Our December Goddess: Ghyslaine Tchouaga

| December 28, 2011

Speaking Out Against Starvation

When I first met, and later wrote about, Ghyslaine Tchouaga in mid-October she was Miss Cameroon USA. She was a woman who commanded a presence and had a gaze that was captivating. With graceful self-assurance she knew she was bound to win the Miss Africa USA title. So convinced was she in her quest to represent her home country all the way to the top that she left no room for doubt on either side. On the night of November 4, 2011, Ghyslaine Tchouaga would indeed become the fourth reigning queen to represent the African continent here in the United States. She run on a humanitarian platform focused on the eradication of hunger in East Africa. Somalia to be precise.

Ghyslaine Tchouaga is your everyday African woman, down to earth, elegant, and intelligent. Born in Cameroon, she relocated to the United States to further her education and is no stranger to hard work and dedication.  As a nursing student, having a compassionate heart comes naturally with her line of work. She has volunteered for causes such as Teen Circle, an organization whose mission it is to empower girls, and God Saves, an organization which ships and supplies medical supplies to communities and hospitals in Cameroon. She is in the process of having a shipment sent to Cameroon next year.

With a tilt in her accent and a voice so sultrily deep, she is able to draw a person into a conversation. She makes you listen. This is one of the things that will work to her advantage as she advocates for the voiceless many suffering and dying from starvation. As part of her mission, Ghyslaine will travel to Somalia to see first-hand the devastating effects of hunger in Somalia where it is said that a child dies every six minutes (the time it took to construct the first three paragraphs of this feature. By the time it’s done, three children would have died hungry) from starvation. Quite daunting facts when you think about it, but also quite hard to believe from this side of the world where trash bins are full of half-eaten sandwiches and one-hour-past-expiration foods. This is why Ghyslaine believes it is pressing that she sees what the media has been reporting with her very own eyes. 

Before then, she is working tirelessly to raise money for her campaign. She has set up a campaign site called the Call For Rescue In The Horn of Africa where $5000 is up for grabs to the idea with the most votes. She is also busy promoting the fight against hunger by touting the color orange – the official color for the fight against hunger. She is hoping people will soon learn to associate the color orange with hunger the way the color red represents the fight against heart disease and pink represents the fight against cancer.

While many wonder why a woman who run as Miss Cameroon USA is representing a cause that supports another African country, Ghyslaine says that does not bother her very much. She holds a Pan-Africanist view that there is strength in unity and, “the betterment of Africa depends on all of us.” She believes Africans have a greater responsibility to the continent and should be doing more, instead of relying mostly on foreign aid that comes tied with numerous stipulations.

Ghyslaine feels wonderful about winning the Miss Africa USA title. Yet, she is also very much aware that her new journey requires a lot of focus, hard work and personal growth. She is up to the task, however, because the fire that burned in her eyes as Miss Cameroon USA is burning even more now that she has the crown with the additional responsibilities coupled with high expectations. Her heart is in the right place, and so is her passion to make a difference.

The mission of the Miss Africa USA pageant is one that softens the heart of even the most staunchest critic of beauty pageants, because it is focused on humanitarian efforts and character rather than on outward beauty and personal appearances. The humanitarian platforms the contestants represent makes up 20% of judging and there is no swim suit contest. 

To learn more about Miss Africa USA 2011-2012, visit her on Facebook.  To vote for her idea on the Call to Rescue the Horn of Africa, visit, http://fwd.maker.good.is/projects/MissAfricaUSA2011. Voting ends in 5 days on December 14th.

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  1. Aubrey says:

    With all the doggone snow we have gotten recently I am stuck indoors, fortunately there is the internet, thanks for giving me something to do. 🙂

  2. Romeo Chao says:

    I appreciate your post, it is interesting and compelling. I have found my way here through Google, I shall get back once more 🙂