The first-ever edition of Verna Mr and Miss Autism Ghana was held at a grand and star-studded ceremony at the Airport View Hotel.
The event that was hosted by the Afi Antonio Foundation was held on Saturday, June 19, 2021, to crown winners and ultimately push for the inclusion of persons living with autism in society. The winners were Yacoba Tete-Marmon and Nana Sakyi Addo-Dankwa for the female and male categories respectively Hon. Abla Dzifa Gomashie (MP for Ketu South) was the guest of honour among other high profile personalities who graced the occasion.
The winners were Yacoba Tete-Marmon for Miss Autism Ghana with Michaela Naa Oboney Ashong and Jemima Ametorwoshi being the first and second runner ups respectively. In he male category, the winner was Nana Sakyi Addo-Dankwa who was followed by Martin Kwasi Ampofo and Raphael Abielekpor in that order. The votes were based on social media reactions which accounted for 60% of the total mark and the rest 40% being that of judge Nana Mensah, CEO of Mr Model Africa. Since the winners are non-verbal, an ambassador was crowned to create awareness about the condition and push for their inclusion in society.
The event was graced by Abla Dzifa Gomashie (Former Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture and current MP for Ketu South), Nana Mensah, CEO of Mr Model Africa, Naa Ashorkor, Sammy Flex, Benedicta Gafah, Luther, DKB, Vincent McCauley, and Mr. Edem Tamakloe.
Other high profile personalities included Ms Edith Pinamang, Country Director of Pumpkins Foundation, Auntie Serwah Quaynor, Founder of Autism Awareness Care and Training Center (AACT), Edem Farrie the MC and Adam Abdul Wahab, Programme Officer of Ghana Federation of Disability Organisation among others.
The founder of the Afi Antonio Foundation expressed her profound gratitude to all sponsors, online blogs and news websites who publicized the event as well as parents of the contestants. The winners took home prizes from the title sponsors Verna Natural Mineral Water and will be brand ambassadors for them for a year, and also received a supreme health package from Sonotech Medical and Diagnostic Center, Fabrics from Woodin, and so much more.