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EDUCATION

Ghana’s Spelling Bee Whizkid, Others In Glo-Sponsored African Voices

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The 30-minute magazine programme, African Voices, sponsored by digital telecommunications solutions provider, Globacom, on the Cable News Network (CNN), this week, features Ghana’s Spelling Bee whizkid, Shifa Amankwah-Gabbey, and two other African stars.

Joining the cerebral Ghanaian speller on the programme are Sherrie Silver from Rwanda, who is a dance choreographer, actress, creative director and philanthropist, and Pretty Yende, a soprano singer from Mpumalanga, South Africa.

The 13-year-old Shifa Amankwah-Gabbey, in 2018, emerged winner of the National Spelling Bee competition in Ghana. As a Junior High School student from Nagie’s Angels Educational Centre in Kumasi, she defeated over 150 other spellers from various schools across the country to win the prize. She then represented the country in the 91st Scripps Spelling Bee in the United States of America.

Silver, the Rwandan, who is 24 years old, declares she is on “a mission to educate the world about African cultures through the art of dance”. She is equally the brain behind the American singer Childish Gambino’s popular video, This is America, which has attracted more than 540 million views on YouTube.

At present, the award-winning choreographer is busy driving a social media campaign to promote investments among rural Africa’s young people.

The last of the guests on the programme, Yende, described as a ‘modern fairy-tale’, was born in 1985 in the small town of Piet Retief, Mpumalanga, South Africa. A high-pitched singer, her ascendancy to the top of the opera world is supersonic, having performed leading roles at opera houses internationally including La Scala and the Metropolitan Opera.

She was inspired to learn opera at 16 after seeing a British Airways TV advertisement that made a heavy impression on her young mind. She, thereafter, enrolled at the South African College of Music from which she graduated cum laude. She also attended the Accademia Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy.

 

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