AN Ennis teenager was named as the winner of the Miss Ghana Ireland 2009 competition at a ceremony in Dublin at the weekend.
Jennifer Dsane, a pupil at Coláiste Muire, took the title after competing against a host of beauties of Ghanian descent living all over the country. And she now hopes to become the next Tyra Banks or Miss Universe.
As well as winning a cash prize in the competition, she has won a trip to Ghana to do charity work with the disabled community, a trip to Switzerland, a shopping spree and she is becoming a youth ambassador for the Ghanian community in Ireland.
Jennifer, also known as Je Je, was born in Ghana and moved to Amsterdam when she was nine, before coming to Ireland aged 13. She said she was absolutely thrilled to have won the competition.
“When I was called Miss Ghana Ireland 2009 there were tears of joy in my eyes. I said to myself, I made it. I looked over at my family and said to myself, I am bringing the crown home to Ennis. When I won, that’s when I realised the number of people who were supporting me from the start of the competition,” she recalled.
When she was initially crowned Miss Ghana Model at the competition, after making it into the final five, the crowds began shouting ‘Tyra Banks’, who is Jennifer’s role model. “That put a smile on my face,” she said.
Jennifer said she has always wanted to be a model.
“As a child I always wanted to win a beauty pageant or be a dancer. And my favourite television show is America’s Next Top Model with Tyra Banks, who is my best role model. I have learned so much from watching her show and it gave me the confidence I needed to contest in Miss Ghana Ireland. My future goal is to become the next Tyra Banks or even better, and I would love to model for a Victoria Secret fashion show one day,” she said.
The teenager’s road to becoming Miss Ghana Ireland began when a friend of her father told her about the competition. “I decided to register as a contestant and that very weekend my dad drove me to Dublin for the auditions. When I made the auditions, that’s when I knew my heart really wanted this. It was a dream I wanted to make come true,” she said.
For the competition the contestants stayed together in one house for a week. “That was the best part of the event. I had the opportunity to get to know every one of the contestants and I learned a lot in the house.”
She describes the day of the competition as “the most nerve wracking moment of my life”.
“I was running to changing rooms trying to avoid making any mistakes on stage in front of hundreds of people and most importantly at the same time trying to impress the judges. It wasn’t only about being beautiful, but the competition is also about being intelligent and heart-warming,” she explained.
She says that winning the competition is “a great start as my dreams are coming true to help my country, especially the disabled community. My next goal is to take part in Miss Universe one day, as it would open more doors for me to help the people around me in the near future.”
Jennifer is a model with local modelling agency Luxe and agency founder Andrea McNeill said, “A nicer girl couldn’t have won, we’re all delighted for her here”.