I write with much pain in my heart, it is the type of pain that is extremely difficult to express especially in writing. It's the kind of pain that outweighs the pain I went through after Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez prevented Ghana from scoring at the World Cup by handling the ball and Asamoah Gyan subsequently wasting the penalty – the decider.
Last Saturday at the Accra International Conference Centre, patrons were thrown into a deep shock and dejected when beauty was picked over brains at the just ended Miss Malaika 2011-the beauty pageant that seeks to celebrate brains and beauty.
I had the rudest shock of my life when, the obvious winner Alex was robbed of her over deserving crown as Miss Malaika 2011. The shock was very grievous. The shameful verdict and unfortunate incidence equivalent to miscarriage of justice have dented the credibility of Charterhouse and their choice of judges.
If you are one of the people who think the proliferation of beauty pageants in the shores of Ghana can be blamed for unappealing nature of the Miss Ghana brand, then you surely have a partner, because I am thinking along the same line.
After witnessing the finales of the Miss Malaika 2011, where for the first time, the biggest event organising company in Ghana, Charter House struggled to get people to the auditorium of the Conference Centre, I can perfectly understand those who have strong antagonism for beauty pageants in Ghana.
Miss Malaika has always been an big event but for this year, it was poorly-attended. For the first time in the history of the company that prides itself as the biggest event organisers in Ghana, it failed to convince many why they should be present to watch the Miss Malaika 2011 finals.
Undoubtedly, Charter House is synonymous to quality and big events. Their events over the years have been well attended. They always record huge patrons that exceed the capacity of any auditorium or venue in the country. For instance, last year the same Miss Malaika finals took place at the Dome, a 6,000 seater auditorium was oversubscribed.
So why did Charter House decide to move it to the main auditorium of the Conference Centre (a smaller venue)? A source at the company told GhanaCelebrities.Com that, they just felt like changing the venue from a bigger and more spacious venue to a smaller venue. Ridiculous right?
However, before, during and after the finals, it became clear that whoever swapped the venue had done a great job because if the event had taken place at the Dome, the number of empty seats would have been uncountable.
The main Conference Centre takes lesser than 6,000 people, yet it recorded a shocking low audience. Though the show recorded close to 60 to 70 percent patrons, for a charter house event, it was worrisome. Something really might have gone wrong for the venue to be changed. It felt terrible seating around empty chairs.
The question is: are people already tired of Charter House and its events?
For myself and many patrons at the venue, the competition actually began with the final top 5 delegates after the preliminary rounds. The top 5 according to the votes by the general public and judges were Emma [Emmanuella Esinam Awunyo], Smallie [Deborah Melissa Lomotey], Gerry [Geraldine Partington], Alex [Alexandra Ayirebi-Acquah] and Daisy [Daisy Nana Adwoa Aryiwah-Fofie].
This means that Adwoa Ofori Afriyie, Mikafui Doe, Magdalene Ankrah, Nana Konadu Agyeman Gyimah, Priscilla Opoku Agyeman failed to garner the needed votes to catapult them to the next round.
At this juncture, the top 5 went through a question and answer segment – make or break. All 5 were posed with same question 'Who in your opinion is doing a more important job; a house wife or career woman?' The tricky question got them more confused. The rules for this segment were that, they had to elaborate on either of their choices. None of them answered the question correctly but Alex made sense with her delivery.
A question such as the one above requires brains and not beauty to tackle it. Alex proved that, though she didn't have half of the beauty that Gerry has, she is EXCESSIVELY intelligent than her. Gerry's answer was one of a confused beautiful girl. She appeared undecided with her delivery. Alex was then in front. Even comparing the explanations and deliveries from Daisy, Emma and Smallie, Gerry didn't deserve to make the final 3.
But miraculously she made the last 3. Smallie placed third [second runner up] after the results from the judges were calculated. Emma won Miss Talent. Miss Magdalene Ankrah was voted Miss Congeniality by her colleagues.
Alex and Gerry were announced by the hosts to be in a deadlock they both got the same points. “How possible”, “This is not fair”, people screamed and chastised the judges. This means that, the tie had to be broken.
Funny, isn't it? How can the girl who answered the question confidently and intelligently have at tie with a girl who appeared confused, undecided and flopped? Her beauty won her many points I reckon. The other reporters who sat close to me burst out laughing loud. They made it known that; the tie was an attempt to give Gerry who had flopped a second chance to redeem herself.
The crowd announced their disapproval by booing and jeering at the organizers and judges for the favouritism being given to Gerry.
Now to the tie-breaker question… Both ladies were asked to 'Define three qualities a woman of the millennium should have' Alex who was the first of the two to respond dazzled the audience with her response. She confirmed again that, a girl needs brains to add up to her beauty to be crowned as a winner of any beauty pageant in anywhere in the world. Her response drew thunderous applause from the patrons.
Alex's superb delivery did put pressure on Gerry and she flopped again on her tie-breaker question, the same question Alex answered well. At a point, she appeared lost even after Chris Attoh tried to give her more chances to talk extensively but she proved that, she didn't just have the brains.
Aside her brains, Alex had majority of the crowd behind her and rooting for her. There was no way she would lose the title to Gerry. Their delivery confirmed who is the right person to win the coveted crown and prizes.
Beauty Picked Over Brains
And now the biggest and greatest robbery in the history of the Malaika series came up. For whatever reason, the unexpected happened. Gerry was declared the winner even though the results on the sheets had Alex as the winner.
Charterhouse's credibility was thrown into the gutter. According to one of the hosts, Naa Ashorkor, 3 of the judges scored Alex as against 2 for Gerry – it became 3/5 to Alex and 2/5 for Gerry. But Alex lost the title.
Unconfirmed reports I got after the show was that, Naa Ashorkor made a complete mockery of herself as she messed up the final results. According to the reports, the judges scored 3/5 for Gerry and 2/5 for Alex. It is very shameful, if indeed they scored Gerry higher than Alex. Even the corrupted chap in my neighborhood would have gone for Alex instead of Gerry, so what happened to the so-called-learned-fair judges?
Gerry is pretty, yes but is that enough? I can't say that all previous winners of Miss Malaika had the beauty. Sincerely, the tagline 'celebrate beauty with brains' should be erased. It is hypocrisy.
After The Show:
As the patrons made their way out of the auditorium, the jeers and boos continued. GhanaCelebrities.Com spoke to journalists, actors, actresses, models as well as some workers of Charter House. They showed their aversion for the event which has raised questions about the company's credibility.
For her prize, as the Miss Malaika 2011 crown, Gerry also won a Kia Rio saloon car, GHC6, 000, a job as the Malaria Ambassador for a year, a sponsored trip to Namibia as well as hampers from sponsors.
Nigerian act Dr. Sid is known in Ghana for a particular song; 'Pop Something' and he did justice to that. Stay Jay was just ordinary. Sarkodie was in his element. He performed with Kesse and Efya. R2Bees also had a good time on stage. And this is the UGLY truth about Miss Malaika 2011.
By Ebenezer Anangfio Jnr.