I have been busy (travelled to Paris) and have not had time to address the absolute misunderstanding some commenters have displayed in relation to my recent article ‘My Thoughts: Why Roselin Okoro Should Not And Would Not Win Miss Ghana 2012’.
I am told the article was discussed on PeaceFm and because I was away, they could not reach me to substantiate on the piece. I have listened to the discussion that took place on PeaceFm, Miss Ghana’s publicist’s reactions and I have also read Yvonne Okoro’s gobbledygook reaction to my article…
From the comments on GhanaCelebrities.Com and the discussions that have taken place on several platforms, I think the substantive issue I raised in the piece has not been fully understood, restraining the seriousness of the matter to only Roseline Okoro’s candidacy/surname…
I firmly stand by my initial arguments. I will use this piece to give those who clearly do not understand and have chosen to use her surname (and her being a Nigerian) only as the main issue to get things right…
I am extremely delighted that my initial article which touched on a dicey but necessary issue gaining grounds in the running of beauty pageants such as Miss Ghana has gotten the deserving attention.
Using Roseline Okoro’s candidacy, I questioned the legitimacy of her participating in Miss Ghana 2012 and possibly proceeding to win. I did so on the grounds that;
I do not have a problem with her citizenship as a Ghanaian but the question is, is she a Ghanaian ENOUGH (for the purpose of Miss Ghana) to contest and win?
I will break down the foreseeable problems and floodgate this issue would bring to Miss Ghana if it is not well addressed.
Let’s look at this;
- If a Chinese couple migrates to Ghana and have a child in Ghana. Even though both of the child’s parents are pure Chinese, by birth, she would become a citizen of Ghana. If this child lives with her Chinese parents in Ghana till she is 19, would she be able to contest in Miss Ghana, win and represent Ghana at Miss World? Would her representation be embraced by Ghanaians? After all, she is a citizen of Ghana right?
- I have a bi-racial friend (mixed race) in Ghana. Her father is pure Russian and her mother is a full blooded Ghanaian. She was born in Ghana and have lived in Ghana all her life. She is also a Ghanaian citizen. Can she contest and win Miss Ghana and proceed to represent Ghana at Miss World? And would Ghanaians accept her representation? After all, she is in the same pot as Roseline Okoro (the only difference is, her father is from Russia instead of Nigeria).
- Are we saying, as long as a person is a citizen of Ghana (and has lived there for some time), she qualifies to participate in Miss Ghana? Are you telling me that if a Ghanaian comes to Europe and marries a white girl (18 years) and brings the person to Ghana. After years of stay in Ghana, such a white girl when 24 years can contest for Miss Ghana and win and proceed to participate in Miss World on behalf of Ghana? Would Ghanaians fully accept her representation? After all, she is a Ghanaian right?
Contrary to what some people think, it is not all citizens of Ghana who can become a President, Member of Parliament or hold certain public offices in Ghana . If you are a citizen of Ghana, and also a citizen of another country (dual citizen), you cannot hold certain public offices.
This is where my notion of ‘LESSER’ citizen sets in. A lesser citizen of a nation is a citizen who cannot enjoy FULL rights of that country by virtue of certain limitations placed on his/her citizenship. (Example; dual citizens in Ghana, non-natural citizens in USA, etc).
Why is it so? After all, the person could have been born in Ghana to Ghanaian parents but may just have acquired another citizenship in addition to his/her Ghanaian citizenship? This is because the law has been defined to categorically state which ‘type’ of Ghanaian citizens can hold certain public offices. ( I am told Roseline Okoro is a dual a citizen). Why can’t beauty pageants held in Ghana also define their rules for us to know exactly who can contest and cannot?
What does Miss Ghana say? Which type of Ghanaian citizens can participate? If they vaguely say every citizen of Ghana who has lived in Ghana for considerable years, then they are opening up a floodgate…And Roseline Okoro’s participation would become a contemporary precedent.
Let me chip in this, I have read Yvonne Okoro’s reply to my first article and I find it absurd that she stated that ‘she is an African’. When did being an African become a nationality? This is the sort of problem I am talking about here… Why can’t you boldly state your nationality? Does she write ‘African’ when filling any form which asks for her NATIONALITY?
Until Miss Ghana organizers clarify which of the Ghanaian citizenship holders can contest, win and proceed to represent Ghana at the Miss World, this Roseline Okoro’s fiasco would open bigger problems and uncontrollable floodgates for them.
For those who are parading their ignorance by saying, my only concern is that Roseline Okoro is half Nigerian. I would like you to know that, I have always and would continue to question the way and manner beauty pageants are being run in Ghana if I find their rules and practices to have potential long term disasters and confusion.
Last year, I similarly questioned the legitimacy of Yayra Negro’s win as Miss Universe Ghana 2011 after she contested in Miss USA as a Minnesota representative and did not win. And then came down to Ghana to be crowned Miss Universe Ghana.
The rules and lines must be clear.
On Roseline Okoro’s surname, this is what I stated;
I hope I am not the only one who has seen the ridiculousness hidden beneath the name ‘Okoro’ as the winner of Miss Ghana 2012 and Ghana’s representative at the Miss World 2013 pageant.
If you are an innocent Ghanaian looking through various names of representatives to fetch who is representing Ghana at Miss World, I am certain you will think Ghana is not participating no matter how many times you would read pass the name Roseline Okoro.
I am confident and believe the issues I have raised are legitimate and they need immediate clarification. I am ready to have meaningful discussions and defend my reasoning on this issue with any reasonable person who can spot the existing ambiguity in merely saying ‘any citizen of Ghana’ can participate in National pageants like Miss Ghana.
When I marry a white girl and she becomes a citizen through the marriage, and then she decides to compete for Miss Ghana, then you will see the wormhole we have opened by not firmly and precisely stating who can and cannot…
If we did not address this issue some time back with Yaya Negro and others, that does not mean we cannot address it now.
Few months ago, Yvonne Okoro was honoured with a Distinguished Achievement Award at the 2012 annual Nigeria Excellence Awards, chaired by Ambassador Musiliu Obanikoro, Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Ghana. The award ceremony, which took place at the La Palm Beach Hotel in Accra, was to honour Nigerians who have lifted their country’s flag high with honour in their various fields of endeavor in Ghana.
The ceremony brought together high-profile and distinguished Nigerian citizenry in Ghana who received awards in categories like Lifetime Achievement Award, Business Excellence Award, Business Personality Award, Regional Integration and Leadership Award, Community Leadership Award, Sports and Entertainment Award and Outstanding Student Award.
And is this the same Yvonne Okoro talking now?
Caution: If you have not read the entire article, no need to comment…State and express your opinion. No need to insult others who do not agree with you.