First of all, I must clear certain things which I envisage some individuals would dwell on to unfairly discredit and undermine the substance of this article.
I perfectly recognise and understand that this piece will be bigotry to the candidacy of Ms. Roseline Okoro as Miss Ghana 2012 contestant.
However, should the issues below be ignore and Roseline Okoro manages to win the National pageant, the many years of credibility, prestige, Ghanaian heritage, Association and Representation which is embedded in the Miss Ghana pageant will end.
Where do we place the balance of convenience then? Without any malice, I think it is only prudent that the below issues which can tear down the Miss Ghana pageant and erupt long confusion and dissatisfaction among Ghanaians be addressed to the detriment of Roseline Okoro’s right to participate in unprejudiced contest.
For those who intend to evoke the absurdity engulfed in the entrenched Ghana/Nigeria rivalry by saying that, I am mentioning the below because I somehow do not like Nigerians, you should know that, the parents of my girlfriend are Nigerians (though she was born in Britain and may prefer to be called a Black British). I want such people to know that I do not have any dislike for Nigerians and as such, this piece will only look at substantive issues, detached from any rivalry hogwash.
I do not have a problem with Roseline Okoro’s nationality as a Ghanaian. Since one of her parents is a Ghanaian, by law, she is a Ghanaian. Nationality/Citizenship can be acquired through Birth, Blood (descent) or Naturalization. This means that, by descent/blood, Roseline Okoro is a Ghanaian and SHOULD be able to participate in the Miss Ghana pageant.
However, depending on how an individual becomes a citizen of a country, there are some positions that he or she cannot/shouldn’t hold even though such a person by law is a citizen. For instance, in the United States, only a person who is a citizen by birth can become a President or Vice President. Even that, he/she must have lived in U.S.A for 14 years or more.
This therefore means that, there are differences in citizenship (lesser and true citizens) and I clearly see why. So even though Roseline Okoro is a citizen of Ghana ( lesser citizen because she acquired her citizenship by blood and may not have even lived in Ghana for considerable years), it would be preposterous for her to win a National pageant like Miss Ghana and become Ghana’s ambassador…
The Miss Ghana pageant I know had a prestigious culture and heritage accessory and all the winners have always been culturally strong. How can Okoro fully satisfy the cultural aspect of a Ghanaian Queen?
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 not suggesting that, only those with typical Ghanaian names must be given National honours like the Miss Ghana Crown but when a particular name vividly points to another country, then it must be an issue of concern.
Looking at the past winners of the pageant from 1998 to 2010 (Efia Owusuaa Marfo, Mariam Sugru Bugri, Ewurafua Hawkson, Selasi Kwawu, Shaida Buari, Serena Naa Ashi Roye, Inna Patty, Lamisi Mbillah, Irene Dwomoh, Frances Takyi-Mensah, Mawusi Apea, Mimi Areme and Stephanie Karikari), their names have always given them away as from Ghana.
Even if the name does not clearly give the person away as a Ghanaian, it is not a big problem. It only becomes a problem if the prima facie indication you would derive from the name is that; the person is from another country. What would you say to Maame Afia Takyiwaa as Miss Nigeria 2012?
As to how much of a Ghanaian Roseline Okoro is, I had a brief chat with the PR of the Miss Ghana pageant this morning and he mentioned that, to his knowledge, Roseline speaks great Twi… (I asked if she speaks any Ghanaian language fluently).
Though I am impressed, I still think being a Miss Ghana Queen which bestows unto you a National ambassadorial role goes beyond merely speaking one of the various National languages. Such a person must be a Ghanaian in all aspects of life…Remember we have legal Ghanaians and true Ghanaians…
For me, Roseline Okoro as a legal Ghanaian has the right to participate in the pageant unless the rules of the pageant say otherwise. But if she wins, the true Ghanaians will erupt in anger to defend what is rightly theirs…It may sound absurd but National treasures must be protected…
I have a British passport (legally British) but still there are certain places I cannot go; only the true Brits can go…
Do I think the organizers of Miss Ghana 2012 have not spotted the bedlam, controversy and the vast hole that would be created should Roseline Okoro wins this year pageant? I know they would not make that mistake and that explains why I say, she will NEVER win!
I have been told that, Miss Roseline Okoro claims (has told friends) to be a dual citizen (Ghana/Nigeria). This is legally accepted but a dual citizen has limited rights in Ghana and therefore may fall under the ‘lesser citizen’ group.
If a holder of a dual citizenship cannot be higher in governance (cannot hold certain public offices) and cannot be voted for to even become an MP because they are seen as disloyal and infidel, then it is only reasonable that a dual citizen should not be allowed to become a Ghanaian ambassador-Miss Ghana Winner…