GMB 2018 finals on Sunday

BY: Lydia Ezit
All four finalists. From left Wekia, Afrah, Abena and Ohema.
All four finalists. From left Wekia, Afrah, Abena and Ohema.

After 11 weeks of battling for the crown, fame, cash and “bragging right”, the 2018 edition of Ghana’s Most Beautiful comes to an end on Sunday, December 9, 2018.

The final showdown will take place at the Conference Centre in Accra.

Last Sunday was for the ladies to show their “culinary skills”, with a setup displaying the various products of some of the sponsors of the show.

The contestants prepared some delicacies of their regions and also gave accounts of how they prepared them.

Popular television presenter Kwame Dzokoto appeared as a guest judge and also served as the “tasting officer” of the various meals.

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Looking gorgeous in her printed shorts suit style, Ohema prepared boiled yam, known in Bono language as “asɔ bayere”, accompanied with hot pepper with “koobi” and “akankyeƐ”, a meal prepared with red plantain and wrapped in leaves.

She also had seasoned mushroom and snails khebab as dessert.

The name “asɔ  bayerƐ”, she said, came about because yam was always in abundance in her region, especially in July, hence her people termed it “bayerƐ aso”, to wit “yam was in abundance”.

The development of the “akankyeƐ” meal, she explained, was also because the region was blessed with plantain, which was the only food available during the “hunger era”.

With an articulate command over the Bono language, she explained why she chose to cook yam without peeling off its skin, saying they believed it had some nutritional value.

“Yam is always available and this is the fastest way of suppressing hunger as all you need to do is to wash the yam thoroughly, cut it into sizes and put it on fire,” she said.

She explained that they usually referred to it as “wo de pata kom”, meaning you only want to suppress hunger.

Kwame Dzokoto quickly asked why she chose snails and mushroom as her dessert, and she explained by saying the Brong-Ahafo Region was a tropical zone, hence they had them everywhere, saying “y3 tu mmerƐ na yƐ asesa nwa”, to wit “we uproot mushrooms and pick snails everywhere”.

In giving her comment, Judge Linda Ampaw wondered why almost all the local foods were prepared using a lot of pepper.

For instance, she said there was too much pepper in Ohema’s food and so had no marks for her as the pepper made it difficult for her to appreciate the taste, but Ohema explained that not everyone liked snails, especially with its slimy nature, hence to make it more enjoyable for all, it was best to spice it with pepper.

However, it was a different case for Judge Bernie Asher as he said, “I don’t think it’s hot enough and l don’t agree with Linda. In terms of pepper, l think the food is fine. So we will agree to disagree.”

Abena, who walked elegantly on stage, prepared boiled plantain with nkontomire, boiled eggs and pear, with “Ofam” (a delicacy baked from ripe plantain) as dessert.

She explained that ofam was a quick, convenient and filling meal in the olden days when people loved to travel to seek greener pastures either overseas or across regions.

“When they are going, you know you can’t carry stews and soups around so the ofam is normally parcelled neatly and kept in the luggage. When you get somewhere and you are hungry, you just pull it out and have a bite. It can always be eaten either as a main meal or snack,” she said.

The judges, who found her meal interesting, especially with how the “ofam” was neatly shaped and beautifully baked, said it was tasty.

From the Ashanti Region, Afrah did better as compared to the previous week. She prepared “3to” and “nnuuho”, with mango smoothies as dessert.

She explained that “3to” was mostly prepared during puberty rites, purification and pacification of the gods.

Projecting the nutritional value of this local delicacy, she said the name “nnuuho” was created out of the word regretfulness, “as when one eats nnuuho, he or she becomes bored and feels reluctant to partake in scheduled activities, hence he regrets his actions and says he should have worked before eating”.

Enjoying the tasty meal, Judge Linda Ampaw said, “It’s tasty, l will give her 95 per cent,” while Judge Bernie Asher also recommended the taste and said “it’s quite rich, filling and tasty. I’m not used to this kind of meal but it’s something l would love to eat”.

The Upper East beauty, Wekia, showed tradition in her table setting and served her meal in a calabash.

In her presentation, she was someone who had been tasked to provide delicacies from her region for TV3’s end-of-year party.

She introduced the audience to “mmum”, water mixed with millet and shea butter, which Kwame Dzokoto jokingly called “nkuto fanta”, explaining that visitors to her region were served “mmum” as water.

She also prepared ‘tubaani’ wrapped in leaves with powdered pepper and “Capernu”, which is grounded millet with guinea fowl.

She also had bambara beans cooked and covered neatly in a calabash.

Though she seemed to have forgotten the names of some of the ingredients she used, she was able to provide the recipes for the various meals she prepared.

The judges conferring with each other

Outstanding performances

Abena won the Queen of the Kitchen and Ohema took the Star Performer Award for last Sunday’s episode. Two persons have been arrested by the Weta Divisional Police Command with support from the Dzodze Police in the Volta Region, over an attempt to cast a spell (juju) on the President, Nana Akufo Addo and other top officials of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government over the creation of new regions, specifically the Oti Region.

According to the Volta Regional Police Commander, DCOP Ebenezer Francis Doku, the suspects were from Ashaiman in the Greater Accra Region and had visited a shrine on Wednesday, December 5, at Weta in the Ketu North Municipality of the Region, to put the political leaders under the control of black magic.

The traditional priest, Festus Kwashie Babanawo, who said he could not destroy leaders of the country, turned round to report the two persons at the Weta Police station after he accommodated the two suspects peacefully into his shrine.

The Commander said the suspects, Ebenezer Atsu, 33, and Shepherd Acolatse, 55, were quickly hunted down after the priest lodged the complaint.

The police officers who made the arrest found a white paper on one of the suspects that had the names of the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, Dr. Archibald Yaw Letsa the Volta regional minister; Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensah, chairperson for the Electoral Commission; Mr. Justice Brobbey, Chairman for the Commission of Enquiry on creation of the new regions; the Minister for Regional Reorganization, Mr. Dan Botwe; and Dr. Obed Asamoah.

The list also had Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who the suspects believe supports the creation of the proposed Oti Region.

The two suspects upon interrogation claimed that, the list was given to them by one John, a resident of Ashaiman, and he directed them to send it to the native doctor to cast the spell on the leaders, since they are determined to create the proposed Oti Region out of the Volta region.

The suspects were later transferred to the Regional Police Command, in Ho, and are currently in Police custody as investigation continues.

DCOP Ebenezer Francis Doku, recently warned natives of the region against being engaged in any unapproved acts to disturb the upcoming referendum.

He said the Police Service in the region is ready to hunt down any person who will misbehave “before, during and after the upcoming referendum in the region”

The creation of the proposed Oti Region has created controversy among the Ewe-speaking people and people residing in the Northern areas of the region.

It is however unclear how the police intends to handle this case and what offense the suspects could be charged with.