A Ghanaian-American woman has won the Miss Grand International beauty pageant. The pageant, one of the world’s most prestigious, was won by California native, Abena Akuaba Appiah. Abena was crowned Miss Universe Ghana 2014 and represented Ghana at the Miss Universe 2014 pageant and in July 2020 became the Miss Grand United States 2020 winner, the first African-American to wear the crown.
On Saturday March 27th in Bangkok, Thailand Abena succeeded Venezuela’s Valentina Figuera as Miss Grand International, becoming the first ever Black woman to wear the crown. In second place was Samantha Bernardo of the Philippines, while in third place was Ivana Batchelor of Guatemala.
Abena Akuaba Appiah joined the Miss Earth pageant in 2019, and has represented Ghana on various platforms including 2014 Miss Universe, 2019 Miss Earth, and 2016 Queen Beauty Universe, where she came out victorious, becoming the first Ghanaian to win an international pageant.
Abena is also a musician in addition to her modelling and beauty career, having discovered her singing, songwriting, and instruments at a tender age. She has participated in the X Factor reality singing show, going on to become a finalist but eventually dropping out due to a conflict with her exam schedule. She has five singles to her name, three of which are available on Spotify and Apple Music.
Abena studied fashion at Radford University College in Accra, Ghana. She won Miss Talent Ghana in 2012 and Top Model Ghana in 2013, and also represented Ghana in the Top Model Of The World pageant in Egypt. She has also appeared in fashion shows with Contour Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week, Vlisco, Woodin, Da Viva, and GTP. She has also appeared in music videos such as Wake Up In The Sky by Gucci Mane, Bruno Mars & Kodak Black, and El Anillo by Jennifer Lopez.