2016 Spelling Bee national winner, Afua Ansah Manukure has made the top 45 finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in the USA. The finalists were announced on Wednesday evening that, making the 14-year-old student from Ridge Church School the first Ghanaian to achieve that feat.
Afua, who is experiencing America for the first time described the announcement as a finalist as incredibly exciting and beyond her wildest dreams because she finally made it on her first try.
Standing in front of the stage, holding her Ghana flag told reporters after being crowned as Ghana’s first ever finalist that: “It has been quite intense because we have been working on the word list for quite some time.”
Afua is joined in the US by friends, coaches and her sponsor but she believes her home nation will be watching and cheering her on. “I am feeling very proud to be doing this on behalf of my country. I feel like an ambassador of Ghana so I am proud to carry the flag of my country at the finals,” she said.
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 but based on examination of spellers on Tuesday, she earned the second-highest score going into Wednesday.
Afua’s coach Emmanual Afful hopes that Afua’s success in the Bee is something that can inspire their African nation.
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.