Home / Featured / GIFTY OFORI speaks on how Miss Universe Ghana organizers messed her up

GIFTY OFORI speaks on how Miss Universe Ghana organizers messed her up

Gifty Ofori 1

Gifty Ofori

It is quite unfortunate that beauty pageants in this part of our world are sometimes exploitative. Many young girls have entered these competitions innocently but they sometimes come out bastardized in hearts and at times taught through the ‘hard’ way. It is sad to see or hear that many of the winners aren’t treated as queens, some are yet to get their prizes and some are still battling in court with organizers over issues that shouldn’t have raised an eyebrow. GIFTY OFORI is a victim of one of these incompetent pageantries which arguably has been put in place to syphon young ladies’ time, energy and peace of minds. She talked to us recently on how she was deprived her gains after winning the crown as Miss Universe Ghana in the year 2012. She went on to represent Ghana in Las Vegas, USA, with no support from either the country or the organizers. She told YTAINMENT.COM in this interview that after her reign, she was bitterly handled and that the issue found its way to the court. The ‘unnecessary and unfortunate” scene in her own words have made her pondered over and over and yet cannot comprehend why an organizer of a pageant will go and get money and goodies from a sponsor as a part of the process of rewarding contestants and then turn around and deprive the winner of what is legally hers. Yet in all, she has since moved on and left the organizers to their conscience.


Gifty, you were the crown winner for the 2012 Miss Universe Ghana – any regrets that you participated in that contest?

The memory of that event leaves with a lot of mixed feelings. I was very surprised and excited to have won the Miss Universe Ghana contest of that year amidst several other contestants, who wouldn’t be. The only regret I have is the way and manner the disagreement between the organizers deprived me of what was promised me as the winner. It was really unfortunate and quite exploitative, since we are still in court; I would rather my lawyers talk about it. Apart from that, it was a major experience for me.

You are a model as well, did this abilities help push you in winning the crown in your time?

I think my winning was a combination of various factors.  I went into the competition with a desire to showcase myself as a potential model and not necessarily to win, in fact winning the Miss Universe was a huge surprise to me, when I look back at the vent leading to my crowning, I can only attribute it to Gods favour and destiny.  Hard work also played a vital role in the winning process, I wasn’t just working hard to win but rather working at been a better person from the contest, I think that was what did it for me. So it was more of a cocktail of determinants for me, at the end of the day it wasn’t just about winning but more about been fulfilled.

How was your reign a beauty queen after your win and now about two years afterwards?

As I mentioned earlier, my reign was characterized by internal wrangling between the partners who had the Miss Universe franchise at the time. The unresolved issues they had negatively affected the vision and direction of the pageant for that year. For me, it was just a turbulent era occasioned by organizers who refused to grow up and take responsibility.

You represented Ghana at the grand finale in Las Vegas- USA, how was the experience like and what will you always keep as one of your warmest memories?

For me, the high point was the Grand Finale; it was quite an unforgettable experience for me. It provided me with the opportunity to network and build relationship with other Queens from over 150 countries. We had a lot of fun and I leant a lot from other cultures. Imagine been in the same environment, that is like travelling into over 150 countries within that period, the experience is precious.

Talking about representing Ghana during your time out there, how far was the support from the organizers in Ghana, and the government alike?

The issue of the organizers is a very pathetic one, and I really do not like to talk about it. What I have observed from my experience is that some of the Pageants just exploit ambitious young girls for their own benefit. I am very proud of having represented my country when I was called upon to do so, I didn’t stand up for Ghana for any culinary or material benefit, one thing was foremost on my mind as I criss-crossed all the different stages at the Miss Universe and that was to  “do Ghana proud” and I know I actually did. I think the greatest support the government can give is to ensure that organizers of these events are regulated and monitored so as not to put the countries name in disrepute by some of their selfish actions.

Ghanaians cannot forget so soon about your issue with the organizers; do you think you were not properly handled as to how a beauty queen should have been?

What happened was really unnecessary and unfortunate. Except that the issue is still in court, I would have left it behind a long time ago. Imagine a situation where you’ve been crowned as Miss Universe Ghana without any of the prizes due you.  It is only in this part of the world that an organizer of a pageant will go and get money and goodies from a sponsor as a part of the process of rewarding contestants and then turn around and deprive the winners of what is legally theirs.  But for the court case, I have left the organizers to their conscience.

How did the whole court process go, where you pleased that the law was there to help settle the issue?

The Legal process is still ongoing; my lawyers have advised that we are almost at the end of it. You can imagine how protracted this case has been.  At least, one can say that the judiciary is the last hope of the common man. I have a strong feeling about getting justice from all of these. It may have taken some time but I believe the judicial system will provide us with just the needed respite.

Seems you haven’t spoken on what the pageantry was like outside the country when you represented Ghana, were there certain things you felt sad about?

Even though I had support from family and friends, I wished I had a full support from the country as a whole. Whiles in Vegas you could see that a lot of the girls were getting a lot of support from their country. I think it is high time; the government through the Ministry of Tourism begins to really support Ghana’s representative at this international events.

Were there pleasant feelings out there that you felt you will want to experience again?

The diverse culture of the other contestants provided a breath of fresh air. I am an adventurer by nature and so being in that space was just an opportunity to learn new things. Every day I spent with those girls was just revealing for me. We had very memorable moments; time will not permit me to give you a narration.

Like the 2014 winner, she didn’t have any support as in people coming from Ghana to cheer her up, was that your case?

Day in day out people get busy with work, so I wasn’t expecting Ghanaians to move to the States to support me, because I knew they supported me with their prayers.

It is over three years now, moving forward, what has Gifty being up to and how well have you managed your fame and popularity after the crown?

I have been busy with work, school, modeling and setting up a new business.  I see myself more as an evolving entrepreneur. We are trying to lay a solid foundation for a better future. I am not the kind of person who lets success and achievements get into my head. My parents trained us not to focus on things but on God. I am a very content and conservative person who is not moved by material gains, I appreciate them when they come but do not allow them derail my focus.

How well has your foundation soared?

We provide learning materials to the less privileged schools with the aim of improving their lives. I am very passionate about poverty eradication and I believe that one major way to fight this menace out of our continent is through education. We need to empower the less privilege not just by providing them with food but by arming them with quality education…I believe this is both the solution and the future.

We know that you are a model as well as now have a new management, what new things should we expect from your team?

Just relax and expect the unexpected from a competent team while we take over the world.

You were spotted at the Africa Fashion Week Nigeria early this year, talk to us about the experience and how it has boosted your moral

It was a huge platform for me to exhibit my talent once again and it has boosted my confidence as well. I hope to do more projects in the near future. My management and I are working on a winning strategy; I believe it will pay off.

Aside this side of your passion, you have a cleaning company, what ignited such intuition and how far have you gone?

Growing up, I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur, and as a nurse and public health educator, I believe cleanliness is next to godliness, this inspired me to use my acquired skills in establishing the cleaning company, called -Gifad Cleaning Services-. We just started and the sky seems to be the beginning for us.

Now with a new management, bubbling company, new modeling jobs, etcetera, what is new up the sleeves from the camp of Gifty that the world should know of?

For now since I have a lot on my plate, I will like devote my time for my books, modeling and the cleaning company.

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