The 24-year-old dental hygienist beat 11 finalists drawn from an original list of 40 contestants from across the continent in the inaugural pageant at in Johannesburg, South Africa on Saturday night, AFP reports. Last year, she was the runner-up in the 2015 Miss Ghana competition.
The Miss Africa Continent pageant was created by South African film producer Neo Mashishi, who said it aimed to empower young African women. “This is about Africa, we are selling Africa to the world, and we are proud to be Africa”.
Ghana’s Rebecca Asamoah crowned first ‘Miss Africa Continent
Asamoah said she wanted to see young people help uplift the continent. “There are a lot of things to be fixed in Africa — water, education, environmental issues,” she told AFP. Runner-up was Michelo Malambo of Zambia, while South Africa’s Jemimah Kandimiri was placed third.
The swimsuit contest went against the beauty contest norm, with contestants wearing black t-shirts and tight shorts while dancing barefoot to music such as “Africa” by Mali’s legendary afro-pop musician Salif Keita.
“The way everything was done was African, we didn’t emulate anything from Miss Universe, or Miss World,” Mashishi said. Asamoah received a grant to study business management at Monash university in Johannesburg.
Organized under the theme, ‘Celebrating African beauty and Culture”, the Ghanaian beat competition from 15 others from several countries including Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, South Africa, Nigeria, Namibia, Malawi, Lesotho, Burundi and Angola.