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Ghanaian Born Abena Akuaba Appiah Makes History As The First Black Miss Grand International Winner

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The 8th edition of the Miss Grand International came to an end as Ghanaian-American queen, Abena Akuaba Appiah was crowned winner. The event took place on Saturday, March 27, 2021, in Show DC Hall in Bangkok, Thailand, making her the first African-American woman to win the prestigious crown.

Miss Grand International pageant is one of the top pageants in the world initiated from Thailand. Each year competing for the crown is 70 contestants from across the globe.

The pageant focuses on empowerment of women and protection of children, health, promotion of tourism and many other charitable causes. Miss Grand International, celebrates “beauty in cultural diversity, hence it offers a beauty of a woman with substance.

The 8th edition event drew Sixty three Candidates from around the world to compete for the ultimate crown and Miss Abena who represented the USA put up her best perfor-mance that enabled her qualify to the final 10 stage. Her performance on the night was brilliant and without a doubt she was the most outstanding of the final 10 contestants.

Her beautiful talent performance, evening gown and articulate way of projecting her campaign against bullies was very spectacular on the night and that won the heart of the judges. Top 3 delegates tied in the final round of the competition, so the organizers decided to break it with another question.

Abena’s confidence and experience in competing internationally was clear. Part of her speech were in Thai, which likely gave her plus points with the local crowd. Her outstanding and in-depth response was overwhelming and at the end of the competition she was crowned the new queen by her predecessor Valentina Figuera Miss Grand International 2019.

Abena created history by winning the first Miss Grand International crown for USA. She bested 63 other women for the title in the global pageant’s eighth edition. The Philippines’ Samantha Bernardo was first runner up, while Ivana Batchelor from Guatemala and Aurra Kharishma from Indonesia was second and third runner ups respectively.

At the end of the coronation, this is what she had to say;

“As a queen my aim is to inspire and motivate young women to be the best versions of themselves and to encourage them to follow their dreams and passions. My ultimate goal is to create an organization that helps individuals feel confident after suffering severe bullying”.

Abena has represented Ghana on the international platforms including 2014 Miss Universe, 2015 Top Model of the World, 2016 Queen Beauty Universe, where she took home the crown and became the first Ghanaian to win an international pageant and 2019 Miss Earth pageant in the Philippines where she first grabbed everyone’s when a clip of her interview with ABS-CBN News sparked good laughs when a clip of her went viral. “Ang batang malakas kumain.. ay lagging may gana!” she said hapilly. Gana, which is pronounced like Ghana, in Filipino means energy.

She trended online as her brilliant performances won her 6 gold medals in the competition. She won the Best Resort Wear, Best Philippines Terno, Best Long Gown, Best Talent and placed in the top 16 in press presentation. She finished in the semifinals.

Aside been a queen, Abena is a lady of many talents, she has the looks, the brains and talent. At the age of 9, Abena discovered her musical abilities – singing, songwriting, and playing instruments such as the guitar, recorder and clarinet.

Years later, Appiah joined X Factor and became a finalist but had to drop out of the competition because of a conflict with her exam schedule.

Currently, she has released five singles, three of which are available on Spotify and Apple Music.

Abena is a musical therapist who works with kids with special needs. She utilizes music as a form of therapy that guides them to learn life skills.

She works also as a case manager in a mediations and arbitrations firm in USA. She also runs a school that helps young women develop skills for the entertainment industry. She plans to open a chapter in the US soon.

Abena is a model and have participated in top fashion shows both locally and internationally. She has taken part in fashion shows with Contour Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week, Vlisco, Woodin, Da Viva and GTP.

She has also appeared in music videos such as wake up in the sky bu Gucci Mane, Bruno Mars and Kodak Black and El Anillo by Jennifer Lopez.

Abena believes that everything is possible as long as you believe and are determined to achieve it, no one can stop you. Her philosophy has always been that you are destined to be.

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EVENT NEWS

VGMA 1ST NATIONAL MUSIC SUMMIT – MEET YOUR SPEAKERS

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As part of the world music day celebration and as part of the activities lined up for the VGMA Musical June, Ghana’s biggest music awards scheme introduces the VGMA National Music Summit.

The summit is to use music as a tool to drive social change and is aimed at using education to empower players in the industry to help better the lot of the sector.

The summit is to be held with limited audience but shared with millions across the VGMA official social media channels. It starts at 10am and ends at 2pm.

The 4 hour event is meant to engage Musicians, Music Producers & Managers, Distributors of Music, Music Promoters, Media and Other Industry Players nationally to discuss core industry issues.

At the end of the dialogue, a communique on the insights, conclusions and recommendations collated from the discussions will be presented to the Ministry of Tourism & Creative Arts for consideration. There will be 3 panel discussions; Royalties – The Way Forward, Music Distribution in the Digital Era and Play it LIVE.

Starting off the conversation for Royalties- The way forward, are; Munyaradzi Chanetsa, A&R Manager, Sony South Africa. Rex Omar – Chairman Ghamro and Veteran Ghanaian musician. Abraham Adjetey, President of Ghamro. Trigmatic, is a Ghanaian award winning musician, composer, songwriter and Philanthropist. Last but not least, Cynthia Quarcoo, Managing Partner, CQ Legal & Consulting.

Leading the conversations in the Music distribution in the digital era are 3 distinguished industry players with in-depth practical knowledge in their respective field of endeavor. Chioma Onuchukwu is Head of Operations at TuneCore Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Gambia & Ethiopia. Jefferson Seneadza CEO of Aftown – a digital sales platform. Munyaradzi Chanetsa, A&R Manager, Sony South Africa. Juan Gomez is the Head of African Content and Curation at Pandora Media.

CEO EKB Records a talent Management and Entertainment company and LIVE Music enthusiast Kiki Banson, will be heading the PLAY IT LIVE discussion. With support from Kwame Yeboah, a Ghanaian born, UK based multi-talented instrumentalist, producer and keyboard player and programmer and Beats Mechanic.

The event will be hosted by Rudy Kwakye – Executive Producer AfroNationGhana Festival.

The VGMA NATIONAL MUSIC SUMMIT is powered by charterhouse, partnered by Tv3, GHQR, KPMG, DStv, Media partners and proudly brought to you by Vodafone, Together We Can!

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EVENT NEWS

Nanky Wins VGMA22 Unsung Initiative

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Ahead of the most prestigious music awards scheme in Ghana, Vodafone Ghana Music Awards 2021 slated for 25th and 26th June, Nanky has been announced winner of the Unsung Initiative.

The fast rising 28 year old Tema based Afro-Pop. R&B, Highlife singer who is currently signed on Sultan Incorporation was on Friday 18th June 2021 announced winner on TV3’s Showbiz 360 hosted by Giovani Caleb.

He won ahead of his competitors Oseikrom sikani, Adelaide the seer, Koby Tuesday, Kwame Yogot, Malcom Nuna, Queendalyn and Naana Blu.

Nanky, as the tradition has been since its inception in 2015, will get to perform at this year’s edition of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards which would be held on Saturday, 26th June, 2021.

The Unsung is an initiative to project underground artistes who need the platform and exposure to make it to mainstream. Previous year’s has seen winners like Lynx Entertainment artiste Kuami Eugene, Reggae/dancehall artiste KelvynBoy among others.

The Unsung Initiative is produced by Charterhouse and brought to you by Closeup Toothpaste.

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VGMA 2021 – Ghana’s biggest music weekend beckons!

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Two nights of drama, awards, and exhilarating performances from 30 chart-topping acts will be LIVE in the spotlight at the 22nd Vodafone Ghana Music Awards.

From Efya, Kuame Eugene, Eno Barony, KiDi, Kwesi Arthur, Kofi Kinaata, Adina, Joe Mettle, Diana Hamilton, Medikal, Okyeame Kwame, through to Epixode, DopeNation, Mzvee, Sista Afia, Yaa Yaa, Dead Peepol, Yaw Tog, Gyakie, Fameye, Bethel Revival Choir, the VGMA will be the center of national attention next week Saturday.

Do well not to miss out on the two day event happening on the 25th & 26th June which will be live on TV3, Akwaaba Magic, Soundcity TV and on Ghana Music Awards, and MTV social media pages.

The VGMA is produced by Charterhouse with support from TV3, DSTV, GHQR Code and Vodafone.

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