As children we dream, we dream of changing the world, of making it a better place – no matter how small the contribution. And as the years go by, most of our childhood dreams become a reality.
At 21 years of age and also a final year student at the University of Ghana, Legon, Leah Brown experienced what can be described as a dream come true when she became the crowned queen for the Miss Malaika pageant show 2016.
The proud winner of Miss Malaika 2016 gives us insights about her personal life and tells us about her journey after the pageant contest and the impact she is making in the lives of over a hundred children in some selected schools in Accra.
Who is Leah Brown?
Leah Adobea Brown, or popularly known simply as Leah Brown is a Ghanaian born and bred young lady, who hails from Nkonya in the Volta region. A proud “No. 9” for that matter, possessing all the attributes of a typical Voltarian lady.
From the crayon stained floors of Mays Day Care in Dansoman she began her journey in education. Moving on to the Seven Great Princes Academy for her Primary and JHS education, then further on to Krobo Girls Senior High for her high school education. At University of Ghana, Legon, she had her first degree. Graduating with a combined certification in French and Political Science.
It was during her time at Legon that the idea of becoming a beauty queen reached its zenith that only by contesting, could she be able to live with herself. For nearly 13 weeks, together with other fellow contestants they went through an intensive journey of rediscovery and grooming to the end that they might stand out as queens of Malaika.
At the end of the 13 weeks, Miss Brown emerged the crowned queen for the 2016 edition of Miss Malaika beauty pageant organised by Charterhouse LIVE at the National Theatre.
When asked how the status as queen of Miss Malaika has changed her life? She said:
It has brought me a lot of opportunities. I had the opportunity to represent Ghana in an international pageant in Albania. Even though it had no affiliation with the Miss Malaika brand, I was noticed out of that platform.
The event that Miss Brown alludes to is the Miss Globe beauty pageant held in the Albanian Capital, Tirana where she was voted the second most beautiful African queen. Critics say she “consciously projected the Ghanaian culture at the pageant by rocking beautiful Kente costumes and other indigenous apparel during the highly competitive photo shoot sessions”.
Even though she admits the experience came with doses of responsibilities, she has stood strong in her endeavours. This is what she has to say about being crowned a beauty queen:
It was a beautiful experience yet came with a lot of responsibilities, because I wasn’t my own person anymore. I represented a brand and had expectations I had to meet as the reigning queen.
What are some of the projects you embarked on as queen of Miss Malaika?
I managed to refurbish a school’s library and also paid the fees of about 150 needy students. On the whole, I will say my project was very fruitful and will give myself 9 on a scale of 1-10.
All this happened while she was still in her final in year at Legon. She said the exposure on campus after she was crowned was equally enormous as she got more invitations to grace campus events both in Legon and outside. She says:
It was a big change because now I was noticed in class anytime I entered. A lot of people were receptive and would walk up to me to congratulate me even weeks after.
When asked whether any lecture gave her a tough time as a result of her new status as Miss Malaika beauty queen, she said she did not get any pressure from her lectures. If anything, I think almost all of them would be proud to have her in their class.
Leah Brown says her biggest inspiration has been her mother.
She raised us as a single mother and I saw how she had to juggle work with taking care of us
And as her model, she prays earnestly to be as strong as she is and be able to apply the qualities which she admired so much in her mother while growing up.
Now as the former queen of Miss Malaika, Leah Brown is still making meaningful impact in Ghana with her Brown Ushering and Grooming Hub (BUGH). An ushering agency and grooming hub dedicated to provide ushering services and event promotion for companies in Ghana. The agency also mentors and groom young ladies who have the dream of going into pageantry and modelling.
Leah Brown believes that by sharing with the world her experience on Miss Malaika and channelling it into training other young ladies, she will be empowering them to stand bold in society and in life. Commenting on the idea behind the agency, she says:
Browns Ushering and Grooming Hub was set up a while ago when I decided to venture into entrepreneurship. I have had keen interest in events and used to usher back in university so I decided to set up an agency that will provide ushers and hostesses for events and also considering my experiences as Malaika queen. Beforehand, I didn’t really have anyone to coach or groom me, I had to learn things on my own and catch up quickly, I probably wouldn’t have won if I hadn’t. And so I saw the need to also add the Grooming aspect where we help ladies interested in pageantry with basic mannerisms and tips in handling public platforms on the whole.
This beauty queen has undoubtedly distinguished herself as a game changer and pace setter. She is a role model to many and will be changing the lives of countless others who will be inspired by her story henceforth.
Her message to all Ghanaian youths out there who are striving toward the limelight is that:
Once you’re determined to make a mark, giving up shouldn’t be an option. Learn from the mistakes fast and make a message out of it.