MEET AFUA Ansah Manukure – the 14-year-old schoolgirl who has become the first Ghanaian student to qualify for the final stages of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in the US.
Spellers from Ghana have been competing in the prestigious bee for almost a decade, but no one had ever come as far as Afua, who made it into the top 45 finals.
When asked what it felt like to be the first Ghanaian finalist, she said: “It felt incredibly exciting, it was beyond my wildest dreams, to finally make it on my first try.”
Unfortunately, the teenager was knocked out of the competition for misspelling “Liechtenstein”.
But before the finals began, she and her sponsor Eugenia Tachie-Menson said they were thrilled to have gotten this far.
“I’m confident,” said Afua, who is the winner of the 2016 spelling bee national contest in Ghana. “I’m going to try my best. Hopefully, my best should be good enough.”
Still, she said, there was a “really heavy weight on my shoulders.”
“She made history,” Eugenia said. “She’s brought so much honour, not just for her country, but for the continent.”
Her success has also garnered the respect of award-winning actor Abraham Attah, who congratulated his fellow Ghanaian on Facebook.
“Congratulations to Afua Ansah for achieving the country’s highest placing in the US National Spelling Bee.
She promised me she will make Ghana proud and she did,” he wrote alongside a photo of the pair together.
WORDS: Rykesha Hudson