Ghanaian-American beauty queen, Abena Akuaba Appiah was crowned 2020 Miss Grand International on Saturday, March 27, 2021, in Bangkok, Thailand, making her the first African-American/black woman to win the prestigious contest.
She represented the USA and beat 62 other contestants for the crown.
Abena wants to inspire and motivate young women to be the best versions of themselves and also to encourage them to follow their dreams and passions.
Here seven interesting facts about her:
She’s the first Ghanaian to win an international pageant
Abena has participated and represented Ghana in several beauty pageants including 2014 Miss Universe, 2019 Miss Earth, and 2016 Queen Beauty Universe, where she took home the crown and became the first Ghanaian to win an international pageant.
She’s modelled at top Fashion shows
Abena has participated in fashion shows such as Contour Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week, and also modelled for brands such as Vlisco, Woodin, Da Viva, and GTP.
She loves to work with kids
Abena is musical therapist that works with kids with needs. According to her, she utilizes music as a form of therapy that guides them to learn life skills. She also works in Pan-am, which specialize in assisting children to overcome their fear of flying through flight simulations.
When she visits Ghana, she visits her school that helps young ladies develop their talents in the entertainment industry. “Ultimately, I am wanting to open up a chapter here in the United States,” she reveals.
She wants to be a voice for the bullied youth
When she was still in school, Appiah was “constantly bullied, teased and verbally abused” not by kids, but by teachers, principals, and fellow colleagues who made her feel as if she were nothing. “I was called all sort of names like a piece of trash, ugly black monkey etc,” she wrote on Instagam.
Because of that, she lost her confidence in herself. But little did she know that she will make a name for herself as the first Ghanian to win an international pageant.
“I now know that everything is possible as long as you believe and are determined to achieve it, no one can stop you. You are who you are destined to be,” she added.
Her ultimate goal is to create an organisation that helps individuals feel confident after suffering severe bullying.
She is a musician
She has the looks, the brains, and talent, too! At the age of 9, Appiah 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, Appiah has released five singles, three of which are available on Spotify and Apple Music.
She has appeared in several music videos
Abena has also appeared on music videos such as Wake Up In The Sky by Gucci Mane, Bruno Mars & Kodak Black, and El Anillo by Jennifer Lopez.
She trended on social media in 2019
Abena trended in 2019 when she joined Miss Earth, which was held in the Philippines. Her interview with ABS-CBN News sparked good laughs when a clip of her went viral.
In the clip, Abena recited a line that’s been a staple in comedy routines in the country. “Ang batang malakas kumain… ay laging may gana (A child who eats well has a good appetite)!” she said then. “Gana”, in Filipino, means appetite. It’s pronounced the same way was Ghana.
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