Miss Earth Ghana Amabel Esinam Klutse has not received her prize package from First Royal, organiser of the event, one full year after she won the contest in July 2013.
Interestingly, officials of First Royal have told NEWS-ONE they do not owe her a dime or an apology.
The organisers, prior to the contest, had announced that the winner would be given a mouth-watering prize package including an official car, a cash amount of GH¢5,000, another GH¢5,000 worth of products from sponsors and official wardrobe. However, these promises have not been fulfilled. The winner, they also said, would represent Ghana at the Miss Earth International pageant.
“I was supposed to receive a brand new car, GH¢5000 cash and GH¢5000 sponsored products. I’ve got none of that. They gave me a used car which was meant to be a project car for barely two months and they took it back with the excuse of fixing it because it got faulty. I asked them why they were not giving me the prizes; they kept telling me to relax for them. They always give me fake promises like ‘You’re getting your car next week’ then that week comes and they get another story to postpone again,” Amabel told NEWS-ONE.
Amabel, 22, and a graduate of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, said the only thing the organisers did was to make her represent Ghana at the international event of Miss Earth.
According to her, she had to put her official project on hold because there was no money allocated to finance her movement.
“Well, I was using cabs. That’s how bad it was. At some point, I put my original project on hold because of the issues with the organisation. There was no car to move around and no money for other alternatives either. But I’m still pursuing environmental awareness my own way since that was the main motive for the pageant,” she added.
First Royal has however downplayed the claims and given an explanation.
Evelyn Akoto, an official of First Royal explained that the company had informed all the contestants from the beginning of the pageant that their prizes would be based on what the company can raise through sponsorship deals.
She explained: “Everything that we do for events like Miss Earth or beauty pageants is always and all the time based on sponsorship. Even for prizes, it is sponsorship. So when a sponsor gives you the prizes then you in turn give to the person (winners). For us, in our case, some of the prizes that we had are sponsorship-wise.
“So we made sure that we signed with the girls, so that they will know that based on sponsorship this or that will be released to them, based on sponsorship this will be done for you. And we never promised Amabel or anybody a brand new car because we didn’t know what will be given to us by the sponsor. I have evidence of whatever we do here. It is an official car and an official car is an official car.”
Evelyn Akoto said Universal Motors gave Amabel an official car they were previously using for their Go To School Project. But after Amabel used it for a while it broke down and they took it back to Universal Motors to fix it but Amabel refused to use the car again.
Evelyn Akoto also explained the unpaid cash prize, saying: “We agreed with her that since she was never available for us to go seeking sponsorship and everything, we agreed with her that we use her prize money to buy her ticket to represent Ghana at the international event.
“We provided her wardrobe and everything she needed to aid her at the international event.”
She said First Royal took it upon itself to get a production house to take Amabel to locations and record it and also did other things to push her to the international event.