Naa Okailey Shooter, Miss Ghana 2012 flanked by runners-up, and MCs for the night. Photo: David Andoh
Miss Naa Okailey Shooter, a 22-year-old medical student at the University of Ghana, used her intelligence and wits to outshine 17 other contestants and win the coveted Miss Ghana 2012 crown last Saturday at the Accra International Conference Centre.
After a hotly contested pageant, the runners-up were 23-year-old Nadia Ntanu and 22-year-old Jennifer Annan, who came in second and third, respectively.
This year’s pageant, organized by Exclusive Events, marked a return of Ghana’s oldest beauty pageant after a year's hiatus. Miss Shooter took the crown from Stephanie Karikari, who won it in 2010.
For her impressive performance, Miss Shooter will take home a variety of prizes, including a brand new Hyundai Accent 2012 model and GH¢3,000.
She will represent Ghana at the Miss World competition next year.
The pageant did not kick off on the grandiose note that organizers had hoped for. Instead, it picked up slowly, dragging into early hours of Sunday morning and eventually ending at 3:30am.
Ghana’s ace MC Kwesi Kyei Darkwah (KKD) and screen goddess Anita Erskine kept the show running smoothly and excitement running high.
While the talent show was marred by an obvious lack of talent, the night’s other segments were generally fantastic.
Still, many contestants fumbled through the Q&A round, with some judges’ questions seeming unnecessarily complex and confusing.
Ten competitors, Naa Okailey, Roseline, Biley, Nadia, Precious, Gifty, Oforiwaa, Martha, Jennifer and Afriyie advanced from the Q&A stage.
In the next round, their task was to describe a social issue, prescribe a solution, and convince the judges and audience of their proposal’s efficacy.
From here, five more competitors were eliminated. The five remaining gorgeous ladies struggled to answer the finals questions adequately, but Naa Okailey appeared to have fared the best and thus left with the crown.
With barely three weeks to the Miss Ghana event, finalists Emelia Ainooson of the Ghana Institute of Journalism and Dzifa Delloh of the University of Ghana, Legon dropped out of the competition, citing personal reasons.
Their withdrawal reduced the number of contestants to eighteen.
Captivating Asa doing what she knows best. Photo: David Andoh
Nigerian comedian Basketmouth lived up to his reputation as one of Africa’s finest, treating the audience to rib-cracking jokes that left them yearning for more. His performance, one of the brightest spots of the night, overshadowed certain organizational hiccups.
Ghanaian songstress Efya came out next, but her performance was not overly impressive as she failed to connect with the audience like she has in the past.
Perhaps Gyedu Blay Ambolley should have heeded to the adage “exit the stage when the applause is loudest.” The self-proclaimed originator of rap in Ghana played for too long, prompting some patrons to leave the auditorium.
Next came the headline act, Nigeria’s award-winning singer Asa.
Dressed in a simple white outfit for her first public performance in Ghana, she dazzled the crowd, beginning with a rendition of her own Fire on the Mountain and ending with Jailer, which sent the audience into a frenzy.
Fans could not get enough of her, especially her modified Azonto moves.
Asa capped a fine night for the Miss Ghana pageant, which did not take place last year due to organizational complications.
Special awards were also given to contestants who displayed exceptional skills either on the day of the pageant or throughout their camping period.