|In 1997, 20-year-old Benita Sena Okity-Duah then a student beat 19 other beautiful contestants to take the Miss Ghana crown and last Friday at age 35, the former beauty queen beat six candidates to take a seat in Ghana’s next Parliament.
She polled 52,554 votes beating the next candidate by a 10,516 margin. Benita, the firstever Miss Ghana beauty queen to enter Parliament, started her journey to Parliament House when earlier this year, she resigned as the Ledzokuku National Democratic Congress(NDC) Women’s Organiser to contest the primaries.
She defeated the incumbent MP, Nii Nortey Dua who also doubles as the Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports to pick the ticket to represent the ruling NDC for the Ledzokuku constituency in the Greater Accra region at the just ended general elections.
When Benita was crowned Miss Ghana, she had just completed Achimota School and soon after her reign, she left for the UK to study.
“I studied fashion for four years at the London College of Fashion. The first year, I did an access to fashion programme and a three-year degree programme in fashion designing and technology,” she told Showbiz in 2007 during Ghana’s golden jubilee.
Benita returned to Ghana in 2003 and has since carved a niche for herself in Ghana fashion circles. “In school, most of the things we learnt were based on theory. I needed to have a feel of the real thing so I learnt from my mother who is into fashion.
“My first major assignment was to make clothes for contestants of the 2004 Model of The Universe competition. I did evening wear for all the 26 contestants who were from all over the world.”
Benita does the designing and the cutting and supervises her workers. Although she is attached to her mother’s outfit, she has separate workers and her own clientele. The former beauty queen tied the nuptial knot with Steve Okity-Duah the man she describes as “wonderful” in 2007.
Talking about her victory, Benita told Showbiz on Wednesday that she had been humbled by the love shown her by the people of the Ledzokuku constituency. “ I am really humbled. The people have shown me so much love that all I can say right now is a big ‘thank you’ to all of them. With the mandate given me, I will work hard with government to make sure we fulfil our promises.
“ I keep saying I am humbled because it hasn’t been an easy road. I had to work very hard. I mean put in double effort. My opponents kept hammering the fact that I am not an indigene of the place. It was their major campaign tool but I had to go round assuring the people that it is not about where one comes from but what one can do for them and I believe they saw reason in that and voted for me.
Touching on some of the projects she will embark on as a member of Parliament for her constituency, Benita said the water situation in the area is not 100 percent complete and we will make sure that is improved. Also, with a population of about 250,000 people, there is the need for a central market so that people will stop trekking to other places . It will also boost commercial activities in the area, she said.