Third edition of Miss Nigeria Ghana beauty pageant set to rock the city of Accra.

Third edition of Miss Nigeria Ghana beauty pageant set to rock the city of Accra.

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The Miss Nigeria Ghana beauty pageant is one of the most prestigious beauty pageant in Ghana, set up by well devoted Nigerians residing in Ghana, and who felt the need to create such platform to help in unifying relations between Nigeria and Ghana, project the rich cultural heritage and the image of Nigeria in general. thus debunk the bad notion or belief used in portraying Nigerians as dubious people around the globe. In an interview with Encomium weekly, chief organizer of the event, Franklyn Cole, revealed that the beauty pageant also serves as a great platform for business owners who wish to penetrate the Ghanaian market, with over a million Nigerians residing in Ghana.

Encomium: what was the motivation behind setting up the Miss Nigeria Ghana beauty pageant?

Franklyn: The idea came up in 2012, and it was put together by two companies; Delight communications and D emperor media, though it is solely organize by D emperor media, now. But back then, we discovered that Miss Nigeria pageant is not anything new when you talk about Diaspora. We have Miss Nigeria USA, Miss Nigeria UK, Miss Nigeria South Africa, Germany…I mean it’s almost all over.IMG-20150929-WA0009

And considering the number of Nigerians living in Ghana, we thought it was wise for us to stage Miss Nigeria Ghana beauty pageant, because we discovered it’s a good avenue for us to promote the cultural friendship between the two countries, and also to promote our cultural heritage as Africans. You know, no one can tell our story as it is, unless we do it ourselves. especially when you are living in abroad.

God was so good to us, our first production in 2012 was next to perfect and well patronized, thus when we approached the Nigerian high commissioner for Ghana, he found the project well positioned and gave both his blessings and full support.

Encomium: what are the challenges you encountered during the process of staging the pageant?

Franklyn: The challenges were numerous however I must add that most were challenges one encounters when planning an event of such prestige. When you talk about sponsorship, pageantry is not what every company wants to invest in. Sponsorship has been our major challenge aside some other petty management issues and putting all the girls together. We have lots of Nigerian corporate bodies and companies in Ghana, but they really don’t see pageantry as a platform for them to ride on. But so far so good, we’ve been pushing it and we are making progress. In 2012, City light supported the pageant and that really helped. So aside the financial aspect, organizing the main event is not an easy one too, but we have tried and we hope it’s going to get better.

Encomium: what’s the lineup of event for this year’s edition for Miss Nigeria Ghana?

Franklyn: The event is coming up in October 17th to be precise at the national theatre, but the audition is on the 19th of September at the Airport view hotel in Accra. And interested participants can get more information on our facebook page; MissNigeria(Ghana) and instagram; @missnigeriaghana, and the form goes for only 50 Ghana cedes.

Encomium: what are the qualities the organizers look out for in the contestants?

Franklyn: Basically, you must be a Nigerian by birth to qualify. And the person must either be a student or a resident in Ghana, once you are a Nigerian and you are living in Ghana, you are eligible to participate and must be within the ages of 18 and 25 years.

So somebody living in Nigeria can’t participate?

Franklyn: No, the person must work or reside in Ghana, because incase such person wins, there won’t be any issues about shuttling between Ghana and Nigeria.

Encomium: what are the valid documents they need to provide to show they are Nigerians and that they truly reside in Ghana?

Franklyn: we ask for their birth certificate at the audition ground. Their school identity card, or resident permit, in case they are not students. These are the factors we look out for, so as to ensure we are not making a mistake in choosing those that are qualified for the beauty pageant.

Encomium: Does sexual harassment really exit in beauty pageants?

Franklyn: well, I will talk for Miss Nigeria Ghana (laughs) MNG is not the usual beauty pageant that we all know. It’s a platform that is set aside to choose a beauty ambassador, and if you bring immorality into it, it actually distraught the plans and you might end up not achieving the purpose for which it was created for.

It’s a corporate beauty pageant, which entails grooming young, vibrant ladies, and making them see reasons why they need to impact lives. So when you bring all these immoralities in, you end up destroying the brand and end up not achieving what you set out to achieve in the first place. In this case, we give our judges the upper hand to decide the finalists and the overall winner as well.

Organizers have little to say when it comes to selecting the finalists and who eventually becomes the queen at the grand finale. The highest say, goes to the judges and it difficult for us to influence their decisions. I always tell the girls not to listen to any body that comes to them, telling them he / she can help them to get the crown, because they are only been deceived. They are the only one that can help themselves get to the top.

We are more careful about what we do. We set the records straight from the beginning at the audition ground. Even if I tell any girl that I can make her the queen that person is making a mistake, and that actually even tells us that such individual does not have the attributes of a queen.

Encomium: Is the competition a one day affair, or the girls are been camped for a period of time before the main event?

Franklyn: Right from 2012 what we do is… because the budget is not really huge, though we are hoping we will get more sponsors, this year we will camp the contestants for a week, though the previous editions we camped the ladies for only three days. But this time we are working with some couple of organizations and for all that we have set down, we should be able to camp them for some weeks, groom them and prepare them for the pageant.

Encomium: what official activities will the winner be involved in during her reign?

Franklyn: when we started NMG in 2012, there was something we set out to achieve. We discovered that if you look at the perception Ghanaians have about Nigerians, they are like; Nigerians are thieves, scammers, cocaine pushers and all. So we felt that aside promoting our cultural dexterity, it is also an avenue to rebrand the image. But this year we’ve stepped up from rebranding, and it about promoting the image.

Since 2012, we thought of how we can impact Ghanaians and we came up with a pet project on breast cancer awareness and that has been our focus since we started the pageant. And basically every queen that has emerged, embarked on this campaign in all the ten regions of Ghana. So basically, that is what the NMG foundation has on ground for the intending queen. Aside that, it’s our own way of giving back to the host nation.

Encomium: what is the star prize for the winner this year?

Franklyn: we’ve had two editions and this year is the third one. In 2012, we had City light as our main sponsor, and we were able to give out a kia picanto car, and in 2013 we gave out Hyundai. And in 2014 due to some challenges we couldn’t do the event. But one major problem we’ve had that I want to address is that, most of the ladies don’t understand what we mean by official car which is quite different from the cash prize.

Giving them the car to use while they are in office, doesn’t mean it belongs to them after their reign in office, because there are terms and conditions applied to it. But after their reign if the organizers believe that the person in question has performed well, then we can use our own discretion based on achievement and give the car away. Aside all these, there are other incentives which includes; a modeling contract, publicity, and many more. So this year we decided to leave the car out of it…

Encomium: But I thought they are supposed to take the car with them after their reign in office?

Franklyn: Okay, there is difference between an official car and giving out a car as star prize. But this year, the star prize is cash, a trip to South Africa, and Abuja, one year modeling contract, and one year image branding; those are stuff that you can’t even quantify with cash. And aside these, the management team of 2015 decided for most of the contestants, they are students here in Ghana, and how is car of benefits to their career, it’s more or less even a liability, even though the organizers take care of a lot of things while in office.

But if we give out a car of what benefit is it to the girls, but to rather support them in their career and give them the necessary exposure they need to achieve their goals in life and add more value to them.

Encomium: what is going to set this year’s event apart from the previous editions?

Franklyn: Because we didn’t do it last year, we will be coming out with full force this year, that is why we are using the national theatre, because we discovered that the brand has come to stay. For the previous editions, we discovered that we always have more than we expected, the turnout is always huge.

The previous editions took place at La Palm royal beach hotel, but this year, we are bringing a couple of international artistes; one from Belgium, Nigeria and a couple of Ghanaian artistes. And the host is an exclusive that we can’t disclose now. So there is lot to watch out for, it’s going to be fun, glamorous and exciting. It’s the third edition, so we are doing it in a grand style.

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