Eighteen year-old Senior High School graduate, Hanniel Jamin was on Friday night crowned winner of the 2013 edition of the Miss Universe Ghana pageant.
Hanniel beat nine other hopefuls - Akua, Albie, Ama, Emerald, Georgina, Helen, Mya, Olivia and Stacy - to be crowned winner of a pageant that has been rocked with series of controversies over the past year.
Last year’s winner Gifty Ofori was stripped of her title barely hours to this year's event. She accused organizers of failing to give her what she is entitled to after being crowned winner in last year's edition.
Friday night’s finale, organized by Roberta Annan Consulting [RAC LLC], new franchise owners of the pageant, at the Adae Kese Hall of the La-Palm Royal Beach Hotel was one that quickly put behind last year’s drama to focus on the future.
The show emceed by Joy FM’s Nathaniel Attoh and award winning actress Ama K Abebrese saw the ten finalist take the stage to take part in three rounds of competition.
The finalists took part in the Swimsuit round, Evening gown round and a question round where the intelligence of the girls was put to the test.
After the three rounds, Hanniel won the hearts of the judges – Leila Lopez, 2011 Miss Universe winner; actress Yvonne Nelson; presenter Benny Blanco; Brian D. Hogan, founder of investment firm Paradigm Capital Group; and model Veronica Varekova – and was subsequently declared winner.
Emerald Ansah and Helen Dake emerged first and second runner-ups respectively.
For her prize, Hanniel won GH¢5,000 worth of a wardrobe, a New York Film Academy scholarship, a management and public relations deal, and a one year gym membership and other packages.
An elated Hanniel Jamin, born to Ghanaian and Nigerian parents told Myjoyonline.com in an interview after she was crowned winner that the journey to winning the crown has been “so interesting” and that she always saw herself winning from the very beginning.
According to her, the drama that rocked the 2012 did not affect her morale. “It didn’t affect my confidence in this pageant at all because I feel that there is always room for some in every competition.”
After winner the 2013 Miss Universe Ghana, the very confident Hanniel said she is “looking forward to bringing back the [Miss Universe] crown to Ghana.”
She disclosed that she will use her crown to create awareness on HIV/AIDS.
PY Addo-Boateng, Executive Producer of the 2013 pageant told Myjoyonline.com in an interview after Friday’s finale that, the show was “was great and all the girls really did a good job.”
Touching on the controversy that has rocked the pageant, he explained that, “We didn’t organize last year’s event. With this title licence holder is RAC LLC which is the mother company of the local company (RAC) that partnered with Insignia.”
According to him, RAC “came on board to help with the event. What actually attracted them for them to work with us was the fact that we brought Leila Lopez (Miss Universe 2011) and we were already working with Miss Universe International.”
PY Addo-Boateng revealed that organizers tried to “reach out to Gifty to try and support her."
He concluded that the pageant true to its core theme, which is empowering females, will groom and empower the new winner for the international stage.