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Get to know USA's Miss Grand International Abena Akuaba Appiah

By Camille Santiago Published Mar 28, 2021 12:44 am Updated Mar 28, 2021 9:40 am

United States of America's Abena Akuaba Appiah is crowned 2020 Miss Grand International on Saturday evening, Mar. 27, in Bangkok, Thailand. 

She succeeds Venezuela's Valentina Figuera. Second place went to Samantha Bernardo of the Philippines, while third place went to Ivana Batchelor of Guatemala.

If Appiah looks familiar, that is because she trended in 2019 when she joined Miss Earth, which was held here in the Philippines. Her interview with ABS-CBN News sparked good laughs when a clip of her went viral. "Ang batang malakas kumain... ay laging may gana!" she said happily. Gana, which is pronounced like Ghana, in Filipino means energy.

Get to know more about the beauty queen below.

She has participated in several beauty pageants

Appiah is no stranger to beauty pageants. In fact she has joined several competitions representing Ghana including 2014 Miss Universe, 2019 Miss Earth, and 2016 Queen Beauty Universe, where she took home the crown and became the first Ghanaian to win an international pageant.

In this year's MGI pageant, she represents USA and became the first African-American to take on the role as Miss Grand USA.

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A post shared by Abena Akuaba (@abenaakuaba)

She wants to be a voice for the bullied youth

When she was still in school, Appiah was "constantly bullied, teased and verbally abused" not by kids, but by teachers, principals, and fellow colleagues who made her feel as if she were nothing. "I was called all sort of names like a piece of trash, ugly black monkey etc," she wrote on Instagam.

Because of that, she lost her confidence in herself. But little did she know that she will make a name for herself as the first Ghanian to win an international pageant.

"I now know that everything is possible as long as you believe and are determined to achieve it, no one can stop you. You are who you are destined to be," she added.

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A post shared by Abena Akuaba (@abenaakuaba)

She is a musician

She has the looks, the brains, and talent, too! At the age of 9, Appiah discovered her musical abilities—singing, songwriting, and playing instruments sucha as the guitar, recorder, and clarinet.

Years later, Appiah joined X Factor and became a finalist but had to drop out of the competition because of a conflict with her exam schedule.

Currently, Appiah has released five singles, three of which are available on Spotify and Apple Music.

She models and has appeared in several music videos

Appiah took up fashion at Radford University College in Accra, Ghana. She has won Miss Talent Ghana in 2012 and Top Model Ghana in 2013, and also represented Ghana in the Top Model Of The World pageant that was held in Egypt. She has also taken part in fashion shows with Contour Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week, Vlisco, Woodin, Da Viva, and GTP.

She has also appeared on music videos such as Wake Up In The Sky by Gucci Mane, Bruno Mars & Kodak Black, and El Anillo by Jennifer Lopez.

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A post shared by Abena Akuaba (@abenaakuaba)