Menaye Donkor is a model / actress, entrepreneur and philanthropist.
Menaye Donkor was born in 1981. She was brought up by her parents in Accra, Ghana, and is the youngest of seven siblings with four brothers and two sisters. At the age of seven Menaye inherited the job title of “Royal Stool Bearer” for her paternal grandmother, who is the Queen mother of Agona Asafo. She graduated with honors in marketing from York University in Toronto, Canada.
In her early twenties she started modelling after winning the “Miss Universe Ghana 2004” pageant and graced the covers of many magazines in Ghana. She also did editorial work for magazines in South Africa, Milan and Canada.
In 2004, soon after the pageant, she established the Menaye Charity Foundation, and took over the running of the Menaye School Of Hope which her parents set up in 2001. Menaye is now solely responsible for raising funds to support the school, which provides quality education to rural under privileged children. So far, over 500 children have been through the school and the facilities are continually expanding.
Through her Charity Foundation, Menaye also supported an orphanage in the eastern region of Ghana, providing medical care for over 600 orphans infected with HIV or AIDS.
In 2006 Menaye met Inter Milan footballer, Sulley Muntari, at the World Cup finals in Germany. They became a couple the following year and she began managing his brand under her management company MENMUN Ltd. In 2010 the pair got married in Accra on Christmas Day.
Her business interests are primarily in property and she runs her own property development company, Zafra ltd, which focuses on renting out and developing properties in Ghana’s capital, Accra. Menaye intends to branch out into the food and entertainment industry.
In September 2012, Menaye was chosen by the Chief and elders of Agona Asafo in the Central Region of Ghana as the ‘Nkosuohemaa’ or ‘Development Queen’ of Agona Asafo with the official stool name Nanahemaa Menaye Afumade Afrakoma I.’
The Menaye Foundation is a charitable organization that supports many different causes. The first is the Menaye School Of Hope, which provides education for children in the local community in a deprived area of Ghana. There are around 300 pupils at the school, who would not otherwise have been able to have an education had it not been for the school.
There is no free education in Ghana, so those children whose parents cannot afford to send them to school must miss out on education and work instead. The Menaye International School selects these children from some of Ghana’s most deprived regions.
Menaye is entirely responsible for the funding of the school, and pays the teachers’ salaries, for the books, IT equipment and general everyday maintenance costs of running the centre. Menaye’s next step will be to raise enough funds to buy a bus to provide transport for the children to and from school.
Menaye also worked closely with two orphanages in Ghana, in Prampram and Somanya, which looks after children infected by AIDS and HIV. Menaye’s charity provides vital medication for these children. Menaye’s charity also generously provides funds for other worthwhile endeavours that are important to Menaye.
Winning Miss Universe Ghana meant a lot to me – it completely changed my life as it gave me the opportunity to do everything I do today, from charity work to travelling to forging an acting career.
When I graduated from university, I was looking for a marketing job in Ghana or Toronto, so my life could have been completely different. Although I have had a successful modeling career, I am glad I got an education first as it’s so important to do so.
Immediately after winning the pageant, I moved to New York and picked up various modeling jobs. I started off modeling for department store launches, and worked hard enough to appear in many reputable magazine in Europe and Africa.
Winning Miss Ghana Universe gave me the platform to launch my charity, which is an important part of my life, and which has improved many other people’s lives too through providing education and medication to hundreds of children in Ghana.
Menaye Donkor attends the Sephora beauty store opening during milan fashion week womenswear autumn/winter 2010.
Miss Ghana Menaye Donkor attends ‘The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus’ Premiere during day 4 of the 4th Rome International Film Festival held at the Auditorium Parco della Musica on October 18, 2009 in Rome, Italy.
Miss Ghana Menaye Donkor attends Capri Hollywood Film Festival Milan dinner party at the old Fashion Cafe, Milan, Italy.