Who wins Ghana’s Most Beautiful?
NANA ABENA AFRIYIE ANSWERS!
AGORO 2 with: James Harry Obeng
The grand finale of the Ghana’s Most Beautiful reality show slated for next week, August 16, at the National Theatre in Accra, comes with its own blues. As many, by now, would be wondering about who takes the baton from Adoley, last season’s winner, so would others be obsessed with thoughts and suggestions over why SMS votes (via Vodafone short code 8888) should be the principal determinant in declaring the winner.
But regardless of whatever anybody would be thinking now, if there is a personality whose views many patrons of the show, as well as readers of Spectator Agoro, wish to find out about the contestant who stands the chance of winning the competition, then it is Nana Abena Afriyie, the show’s female judge.
Not only has Nana Abena Afriyie, who is also the Wirempemhemaa of Bechem in the Brong Ahafo region, endeared herself to patrons of the show, but also shows profound appreciation and understanding of the Ghanaian culture as a result of her status as a Queen-mother.
Many have described her judgements and assessment of the contestants as very apt, if not critical, as a result of which she is believed to have a better understanding of who Adoley’ssuccessor should be, at least.
“Frankly speaking, virtually every decision on evictions and who emerges the winner in this competition is determined from outside the studio. This, I mean, the votes that come in.
“However, having been a judge and getting to know the young, pretty ladies in terms of their capabilities and shortfalls, I think anyone among the finalist can win on Sunday”, quipped Nana Abena Afriyie in an exclusive interview with Spectator Agoroon Wednesday.
Pressed on further as to who her favourite contestant might be, Nana responded that “I don’t have favourites, neither do I have those I see as unimpressive. But if there is a contestant I would have wished to see in the finale, it is Akasi”, she said.
Why? “Because she speaks good English, and has good diction to go with. Again, she is one person who always selected her language appropriately to fit with her performances. I was really sad when she was evicted. This doesn’t mean she didn’t have her own shortfalls”, she said.
Known in private life as Mrs. Mercy Poku-Dankwa, Nana Abena Afriyie is the fourth of six children born April 3, 1956 to Timothy Bampo-Addo and Mrs. Emma Bampo-Addo (nee Oppong), both of blessed memory.
A royal from the Esuatem royal family of Bechem, Nana schooled at the Adabraka Presbyterian School before continuing at Labone Secondary School. She afterwards pursued a career in secretaryship at the government secretarial school, and has sincere participated in several entrepreneurship and leadership courses to sharpen her skills in conflict resolution and arbitration.
Nana was enstooled as Wirempemhemaa in June, 2005. The Wirempefo in the royal court are the custodians or caretakers of the stool of a kingdom or a division.
Nana loves reading and her training as a secretary puts her in a position to spot errors in speeches and scripts.
Nana Abena Afriyie is also the secretary of the Queen-mothers Support Association, a vibrant group of queen-mothers living in Accra, from the various regions of the country, who have come together to foster unity and friendship among their respective communities.
It is through this group that Nana was first invited to be a guest judge at the Ghana Most Beautiful pageant in 2008. At that time, Nana was likened to Simon Cowell of American Idol fame for her caustic and succinct description of the efforts of the contestants. This endeared her to the producers who to be a part of this year’s programme.
Nana is married to Mr. Yaw Poku Dankwah, a Director with the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture. Together, they have four children, the eldest being Mrs. Maame Boatemaa Hammond of Dredging International Ghana. The second of Nana’s children is Mr. Frimpong Poku-Dankwa of MMRS Ogilvy (Graphic Designer). The rest are twins; Adu Panyin (Labone Senior High School) and Adu Kakra Poku-Dankwa (Achimota School).
Nana Abena Afriyie, whose hobbies are reading, playing scrabble, traveling and cooking, has two grandchildren, namely Kojo,3, and Naa Amelley who is four and a half months old.
Ghanaian Times page: 29 Saturday, August 8, 2009