Miss Abena Akuaba Appiah, a Ghanaian schooling at the State University of New York in the United States, has been crowned Beauty Queen Universe in Spain, after beating 35 contestants to win the prestigious title.
About 30 countries participated in the highly celebrated and widely televised 2016 beauty pageant competition held in the Spain city of Malaga last October where only two blacks featured.
Miss Appiah was received by her fans, family members, friends, close associates and officers from the tourism fraternity at the Kotoka International Airport Monday amidst blaring of traditional music and dancing.
She told journalists she was very excited to be at home, after staying away for so long.
“I’m so excited to be back, and to bring this crown home to my country. I’m very honoured,” she said.
She said: “it hasn’t been an easy journey. It has been very challenging, especially as out of a total of 36 contestants, there were only two black women and in the history of the pageant, no black woman has ever ascended so high to lift the crown.
“I felt like it was never going to be a possibility because we were just two black contestants.
“It’s amazing, I never expected that I could do this but I’ve done it. “I’m just very proud and very happy that God gave me the opportunity to do this.”
Miss Appiah said she motivated herself with the sole aim of making Ghana proud. “So I said let me make my country proud; let me try something to bring my country on the map. That’s what I did. I just gathered confidence and I was able to do it,” she stressed.
She urged young women to look forward to success always, exude perseverance and never allow failure to weigh them down.
“I want to tell all my fans and everybody that I love you, keep pushing hard and the sky’s the limit.”
The newly-crowned queen, who had been working with Baldwin University Foundation, which helps intelligent but underprivileged children to go school, looks to continue the work as a special project – caring and lending assistance to underprivileged Ghanaian children.