After it was announced on Wednesday evening that she was one of the 45 finalists for the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee, 14-year-old Afua Ansah basked in the spotlight.
In front of the stage, holding her nation’s flag, she politely answered questions from reporters after being crowned as Ghana’s first ever finalist. Afua, a native of the Ghanaian capital of Accra, is experiencing America for the first time, just as the Spelling Bee is experiencing a Ghanaian finalist for the first time.
“It felt incredibly exciting, it was beyond my wildest dreams, to finally make it on my first try,” Afua said. “It has been quite intense because we have been working on the word list for quite some time.”
Joined by friends, coaches and her sponsor, Afua relished the attention as her home nation will be watching and cheering her on.
“I am feeling very proud to be doing this on behalf of my country,” Afua said. “I feel like an ambassador of Ghana so I am proud to carry the flag of my country at the finals.”
What Afua has already been able to accomplish has been against the odds. Ghana has one of the worst female literacy rates in the world at 71.4 percent. Afua’s coach Emmanual Afful hopes that Afua’s success in the Bee is something that can inspire their African nation.
“It is a very proud moment for me and I believe it has happened because of the years of hard work and determination,” Afful said. “I can’t explain how happy I am, but I am very proud.
“The thing I told her is that, ‘Children in America are no different than children around the world,’” he continued. “The only difference is we are poorer at reading and writing. And so I posed a challenge to her to read, study, ask question and be curious and you’ll be there and that is exactly what happened.”
After nearly acing her written exam on Tuesday, Afua easily spelled “hauberk” and “senescent” on Wednesday. She was one of 177 to spell both words correctly Wednesday, but based on examination of spellers on Tuesday, she earned the second-highest score going into Wednesday.
“I’ve already seen them, they are familiar words to me,” Afua said of senescent and hauberk.
Afua, and the other 44 finalists, will take the stage at 10 a.m. Eastern, or 2 p.m. Ghana Time, on Thursday. The beginning of the finals will be televised on ESPN2 and continued at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Afua said when she returns the Ghana, she looks forward to sharing the experience with her friends and family.
During her time in Washington, Afua said she has gotten to visit a number of monuments and the Smithsonian Zoo. Another thing that awed Afua was the Capital Wheel; a large Ferris wheel along the Potomac, just outside the Spelling Bee’s hotel.
“We don’t have those in Ghana,” she said. “We tried it and it was awesome.”
It was an experience that needed the help of sponsors, and Afua said she’s appreciative to them.
“In Ghana doesn’t have much of sponsorship as it does here, so people don’t consider it so much so making it here is a big thing already,” Afua said. “I have gotten some calls from my country, we see you here, we see you on the website.”
One thing Afua has in common with many other spellers is her love of music. Afua said her favorite artists are Adele, Beyonce and Taylor Swift. According to a survey of spellers, Taylor Swift and Adele are the two most popular artists among spellers.
Monkeypox Spreads To Two More Countries After Cases Double In UK
As the global outbreak of monkeypox continues, two more countries have confirmed cases.
Previous cases outside of Africa have been confirmed in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Spain, Italy, and elsewhere in recent weeks.
While the UK Health Security Agency announced that the number of cases in the country has risen to 20, Germany and Belgium have both confirmed the presence of the smallpox-like disease.
The medical service of Germany’s armed forces confirmed finding a single case of the “virus beyond doubt for the first time in Germany on May 19 in a patient with characteristic skin lesions.”
Belgian health officials confirmed two cases of the viral disease.
According to a Flemish broadcaster, both were discovered in men who had attended the same party.
Spanish health officials confirmed 14 new cases earlier today, bringing the total to 21, mostly in and around Madrid.
Another 20 cases are suspected, 19 in Madrid’s central region and one in the Canary Islands.
Italy has also confirmed two new infections, bringing the country’s total to three.
Smallpox vaccine is being offered to UK health workers who have been exposed to the virus.
Namibian School Warns Parents Of ‘Demonic’ Webpage Indoctrinating Children
A Namibian school has issued a warning to parents about a “demonic” website that they claim is indoctrinating children into committing evil acts.
The state-owned Grootfontein Secondary School warned parents in a letter dated 16 May 2022 to be aware of the web pages “Chucky’s Cheese Restaurant” and “FNAF – Five Nights at Freddy” to ensure that their children are not exposed to them.
Mr Botma, the school’s principal, stated that the authorities noticed some of the students acting strangely and out of character.
Botma stated that the children in question were exposed to the Chucky’s Cheese Restaurant website.
The letter read;
16 May 2022
RE: CHUCK’S CHEESE & FNAF
It is with great concern that we bring the following to your attention. We have noticed that some of our learners are acting strangely and out of character.
We learned that some of them came into contact with a terrible webpage called: Chucky’s Cheese Restaurant.
Here children interact with a demonic doll. At first, it is very entertaining and friendly, but after a while, the doll indoctrinates them, dares them and threatens them if they do not do certain things.
Daring them includes: strangle a friend, kill a teacher, burn your house, etc.
Chucky Cheese Restaurant was recently replaced by FNAF- Five Nights at Freddy, which is even worse.
These sites are already active in Namibia.
We urge you to please control what your child is watching on your phone, their own phone, tablets, laptops, etc.
We, as parents, are thinking they are playing an innocent game, but it is NOT. They are dared to even kill.
Please also inform your friends and other family members of this. Please contact our school Counselor with any enquiries or comments. tours faithfully.
Kwaku Bonsam ‘Curses’ President Akufo-Addo, This Is What He Said
Nana Kwaku Bonsam, a celebrity fetish priest, has expressed Ghanaians’ collective frustration with President Nana Akufo-Addo.
According to him, President Akufo-Addo will go to hell for deceiving Ghanaians and failing the people.
Nana Kwaku Bonsam said on Angel FM, where he pronounced the curses, that Akufo-Addo has failed to deliver on his promises to Ghanaians and is thus a sure candidate for Hell.
“You mentioned that we have the money yet are hungry. But now that you’ve joined the government, we’re even more hungry. We can’t afford to live comfortably, and our girlfriends are deserting us because we can’t afford to keep up,” he explained.
“The bible talks about lies, and the President lied, thus he will go to hell,” the fetish priest believes the President’s lies will send him to hell.
Nana Kwaku Bonsam expressed concern that Ghanaians were living in abject poverty, which had been exacerbated by poor governance and economic hardship.
As a result, he has placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of President Akufo-Addo, who he claims has failed to capitalize on the country’s resources in order to push Ghana to become a prosperous nation.
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