood but I can imagine, in an unlikely situation that, Naa had died in Indonesia after being declared the third most beautiful woman, I’m sure we would have been celebrating her now with our hypocrisy singing all kinds of dirges in her memory. I can visualise the huge sums of money that would have been spent on a big funeral to give her a befitting burial.

Ghana may not win the Miss World crown next year or ever or even surpass this year’s record in many years to come but we must learn to celebrate what we have achieved now as we prepare and plan for the future. Ghanaians must not wait for Ghana to win the Miss World before celebrating, let’s celebrate now and leave the future to take care of itself.

In the future when we eventually win the crown, we will know how to go about it in respect to the celebration like it’s said “when we get to the bridge, we will know how to cross it”. Good luck to the current Miss Ghana, Guiseppine Baafi as she prepares for next year’s event

By Ebenezer Anangfio

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