Don’t use pageants to solicit ‘clients’ —Melissa Mintah
Often times, some young ladies who participate in beauty pageants are believed to end up in the beds of ‘big men’ all in the name of looking for sponsorship.
This supposed act has been condemned by many well-meaning Ghanaians including women groups and the latest to add her voice is 24-year-old Ghanaian rep at Miss Africa Calabar, Melissa A. Mintah.
In an interview with Graphic Showbiz recently, Melissa expressed her disgust at the practice in no uncertain terms.
“Beauty pageants are not the avenue to turn to for purposes that do not edify you or take you a step higher on the ladder of sophistication. It is a great platform for girls who are driven to be game changers in the society”, she said.
According to her, one key value pageants provide is grooming.
“You are coached on general courtesy and expected to apply that in your daily life. This has been my experience”, she noted.
Melissa also mentioned that participating in pageants has enabled her do things out of her comfort zone. "I have attained good sportsmanship and character, through pageants. I have learnt the value of a positive attitude and have also improved substantially on my public speaking and communication skills”, she said.
Another purpose beauty pageants serve, Melissa stated, is that it is a hotbed for social activism.
Melissa competed in Miss Ghana 2016, Miss Malaika 2020, Miss Africa Calabar Ghana and Miss Africa Calabar.
"At Miss Malaika 2020, I didn't win the crown but that didn't deter me from pursuing others so I competed in Miss Africa Calabar Ghana which I won. I represented Ghana on December 27 in Calabar, Nigeria”, she said.
Talking about Miss Africa Calabar, she thanked Ghanaians for the massive support.
“Though I did not bring the crown home, I made it to the final five and I am grateful for the huge backing of Ghanaians,” she said.
Asked what pushes her to keep taking part in beauty contests, Melissa said India's Priyanka Chopra is her source of inspiration.
“She illuminates everything I believe in and she proves to the world that there is more to a beauty queen than just the beauty and title. She is a very strong woman.
“She promotes social causes such as environment and women's rights and is vocal about gender equality, the gender pay gap and feminism. That is why I won't stop, I want to be a good example in the industry," she said.