Beauty pageant competition is not a new concept where the most beautiful woman is admired and crowned. Earning this crown is a respectable and recognized achievement for a contestant. HELEN DEMEY MARTEY earned the gong, the crown and the ‘peace’ at the just ended Queen Of Peace Africa Pageant. Aside the praises, she becomes the ambassador, thus, leads the African Dream Initiative for a year. The idea of the initiative is to raise leaders in their regions to pursue a particular kind of vision. We caught up with her to tell us about herself, the vision she is championing and to tell us what must be done to have a peaceful 2016 elections in Ghana.
HELEN, what is your idea of happiness and success?
Happiness and success are two different things but perfect together. Happiness is when you are comfortable with who you are and have confident in yourself and don’t depend on your self-image. Success is when you can spend 90 percent of your time doing the things you want to do and only 10 percent doing things you have to do as defined by Scott Spangler. When this lovely couple is in your life, then I say your life is fulfilled.
Tell the readers everything about yourself.
I am Helen Demey Martey; 7th March I will be 22 years of age, a Krobo from the Eastern part of Ghana. I am the first born of a family of 5, three girls including me and one boy and my mum, my dad is no more. I am a level 100 student of University of Professional Studies offering Banking and Finance. I hate arguing.
From what you have told us about yourself, do you consider yourself to be a risk taker especially in the context of you joining and winning this crown – and why?
Yes I am a risk taker I always like to prove people wrong those who think it can’t be possible. I am an optimist. So I believe that no matter how bushy the road is there is always a way out.
Tell us about a recent goal you accomplished before the crown and now with the crown.
Winning the crown was a goal accomplished and I also try as much as possible to offer help in any way I can to anybody that needs it.
What made you decide to enter this pageant?
The aim and vision of the pageant attracted me and also it was one of its kind not forgetting the crown, car and cash prize.
What were you expecting to gain by participating in the pageant?
I was expecting to win and learn in other to impact positively on my life and the life of others and also to promote peace in my own small way.
What would you say is the biggest problem facing our educational system today?
Comparing now to the previous years we have improved a little in our educational system. But still there are some potholes. One of our biggest problems is that we concentrate more on the theory aspect of our education than the practical aspect which creates a lot of problem for the graduate when they get to the job market.
If you could be on the cover of any magazine, which would you choose and why?
Glam Africa Magazine and Arise Magazine.
Everyone has a role model, who is yours?
My mother because she inspires and motivates me a lot.
What has been the biggest disappointment in your life to date?
I have had a lot of disappointment but none has affected on my life.
We hear you always look good – tell us how important it is?
(Smiling) As a lady you always have to look good because you might not know who is watching.
What has been your greatest obstacle and tell others facing such, how you have handled the situation?
There are a lot of obstacles that I have face and still facing but none is great. Even though I have financial problem due to the fact that I am been raised by a single mum with other three siblings with no help coming from anywhere but I try as much possible not to let that way me down. The first thing is that I have put my trust in God and no one else because with Him all things are possible. I always have this verse as my favorite bible verse: “I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me” – Philipians 4:13.
What is the essence of being a woman from your stand point?
From my point of view, just being a woman is God’s gift that all of us must appreciate. The origin of a child is a mother and is a woman. She shows what sharing, caring and loving is all about. That is the essence of a woman.
Imagine that you have been selected as the President of the country for a week. What do you plan to do for the country in just a week?
I will try as much as I can to appeal to the conscience of the citizens of this country. Our way of thinking and attitude towards work at state own enterprises and properties and also the away we keep our environment just to mention a few. With the mentality that whatever goes wrong with the development of this country goes against the president only. The development of this country doesn’t lie on the shoulders of the president alone; we all have a part to play in. So if we don’t change our attitude and way of thinking no matter competent a president may be this country will remain the same.
What have you learned from the competition you took part in?
I learnt a lot but most important thing was inner peace. No one can be at peace with the neighbor without first being at peace with himself or herself.
There are different pageants in the world, why did you opt for this and what is its importance to you and the world at large?
As I said earlier this pageant is one of its kind. Peace is one of the most important things we need in our lives. It is the mother of progress. If one or a nation does not make peace one of its priorities there is no way that person or the nation will progress. In the nutshell peace is very important to me and the world at large for progress and development and also to make the world a better place.
Let’s talk a bit about the pageantry you took part in; which round of competition did you enjoy the most?
I enjoyed every round of the competition but the round in enjoyed most was the exhibition of our traditional wears and culture. I am proud and love where I come from so I am always eager to show to the work how rich and beautiful my culture is.
What problems did you face before participating in the contest that finally saw you come out as the winner?
I was writing my exams during the period of the pageant. It was difficult combining learning for my exams and things been taught at the camp, but thank God, my Lord didn’t fail me.
Now you have won what changes would you bring on board if the organizers call on you to be part of the organizing of the next one – what is the one change that you would like to bring in you?
The pageant was organized but not as much as I have expected, so I will help to make it more organized.
Apart from you, have you ever sat down and thought of any other contestant that should have being the winner?
That’s a tough one because we were all competent and deserves to win but you know at the end of the day the crown goes to only one person. So I will say everyone should have been a winner.
There is a group of people who does not support the concept of beauty contests. What will you tell them?
There is absolute nothing wrong with beauty contest. I believe that the God given qualities and talent that one possesses is not for her benefit but for the benefit of others. And these beauty contest help bring that qualities and talents out in other to make good use of them.
How are you balancing your family life and career?
It’s pretty difficult though but with my God that strengthens me, I am able to make time for both.
Since you are a woman, let’s get into this as well – if women were to rule the world by 2050, how different would the world be?
Women are very dedicated in whatever they do, they everything with love. And anything conceived with love will surely yield good result. So I strongly believe that if women are to rule the world, it will have a positive change by 2050.
Which quality of women gives them an edge over men?
Women are naturally wired to think, act and innovate like immigrants. Women, more than men, have the ability to see what others don’t, do what others won’t and keep pushing their ideas and ideals when prudence says quit.
Do you think that the youth of today faces more pressure of performance in all they do than the previous generation?
Yes, due to the increase in socio-economic problems and the advancement of technology. Some of this socio-economic problems are unemployment, increase in substantial growth in the elderly people, drastic change in weather, civil wars, increase of crime and corruption just to mention a few has really raised the level of stress among the youth. Some people may say that with the advent of new technology, life of the youth has become easier in their domestic and professional aspect of work. Yes, it has but indirectly increases the complexities of their life.
The African Dream Initiative is one that you are championing – if you could change one thing in the world, what would it be using this enterprise?
One thing I will like to change is the rampant violence in Traditional Leadership and Governance and General Elections especially in Africa.
‘The African Dream’ – what is the role of youth towards the future development of this dream?
It’s a well-known fact that the youth are the most precious asset of any country. For this dream to be accomplished the youth must first understand the importance and benefit of the dream.
If you had one message to the world, what would it be?
Peace is desirable; we should try to make it our priority. And we will progress in whatever we do. 2 Corinthians 13:1 says “finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace and the God of love and peace shall be with you. Today it is all begins with you and me.
If God granted you one wish, what would you wish for?
To be a woman of virtue and substance.