Celebrity Journalist CHRIS-VINCENT Writes: Inna Patty & Her Exclusive Events Ghana Issue A ‘DRUNKARD Press Statement’

Four former Beauty Queens of the Miss Ghana Beauty Pageant, currently organised by Inna Patty and her Exclusive Events Ghana company have come out to erect allegations that, Inna Patty and her company exploited them, embezzled funds they raised, verbally and physically abused some of them and even ‘PIMPED’ some of them out to men, in return for sponsorship deals.

The former Queens- Miss Ghana 2010-Stephanie Karikari, Miss Ghana 2015-Antoinette Delali Kemavor, Miss Ghana 2013-Giuseppina Nana Akua Baafi and 2013 Miss Ghana first runner-up shared their horrible experiences with GhanaCelebrities.Com—which have become a national conversation with many calling for further probe and investigation into the matter.

After an extended wait for Inna Patty and Exclusive Events Ghana since Sunday to address the shocking tales the Queens have told, they’ve now issued what without being contemptuous can best be described as a “drunkard press statement”, solely seeking to gag all persons and media houses from talking about the despicable things the Beauty Queens have said they were put through.

It’s interestingly, perhaps even laughable, that Inna Patty and her Exclusive Events Ghana still believe that their “regressive censorship tactic”, which for many years seem to have worked on the young vulnerable women of Miss Ghana not to make public their concerns would work on the wider Ghanaian society.

Clause 56 of a Miss Ghana contract, published by GhanaCelebrities.Com, prohibits winners of the Beauty Pageant from expressing their concerns to any third party, including the media directly or indirectly. And for many years, this censorship clothed in confidentiality seems to have worked. Now, the entire world has been asked to shut up in relation to what are not only serious allegations but also may bother on criminality.

Ironically, a Beauty Pageant that for many years seem to struggle to honour prizes won by contestants and is said to exploit contestants to raise unfeasible large sums of money from corporate Ghana is suddenly well placed financially, to hire the ‘expensive services’ of one of the foremost law firms in Ghana, Akufo-Addo, Prempeh & Co.

As reasonable persons who have been appalled by the stories of the former Beauty Queens push for further investigation into the activities of Inna Patty and her family-owned business, Exclusive Events Ghana, we’ve decided to provide those who’ve not probably heard it all a roadmap to the conversation so far.

Inna Patty, the current owner of Miss Ghana’s franchise holding company, Exclusive Events Ghana looked into the eyes of Stephanie Karikari, Miss Ghana 2010 in public and said she was too ugly and therefore unfit to be on the same billboard with the then Miss World, Stephanie Karikari has recounted the soul-crushing incident to GhanaCelebrities.Com.

It wasn’t just words; Inna Patty actually made sure it happened.

For the first time, we’ve heard Antoinette Delali Kemavor narrate how Inna Patty told her expressly to be “SWEET” and “ACCEPTABLE” of whatever a man they were seeking sponsorship from would demand of her—and that was immediately before she took her to have a late night dinner at this man’s residence in Nungua, Accra.

At the dinner, when Antoinette Delali Kemavor seemed to be getting on well with the man, Inna Patty was said to be happy. And when Delali Kemavor stated that she was tired and therefore wanted to know when they would leave, she said; the man told her, he thought “she was sleeping over.”

Delali Kemavor honestly believes that the conversation Inna Patty had with her immediately before the dinner and the man stating that he thought she was sleeping over only points to the fact that, Inna had probably arranged with the man that she would spend the night at his place unknown to her.

It wasn’t just Delali Kemavor who said she was asked by Inna Patty, a woman supposed to protect these young Queens to be sweet to men. Stephanie Karikari also said that, to the best of her knowledge based on what she has heard from the other Queens, Inna would ask them to visit successful businessmen to seek for a sponsorship deal for Miss Ghana—adding that, they should be “nice to the man” to obtain the money.

“The Inna Patty I know wouldn’t explicitly tell any of the Miss Ghana winners to go and have sex with a man for money but she will subtly make you aware that this is what you have to do,” one of the three Beauty Queens said.

According to the four Beauty Queens, they were asked via a contract they signed after winning the competition to raise 10,000 GHS each month for Exclusive Events Ghana and Inna said how they obtained that money was not her problem. But she would mostly send them out to offices of men to ask for monies.

When one of the Queens asked how she was going to raise that much money each month, Inna Patty told her she is a woman and she is doing it, so she should also be able to do it as a woman—she exclusively told GhanaCelebrities.Com.

‘Why would any Ghanaian businessman give you 10,000 GHS each month for 12 months for even two months? Yet, Inna expected that I obtain this for her. When I challenged her offer to give me 30% of whatever money raised and she taking 70%, she unwillingly accepted that she would take 30% and I would take the 70% as I had to go out there and find this money,’ Stephanie Karikari said.

Asked about what the money was to be used for, all the Queens said the money went straight to Inna Patty under the disguise that it would be used for their Miss Ghana projects.

Apart from their monthly unfeasible duty to raise 10,000 GHS, Delali Kemavor spoke about how Inna asked her to raise an extra 10,000 dollars to pay for her Miss World registration fee, despite she finding out from other African contestants that the fee was actually 5,000 dollars.

In any case, why must a winner of Miss Ghana be the one to go about asking mostly men for 10,000 dollars to pay for her registration fee for Miss World? Delali Kemavor said; ‘I struggled to raise this amount and I only was able to obtain 5,000 dollars from a politician [name withheld]. No one was ready to just hand out 10,000 dollars to me for nothing.’ But Inna pressured her to make it happen.

For Giuseppina Nana Akua Baafi, Inna Patty is a complete fraud who did not only take advantage of her innocence but actually embezzled the monies she was able to solicit from corporate Ghana.

Giuseppina said she was actually the best fundraiser of her time. And that she was asked to bring in 10,000 GHS a month, just like other Queens. She was told the funds raised would be used for a project in Northern Ghana but after bringing in the cash, Inna would give her 1000 GHS and take the rest—and the project was never built.

Baafi further told GhanaCelebrities.Com that, Inna Patty asked her to pay 10,000 euros as a registration fee for Miss World. She then told Inna she would rather stay in Ghana than to go out there begging for such a cash from anyone.

According to Baafi, Inna called her at odd hours, as late as 11pm to attend strange meetings which she always declined–this contributed to the breakdown of whatever working relationship they initially had.

Unlike Stephanie Karikari who was able to compel Inna Patty to agree to a 70-30 share of whatever money she was to bring in a month, Baafi had a 20-80 percentage share with Inna–and even that, she said Inna always dishonoured their agreements.

Why funds raised from corporate Ghana for the Miss Ghana Foundation or its projects were being shared this way, with Inna Patty taking almost all and not putting received funds towards projects as mentioned by the former Beauty Queens indicates the deep rot the organisation dwells in, made possible by the obvious lack of accountability and external supervision.

Giuseppina Nana Akua Baafi captured it as; Miss Ghana is a family business, and that’s the problem. In fact, Inna once told me that every member of her family is a director of the company that owns the franchise. All they seek is to make profits, by coercing winners into engaging in unpleasant funds solicitation by whatever way possible.

On Miss World, the three Queens all stated emphatically that Inna Patty incessantly threatened that if they expressed any concerns publicly or disobeyed her orders irrespective of the orders were, she would do all within her means to make it impossible for them to attend the world event.

In the case of Baafi, she seized her passport which contained a visa for Miss World for 3 months, making it impossible for her to attend. She only got back her passport after several reports to the police that Inna was keeping her passport without her consent, she told GhanaCelebrities.Com.

Perhaps it was good that Miss Baafi did not attend the Miss World competition, because Miss Karikari said, describing her Miss World experience under Inna Patty and Exclusive Events Ghana as appalling is generous–it was the worst experience of her life.

Miss Karikari recollected how Inna Patty bought for her £1 earrings to wear for the big competition from Primark—a vivid indication that she didn’t really care about her outlook when other Queens from other countries were properly and glamorously styled.

Beyond the shared repugnant experiences of these Miss Ghana Beauty Queens, every reasonable person in Ghana would agree that, asking young vulnerable women to move from one office to another begging for 10,000 dollars or 10,000 GHS each month in a country where “men at the top” are extensively sexually exploitative clearly suggests one thing—which is, money has always been placed ahead of the interest of these young girls by those requiring them to do so.

Margaret Kuma-Mintah, 2013 Miss Ghana first runner-up resigned from her post just 2 weeks after winning the enviable position, as second to the ultimate winner, Giuseppina Baafi.

Why would a young woman work hard, jump hurdles and go through many weeks of self-funding to emerge as first runner-up of a beauty pageant she willingly signed up for—if not for finding out that she had been duped?

Following the explosive conversations with three former Miss Ghana Beaty Queens, Miss Ghana 2010-Stephanie Karikari, Miss Ghana 2015-Antoinette Delali Kemavor and Miss Ghana 2013-Giuseppina Nana Akua Baafi who all spoke about the different layers of exploitation, verbal and sometimes physical abuses and the sort of s*xual baits they were used for by Inna Patty– Margaret Kuma-Mintah has also spoken up and her story is equally shocking.

For Margaret Kuma-Mintah, when she realized the true exploitative nature of Miss Ghana spearheaded by Inna Patty, which though was a great disappointment to her, she resigned to the shock of many Ghanaians.

In an about 30 minutes’ conversation with GhanaCelebrities.Com, Margaret mentioned that she was turned into a perpetual beggar together with the other girls—whose sole jobs as winners of Miss Ghana was to move from one office to another, soliciting for funds for Inna Patty and her Exclusive Events Ghana.

According to Margaret, they were not even given a driver. So she had to always drive the Queen- Giuseppina Baafi and second runner-up around, Selorm Amudzi—therefore doubling as a driver, which made her always exhausted.

It wasn’t just the driving that pushed her to resign; she said she soon realized the Miss Ghana she saw from afar, marinated in valuable projects and experiences was a complete opposite of the somewhat fraud she got into.

Margaret recounted that, even before the grand finale, all the 20 contestants were asked to raised funds to make a donation to Korle-Bu’s maternity ward. She raised 6,000 GHS out of the 10,000 GHS target was given, her other friend (contestant) raised the whole 10,000 GHS and even though she cannot remember how much the others raised, they also raised something.

Yet, Inna Patty failed to make the said donation—claiming the money raised was not enough and therefore she was going to deposit the money into a Miss Ghana bank account. Inna Patty is said to have told the girls that after the final event, they would make the said donation—and Margaret says, this never happened and she does not know what Inna did with the monies they raised.

To get the contestants to bring in as much money as possible, Margaret Kuma-Mintah told GhanaCelebrities.Com that, Inna Patty instituted that, the two highest fundraisers automatically secured a position into the top 10 of the competition.

For Margaret, she was alarmed when the second runner-up and herself were asked to go out there to beg for money from corporate Ghana to be used to buy their own crowns—something Miss Ghana organisers should have easily provided themselves. Of course, they were told there was no money for that and they had to bring in money for that.

Even as these young vulnerable women jumped from one office to another, soliciting for funds for Inna Patty and her Miss Ghana organisation, they were not given any fuel money. They were asked to use their own monies for these rounds.

Speaking about the prize monies, Margaret said though they were told of the prize money, eventually when they won, they were told they wouldn’t give them the entire cash. But it would be divided into pieces, to be used to pay them each month for coming to work at the Miss Ghana office. Her prize of 2000 GHS, was to be paid to her in monthly instalments of 160 GHS a month. And since she resigned two weeks after her win, she didn’t even get a penny.

On the issue of Miss Ghana’s unfair contract which GhanaCelebrities.Com has published several pages, Margaret confirmed what the others have already said—saying, Inna Patty read the contract to them in a room and asked them to sign the contract instantly. And that, if you didn’t want to sign there and then, you would have to leave the competition. So there was no room for a second opinion or legal representation.

What’s more troubling is the fact that three young vulnerable women were camped in a Miss Ghana house in Accra, without any Security–despite Inna Patty initially promising one.

Margaret says, in the face of all the garbage and exploitation Miss Ghana was serving them, they were required to defer their studies for a year to come and work in the Miss Ghana office. And working in the Miss Ghana Office just entailed, visiting people, mostly men in their offices to seek for money at all cost.

It does not matter how many years this has been done in Ghana. It’s unacceptable, perhaps intentional, to demand that girls as young as 18 years raise huge funds which are never used for even the intended purposes—in an environment that guarantees sexual harassment.

Personally, I do not find the signing of two contracts with different detailing innocuous. The Beauty Queens said, at the beginning of the competition at the stage of the first 20 contestants, they are always made to a sign a first contract which contains the duties of an eventual winner. Once you become a winner, you sign a second contract—which requires you to raise huge sums by whatever means for shame projects and also to cater for your own expenses to Miss World, the ultimate destination.

If a young woman is made aware from the onset that, she would have to bring in 10,000 GHS each month, and fully fund her trip to Miss World including paying for her own costume and flight, which sane person would bother with Miss Ghana? I believe it’s this fact that the organisers seek to circumvent by keeping that information away from the young girls in an unfair after-win contract.

I also found it weird, albeit laughable that, Inna would make deductions from the prize money a Beauty Queen has won when the Queen does not do exactly what she wants—to the extent that the deductions would be more than the existing credit and the Queen would end up owing Inna Patty money as it happened to Giuseppina Nana Akua Baafi. Why must a prize someone has already won, be subjected to further conditions and deductions which she was not made aware of as part of the rules of engagement?

If you have 3, 4 or 5 former Beauty Queens all speaking unpleasant of an individual or an organisation that accorded them such honour, then the plausible position is, all these women cannot be the problem, rather, that one person or organisation which is “a constant variable” in the equation.

In the wake of the allegations, GhanaCelebrities.Com decided to look at a copy of the Miss Ghana Contract, a document which until now has been a secret weapon of the organisers. The contract is the one signed in 2015 and shockingly, it shows everything that’s wrong with the beauty pageant.

A reasonable reading of the Contract and Code of Conduct show clearly the existing imbalance of power and gross unfairness of the two documents, to the disadvantage of the Beauty Queens.

Clause 4 of the Code of Conduct demands, as reported that, the winners of Miss Ghana raise 10,000 GHS per month, a total of 120, 000 GHS per annum.

Clause 8.3 of the Contract states that the Beauty Queens shall be fined and have to pay 100 GHS anytime they are late for an event. And if they fail to show up at all, they would be stripped off.

Interestingly, the Contract prohibits the winners of Miss Ghana from holding the organizers liable for any prize package promised and not honoured or delivered by a sponsor. This means, if the organizers of Miss Ghana promises to give a winner 100,000 GHS or a car based on a promise from a sponsor, the winner cannot sue them to claim this money or item if it’s not honoured.

And since almost all the prize packages are from sponsors; you can hypothetically be left with just a valueless crown on your head as a winner—without any cause of action, even if you were promised millions of things at the beginning of the competition.

Also, the Contract demands that winners of Miss Ghana maintain a body size of 6 to 10 (UK size)—and the Beauty Queens are prohibited by Contract to speak to any media person or house directly or directly. This explains why these young vulnerable women are never able to speak out even when they are abused, exploited and mistreated.

Considering the terms of the Miss Ghana Contract as sighted (below) and also the fact that Giuseppina Baafi, Miss Ghana 2013, claims she was stripped of her title because she failed to sign a contract without her lawyer first looking at it, one can say, the scheme’s organizers intentionally set off to manipulate the winners on the back of unfair contract terms.

***

The writer Chris-Vincent Agyapong Febiri is the Founding Editor of GhanaCelebrities.Com, a Film Critic and a Human Rights Advocate; he holds 2 masters degrees in Law; International Human Rights Law (LL.M) and Legal Practice Course (LL.M) from University of Leicester and Nottingham Law School–and also a degree in Law (LL.B) from University of East London.

He’s a Professional Truth Sayer.

He is the author of the popular eBook “Success is a Right, Not A Privilege.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *