Fri, 18 Aug 2023 Radio & Television

Beauty Pageant in Ghana: TV3 Shows the Way!

Selorm - one of GMB's 2023 ContestantsSelorm - one of GMB's 2023 Contestants

An array of stunningly beautiful Ghanaian damsels of different shapes, colour and sizes; the display of gorgeous traditional apparels and assorted cultural symbols; graceful performances and narration of ancestral history, coupled with lectures on the embodiment of Ghanaian tradition, customs and norms by the contestants are the hallmarks that characterise TV3's Ghana's Most Beautiful (GMB) beauty pageant.

The GMB, which is centred on the various cultural values and heritage in the 16 regions of Ghana, is aimed at promoting development through culture and unity. The essence of upholding our Ghanaian culture is usually the theme of the pageant.

Ideally, this is how all national beauty pageants in Ghana ought to be organised. However, the reverse is often the case. Whereas the GMB is “redefining beauty to promote national unity”, a number of the other pageants in the country are just redefining beauty to promote western culture/beauty.

Television obviously influences habits and attitudes, which is why our TV stations must be circumspect about what to transmit on their platforms to the general public. Whatever these TV channels telecast to the masses must encapsulate the cultural values that we hold dear, and not some alien stuff from elsewhere.

It is in view of this that some of us hold TV3’s GMB in high regard for always exhibiting our prides as Ghanaians and Africans. As a matter of fact, ‘tis currently the best beauty pageant in Ghana (deal with it if you feel peeved!).

Since its formation in 2007, TV3 has been working assiduously, conscientiously and meticulously every year to bring to viewers very exhilarating and delightful GMB, and this year’s edition seems to have been upgraded, especially the set designs in TV3’s Studio B (where the show is staged on Sundays) and the quality of production for TV audiences.

The organising team has also added a touch of “Big Brother” (wink! wink!) to this current season of GMB by showing live TV images of what the contestants are up to in the house – the same duplex used for the “Perfect Match (PM) Xtra” dating reality show.

As a result of this, there is a daily slot allocated to airing the live feed on TV3. It’s quite intriguing to watch the ladies on TV “live” from the TV3 reality house, as compared to the previous seasons of the show where viewers normally got to see them on TV during the Sunday evening live show.

It must be stated clearly here that, in the past seasons of the GMB, TV3 used to send camera crew to the house from time to time to film the contestants, especially on special occasions. But what is different now is that, there are rotating cameras and microphones installed in there, à la “Big Brother”.

I believe this ‘initiative’ would give viewers the chance to get to know the contestants very well, and would also help the voting public in making informed decisions as to who to vote for, albeit they usually vote based on regional affiliation.

As it was done on “PM Xtra” show, the GMB contestants should also be allowed access to the makeshift “swimming pool” (or has it been taken away?) in the lounge for the Friday night parties, in lieu of packing all of them in that small sitting room making the whole scene looks like “prisoners of war” throwing themselves a “pity party”.

Just imagine the spectacular spectacle it would be for TV viewers to see all those dazzlingly beautiful young ladies cladded in their hot bikinis/swim wears in the lounge as they unwind in the pool and/or prance around that area on a Friday night (I ain’t trying to objectify and/or lust after them. LOL.).

One peculiar thing about the GMB that makes it very unique and set it apart from the other Ghanaian beauty pageants is the mandatory use of indigenous Ghanaian names by the contestants, which is one of the exacting requirements. If an aspiring participant doesn’t have a local Ghanaian name, she has to adopt one pronto so as to be considered for the show.

It cannot be gainsaid that this is one of the best ways to preserve and promote our beautiful indigenous Ghanaian names. The increasing adoption of foreign names has no doubt been detrimental to the development of our culture as well as our identity as Ghanaians/Africans.

Hence, the dwindling trend in the use of local names must be reversed by encouraging parents to give indigenous names to their children. Adults with foreign names could also legally change their names to local ones by affirming an affidavit to this effect.

If not for GMB, I may never have heard typical Ghanaian names like Wekia, Achawa, Poka, Wedaga, et al.

About a fortnight ago when renowned Ghanaian actor Fred Amugi appeared on the show as a “guest judge” for the first episode of the Sunday live evening show, he made very insightful remarks, vis-à-vis Ghanaian customs, traditions, heritage, et cetera et cetera. And to say that he has an amazing knowledge and good grounding in Ghana’s culture and tradition-related issues would be stating the fact.

I was therefore not surprised when he swiftly corrected Ebo (the Ashanti Regional representative) that her region was not the only region in Ghana that produces “Kente”. If not for “Uncle Fred”, she may have gotten away with it. Hats off to Mr. Amugi for correcting that palpable lie for the benefit of young viewers/audiences who may have taken Ebo’s crass “ignorance” as the gospel truth (no hard feelings!).

For these reasons, I would like to use this medium to appeal to TV3 to consider making Fred Amugi one of the two permanent judges for GMB’s next season. Judge Janet Sunkwa-Mills can be ‘sacrificed’ for this.

Another observation that I have made about this season of GMB is the continuous use of the theme song Abiana did for the pageant last year. As the pageant’s tradition, TV3 engages the services of female singers every season to compose a theme song for the pageant. Surprisingly, the organisers decided to stick with Abiana’s.

Be that as it may, I feel that TV3 should have rather gone back to the theme song for the 2014 edition (the season 8 GMB won by Baci from the Upper West Region), because that GMB song (including its music video) truly projects our Ghanaian culture and also represents what the beauty pageant stands for.

Produced by the legendary Appietus and beautifully sung by Yvonne Ohene Djan aka “SHE”, what made that song a masterpiece was the seamless manner by which the singer (“SHE”) segued from one local Ghanaian language to the next. Also, her velvety voice really did justice to the song.

Although the theme song featuring Abiana equally sounds enchanting, what detracts from it is the fact that t’was delivered entirely in English, unlike the 2014 GMB’s theme music which features the major local languages in Ghana.

Enough said. Over to you, TV3!

Eugene Selorm Owusu
Eugene Selorm Owusu

Media Practitioner/WriterPage: EugeneSelormOwusu

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