Lily Tugbah is 2017 National Spelling Bee champion [Photos]

12-year-old Lily Tugbah has emerged winner of the 2017 edition of the National Spelling Bee Championship.


The JHS 1 student of Solidarity International School in Ashaiman in the Greater Accra Region, beat 197 other spellers from across the country to win the ultimate.


At the grande finale of the competition in Accra on Saturday [February 4, 2017], Lily endured 7 grueling rounds of spelling.img_1481


Gabriella Ellis, 12, of Delhi Public School International and Ewoenam Afetsi, 13, of SOS Hermann Gmeiner emerged first and second runner-ups respectively.


The launch of this year’s competition, the 10th, since the maiden edition, was held under the theme, “Equipping the Ghanaian Students for the world stage.”



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Dignitaries present included the Minister of Education, Matthew Opoku Prempeh; US Ambassador to Ghana, Robert Jackson; and the General Manager for De United Foods Industries Limited, Mahesh Shah.


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The 2016 winner of the competition in Ghana, Efua Ansah, who emerged 49th in the subsequent US edition as well as a delegation from the US Scripps National Spelling Bee competition were also present.

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Lily Tugbaf for her prize, received an all expense paid trip to the US to represent Ghana at the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee.

She also received a GHs10,000 scholarship from Indomie, GHs 10,000 Ecobank Junion Savers account, a trophy, Merriam Webster dictionary, a DSTV decoder, trip to Multichoice Headquarters in South Africa and other prizes from sponsors.


The first and second runner-ups, Gabriella Ellis and Ewoenam Afetsi also received a DSTV decoder, vouchers for Blue Knights bookshop and other assorted items from sponsors.

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The best 10 performing spellers received iLearn tablets, while each of the participating spellers were given certificates of participation of products from sponsors.



Speaking to Citi News,  Lily Tugbah said she was grateful to her family and friends for the support and was looking forward to representing Ghana in the US for the competition there.


She noted that she has in the past participated in the championship but did not succeed, however she was determined to win hence reapplying to enter this year.

The National Spelling Bee competition is being championed in Ghana by the Young Educators Foundation (YEF), an international NGO that seeks to improve the lives of the youth through literacy.

By: Jonas Nyabor/
Follow @jnyabor