Model and blogger, Akpene Diata Hoggar, was on Saturday, September 15, crowned Miss Universe Ghana 2018 at an impressive contest held at the Labadi Beach Hotel, Accra.
Akpene, who is also a Management Information Systems (MIS) graduate, beat nine other beauties in what has been described largely as a highly competitive event, to pick the coveted title.
For her prize, she received a brand new car from 4FK Motorsport, owned by Ghanaian international soccer star, Sulley Muntari, a five-week leadership programme with the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI), six months publicity and a spread in the Glam Magazine, among other prizes.
Most importantly, she will represent Ghana at this year’s Miss Universe international pageant slated for Bangkok, Thailand in December.
Vanessa Tekor Akuetteh, a budding paralegal and model, who represented the Western Region was the first runner-up, while Sylvia Naa Morkor Commodore, a second-year Business Administration undergraduate, who represented the Upper West Region, picked the second runner-up prize.
Akpene, who represented the Brong Ahafo Region excellently promoted the tourism sites and cultural heritage of the region, attracting applause from the audience.
The final three: From left, Vanessa Tekor Akuetteh who was first runner-up, Miss Universe Ghana 2018 Akpene Diata Hoggar and Sylvia Naa Morkor Commodore, second runner-up
All the contestants put up great performances in the various segments of the competition, promoting the culture and tourism products of Ghana while displaying their individual talents in singing, dancing etc.
Sporting some intricate designs by some of Ghana’s talented designers, the ladies displayed a great sense of fashion, intelligence and eloquence as they answered questions from the judges about various issues in society, after which five were shortlisted to vie for the crown.
The all-round great performances by the contestants made it quite difficult for the five judges to decide the top three from the best five contestants.
Indeed, for the first time in the history of the Miss Universe Ghana pageant, there was a tie, which meant that instead of choosing the ultimate winner from the best three finalists, she was picked from four.
The judges on the night were Sean Guy, a lifestyle coach; Yvonne Nelson, actress and entrepreneur; Manuela Osk, former Miss Universe Iceland; Shirley Frimpong-Manso, movie director and producer and Emmanuel Kojo Jones-Mensah, a real estate developer.
After her crowning, Akpene expressed her gratitude to MALZ Promotions, the organisers of Miss Universe Ghana, for their professionalism and graciously congratulated the other contestants for the healthy competition.
The audience, was serenaded by top Ghanaian musicians, Adina and King Promise with the Noyam Dance Group spicing up the event with some sprightly choreography that gave the show an authentic Ghanaian touch.
The contestants were clothed by some of the finest designers in the country, including C’est Dora, Quophi Akotuah, Yartel Gh, Saa Dia, and Nhyira.
The event was organised by MALZ Promotions, owned by Menaye Donkor Muntari, who is also the National Director for Miss Universe, Ghana.
The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Mrs Catherine Afeku; the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr Akwasi Agyemang; a former Minister of Finance, Dr. Kwesi Botchwey and many Ghanaian personalities graced the event, which was aired live on Joy Prime.