The winner of the 2018 Ghana's Most Beautiful (GMB), Naomi Abena Obeng has kick-started a nationwide awareness creation tour on HIV/ AIDS in selected tertiary and senior high schools.
In collaboration with the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC), Ghana's Most Beautiful began her tour last Friday at the New Juabeng Senior High School to educate the students on the need to focus on their studies and abstain from sex.
The reigning GMB queen in an interview with Times Weekend (TW) stated that her outfit, The Obaa Nao Foundation, together with the Ghana AIDS Commission had carried out a lot of activities to help reduce stigma and discrimination and urged the media to support her outfit to reduce it further, to enable the country achieve success in ending HIV by 2030.
"This issue of stigma and discrimination keep eroding any successes that Ghana was making in the fight against HIV, especially among key population and hence we need to ensure that it stops, to reduce the high defaulting rate and associated deaths," she added.
She further mentioned interventions including intensifying public campaigns on the disease, particularly on the popular Abstinence, Be Faithful and Condom Use (ABC), school engagements, adherence to treatment to suppress the virus among others to achieve the global agenda.
Times Weekendcaught up with her to throw more light on her project and also her journey to the top.
TW: Can you throw more light on your HIV and AIDS awareness initiative?
Noami: This project I am embarking on is part of my duties as the reigning GMB and I love everything about it. The students I am interacting with are fun to be with and I am very glad I am making a positive impact in their lives. We will continue with this tour till we cover a good number of schools. I have a very strong conviction that this will go a long way in reducing the prevalence rate of the disease and clearing the misconception that HIV and AIDS are death sentence.
TW: I really love the passion with which you are embarking on this laudable initiative. Share with us how this journey to becoming GMB has been so far.
Naomi: It was not easy but I thank God for how far he has brought me. I competed with many other beautiful ladies but I won by the grace of God. Even till date some people think I exchanged sex for the position and it baffles me. It is God and hard work that brought me this far. Despite combining school with the pageant, I came out successful.
TW: That is the best thing to do, do not pay attention to negativity. You are a student of the University of Ghana, what course are you studying?
Naomi: I am offering Bachelor of Science in Administration and I am in my third year.
TW: Wow! How is your amorous relationship with musician Kwami Eugene going?
Naomi: (Laughs) I am not dating Kwami Eugene.
TW: Oh! Please do not lie to me.
Naomi: (smiles), I am serious, Kwame is just a very good friend of mine and nothing more. I am one of his biggest fans.
TW: Okay. What is your source of inspiration?
Naomi: My family, especially my mom. I do not want to ever disappoint her in life. I want her to be forever proud of me.
TW: That is so sweet of you, Mummy's girl!
TW: So Naomi, what is next for you after your GMB project?
Naomi: I want to venture into acting and television presenting.
TW: So what informed your decision to consider that?
Naomi: My passion about it drove me into taking such a decision.
TW: Well, we wish you well in whatever you want to do. Finally, what message do you have for your fans?
Naomi: I love them all and I am very grateful for the support they have been giving me. May God bless them and grant them all they desire. I will also encourage them to be hard working and never lose hope because impossible is nothing. I cannot end without expressing my gratitude to Ghanaian Times as well, thank you very much for the opportunity.
TW: Thank you too for your time.