Deborah Owiredu is the current Miss Pride of Africa UK. During our interview with her, she talked about why she applied for Miss Pride of Africa UK 2015, her passion in helping people with dyslexia around Africa and how new interesting participants can apply for the 2nd edition of Miss Pride of Africa UK and much more. Read her interview below.
Hello Deborah Owiredu, Congratulations on winning the first ever Miss Pride of Africa UK, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Deborah Owiredu. I am 25 years old, from a Ghanaian background, born in Amsterdam Noord in Holland then officially relocated to the United Kingdom at the age of 9 with my family for a better education opportunity. I was recently crowned the first queen of Miss Pride of Africa UK 2015.
What made you decide to apply for Miss Pride of Africa UK?
I applied for Miss Pride of Africa UK for many reasons, not only because it is a Prestigious award/pageant and a door opener. I did also based on fact that I want to help make a difference and I believe that this award and Platform has grant me that opportunity. I also applied for Miss Pride of Africa UK because I knew it was a good opportunity to involved in charitable courses of my choosing, and to help me build my confidence in public.
How did you stand out from other competitors to become the 1st titleholder for Miss Pride of Africa 2015/16?
I believe I stood out the most from the other 25 contestants as I constantly walked in with energy and a smile. I was confident in my walk across the stage, my introduction and my speech. The one thing I really enjoyed was owning the stage. I was admitted in hospital the morning of the finale and knowing God healed me . I was myself on stage and I felt very comfortable in my own skin. I also believe my speech stood out the most as I spoke about myself being a victim suffering from dyslexia that many Africans close a blind eye to.
What does winning this crowns means to you today?
Winning the crown means everything to me. It has brought the best out of me, both Physically and emotionally. It has also showed me that, with the right support and opportunity people can achieve whatever they work for.
In what ways have you been able to use your power as queen to help out people in your community?
I created funding page which gave an opportunity to anyone who visited the website to donate any amount of money to help me support students with learning disabilities in 4 schools I selected from Ghana. The funds raised went towards buying stationery items, books and provisional items for an orphanage. I also helped in sponsoring the school fees of three students at NgleshieAmanfo school in Kasoa, Ghana for one year (some of the money was raised together with some of Miss Pride Of Africa UK 2015 Contetstants).
From your experience, what would you say is the biggest problem facing the African community here in the UK today and why?
The African community here in the UK forms part of the minority, therefore Irrespective of the person’s capabilities there is this fear that hinders our Progress.
How would you go about eliminate this problem?
We can eliminate this problem by creating more awareness on the opportunities available in the UK within the African community.
How have you been managing your time as a title holder?
I have spent a lot of my time making appearances at events, visiting schools back home in Ghana educating and encouraging students, being a youth motivational speaker, taking part in voluntary work and raising funds for charities. And also creating more awareness about dyslexia.
What is your definition of success?
Personally I define success as having achieved a set of objectives Irrespective of the challenges.
What is your greatest accomplishment in life?
One of my greatest accomplishment in life is when I exposed an illegal Orphanage that was involved in child trafficking in Accra, Ghana when I took a gap year from the University to work during Ghana’s 2012 elections as a Broadcast Journalist with E TV Ghana. I chose to stand for equality in my country, empower women. And also winning Miss Pride of Africa UK 2015 is also one of my proudest achievement being the first to win this pageant amongst 25 other contestants and making history.
Can you name 3 of your biggest role models and why?
Three of my biggest role models include my dad, the former Present of Ghana and the President of United States of America. My dad Mr Isaac Owiredu is my first biggest role model as he came from a poor education background but always pushed hard to achieve something in life by proving to others no matter what you want to achieve in life it is possible as long as you work hard for it. He graduated with a Master’s degree in Biblical Theology. He is the head of 7 strong children, the founder of Word of Truth Pentecostal Ministry in Ghana and UK. He continues to stay positive in life regardless of what life throws at him. He also made a difference by putting a stop to racism during his career as a receptionist at Morgan Stanley.
Barack Obama the President of the United States of America is my 2nd biggest role model. Being the first Black President of the United States of America is a big accomplishment. He is a man of great accomplishment and stature, he still retains his ability to relate to those who are struggling, not to mention poke fun at himself every once in a while.
Jerry John Rawlings the former head of state and President of Ghana is my 3rd biggest role model. He eliminated a lot of corruption during his reign as the President of Ghana. He revived Ghana’s economy, which by the early 1990s had one of the highest growth rates in Africa.
When is the 2nd Miss Pride of Africa UK taking place?
Auditions for the 2nd Miss Pride of Africa UK are ongoing and the finale will be held on 1st October, 2016
Who can apply and how can they apply?
Any African female or half African between the ages of 17-35 is eligible to apply for Miss Pride of Africa UK Beauty pageant with a level of nothing less than GCSE qualifications. There are no weight or height restrictions. Candidates who would like to apply must not be married or pregnant during the time of application and must be in good health. The steps to apply are very simple. Once you meet the requirements you can download an application form by visiting:www.missprideofafrica.com
What advice do you have for new contestants for Miss Pride of Africa 2016?
From experience, a short word of advice for the new contestants of Miss Pride of Africa UK 2016 would be always stay humble. Never be embarrassed to ask for directions in life as we all need a helping hand. Stay positive and be willing to help others.
What will you be doing after you give up your crown later this year?
I intend to carry on creating more awareness of the silent learning disability, Dyslexia in Africa. My aim is to promote the awareness of dyslexia, starting from the Villages in Ghana by establishing an organisation that focuses on tutoring students with this learning disability. I will be raising funds to buy screening equipment’s to help diagnose students with dyslexia.
Thank you very much for giving us the oppurtunity to interview you. It has been truely amazing. We admire your confidence and your work in helping expecialy people with dyslexia around Africa. We wish you well in all your projects in the nearest future.
Auditions for the 2nd Miss Pride of Africa UK are ongoing and the finale will be held on 1st October, 2016.
All interested contestants can apply through their website at Info@missprideofafrica.com