Miss Universe Ghana 2017, Ruth Quashie says Ghanaians must support their own when they compete in international events since whatever glory they attain is for the entire country.
Ruth, who made it to the Top 16 in the Miss Universe global finals held recently in Las Vegas in the US said she could have made it further in the competition had she received enough votes.
“You see the votes were as important as my performance. The ones I got earlier pushed me into the Top 16 but unfortunately, I couldn’t get more to get me into the Top 10. A lot of factors worked against me; first the pageant was held at midnight Ghana time when many people were sleeping, also it was aired only on DStv so it limited those who could watch it,” she told Showbiz in an interview on Friday.
“But then again, since I’ve been back, I have heard and seen many negative comments from people when my friends were posting on social media asking for people to vote for me.
Some asked what benefit they stood to gain, while others just criticised me which is very unfortunate.
“What people don’t realise is that when I was in the pageant, my name wasn’t used to identify me, it was my country so if I had won, it would not have been for me alone, but for the entire country.
It was when I made it into the Top 16 that people were trying to ‘claim’ me for their own and for me that’s sad. We need to support our own,” Ruth added.
According to her, Ghanaians abroad, especially those in the US, were very supportive and many of them voted for her and encouraged others to also vote.
Making the Top 16 is Ghana’s best showing in recent years; Akuba Cudjoe made it into the Top 10 in 1999 and since then the country’s performance has been poor until now. But Ruth says she has mixed feelings about reaching that stage.
“I know I’m supposed to be happy, Top 16 is amazing but I was hoping for more. I wish I could have gone further to make the country even prouder. What hurts is knowing that if I had made it further, I would have aced it because I had really prepared for it. But I’m still happy because I know I gave it my all and I was myself, ” she said.
Ruth Quashie also urged government not to only pay lip service in supporting beauty pageants but back it with some funding since they are a source through which the country can sell its tourism.
“My experience opened my eyes to how seriously some of these countries take such events. One contestant’s government gave out a huge sum of money to back her and you should have seen her contingent, it was large but I only had my national director and blogger, Ameyaw Debrah in the audience,” she said.
“We were ambassadors for our countries and I can say I sold my country well through my costumes and in my interactions with the other girls. I showed them videos of some of the tourist sites in Ghana and they are all so eager to visit. They’re just waiting for me to invite them and you can guess when they come and have fun, they can send the message across, thereby boosting our tourism.
The focus should not be only on football, government must support the pageants too because of the revenue it can bring to the country.”
She stated her willingness to be a tourism ambassador for the country and she believes she will be successful at it.
After what she describes as an exciting time she wouldn’t trade for the world in the US, Ruth is looking forward to pursuing her other projects including a modelling contract in the Italian capital, Milan, which was part of her prize package.