October 11, 2023.
NSMQ 2023 is truly living up to its purpose, as it marks the 30th Anniversary of this CIMG television programme of the year. The event is brimming with excitement, nerve-wracking moments, suspense, and thrilling competitions. The good news is that there are more exciting days to come in this remarkable journey.
Action-packed Prelims: fans jubilating
The programme commenced on October 6, 2023, filled with anticipation and optimism for what the future may bring. Schools that held faith in the power of prayer didn't hesitate to express their beliefs whenever the opportunity arose. A unique aspect of NSMQ 2023 is that it will take place across two regions: KNUST in Kumasi and the National Theatre in Accra. Given the long history of unforgettable moments at various Grand Finales hosted at the National Theatre, it's fitting that the 30th Anniversary Grand Finale will also be held at the National Theatre, a place often referred to as the Theatre of Dreams.
Throughout the three venues at KNUST, namely Kumapley Auditorium, Saarah-Mensah Auditorium, and the KNUST SHS Auditorium, a total of 39 contests were held at each venue to determine the schools that would advance to the One-eighth Stage. These battles were far from easy. They were marked by the participation of inexperienced teams, the unexpected performance of lesser-known schools, and an incredible display of resilience.
Arrival of seeded schools
On the first day of arrivals, fifty-five (55) schools that had qualified from the regionals arrived at the Brunei Complex filled with great anticipation, eager to discover their fate in the competition. Additionally, seven (07) private schools joined the initial 55 on the same day. The following day, another 55 schools arrived to commence the Prelims on October 6, 2023.
Watch out for Motown
Some schools found the competition surprisingly manageable, contrary to their initial belief that the Prelims would be more challenging. Discipline and preparation likely played a significant role in their impressive performance. Notable examples of these schools include T I AMASS, Fomena, who secured an impressive 45 points, outperforming Bolgatanga and Regentropfen. Fijai SHS confidently obtained 40 points against West Africa Senior High and Goka SHTS.
Archbishop Porter Girls were left hanging
Some schools had to wait until the final day of the Prelims to determine their fate. These schools lost their contests honourably, making them potential runners-up for the One-eighth Stage balloting. Notable examples include Archbishop Porter Girls', who impressively earned 36 points, falling just one point short of Obiri Yeboah SHS, who scored 37 points. Notre Dame Girls' SHS had a strong showing with 41 points against two-time champions Achimota School.
full of suspense
Boa Amponsem and OLA Girls SHS, Ho, both secured 23 points each, earning Boa Amponsem a place as a runner-up to the One-eighth stage. These schools fought honorably, and the suspense was intense as they had to wait until the last day of the Prelims for their fate to be decided.
The Davids are lesser-known schools that weren't favoured by NSMQ fans. Despite their limited experience in NSMQ, they managed to surprise many, with some effortlessly progressing to the next stage. For instance, Obiri Yeboah SHS, a newcomer to the National Championship, came fully prepared and outperformed formidable rivals like Archbishop Porter Girls' and Samuel Otoo Presby SHS, both well-known names in the NSMQ.
Kumasi Academy, often overshadowed by five-time champions Prempeh College and two-time champions Opoku Ware School, pulled off a remarkable performance during the Prelims, showcasing their presence this year. Konongo Odumase SHS impressed with 44 points against Asaman Kese SHS and the well-known private school, Sonsrise SHS.
Mpraeso SHS emerged as a true David, achieving a remarkable 60 points against Acherensua SHS and Kintampo SHS, making them the highest scorer on October 8, 2023. The Mmarima Mma, Koforidua Sec. Tech., claimed the title of highest-scoring team at the Prelims with a solid 66 points.
Wesley Girls pose with the Quiz Mistress Mrs. Gladys Odey Schwinger
Achimota School, a two-time champion, has struggled to maintain top form since their last runner-up position in 2009. Nevertheless, with a renewed sense of intensity, discipline, and hard work, they easily outperformed Notre Dame Girls and St. Francis Girls. Motown is making a comeback!
Wesley Girls High School, a possible contender and a favorite among fans to become the first girls' school to win the competition, has consistently put in the effort year after year to meet the expectations placed upon them. They achieved an impressive 52 points, surpassing three-time champions St. Peters SHS, who also qualified as runners-up for the One-eighth stage.
Ashaiman SHS, a David and formidable force in NSMQ 2023, made a remarkable impact during the regionals, scoring the highest with 65 points. They continued their strong performance with 51 points against Mamfe Methodist SHS and Wa SHS.
Aburi Girls' High School, also known as the Royal Beads, demonstrated resilience by overcoming years of early exits in the NSMQ. They secured a resounding 55 points against Tema Methodist SHS and Bongo SHS, earning a spot in the One-eighth stage for the 2023 competition
look out for Ashaiman SHS
Schools to look out for in the One-eighth:
Presbyterian Boys' Secondary School, Legon, a seven-time champion and defending champion, stands as a formidable force in NSMQ 2023. This year also marks the 85th Anniversary of Presec Legon, and they are determined to retain the trophy with unwavering intensity as part of their 85th Anniversary celebrations.
Prempeh College, a five-time champion and last year's first runner-up, has a strong desire to reclaim the victory they nearly secured last year, only to lose it to Presec Legon.
In 2023, there's a heightened interest among gender activists for a girls' school to win the trophy, but it remains a formidable challenge for girls' schools in Ghana due to various obstacles they face in preparation, compared to boys. Nonetheless, Wesley Girls High School is poised to make this dream come true for girls' schools.
Other notable contenders in the One-eighth stage include St. James Seminary, Adisadel College, Osei Kyeretwie SHS, Mpraeso SHS, Mfantsipim School, Bishop Herman, two-time champion Opoku Ware school, and Kumasi Anglican, Ashanti Regional Champions. Stay tuned for an exciting competition!
The 30th Anniversary Edition of the NSMQ is proudly brought to you by the Ghana Education Service in partnership with GOIL and supported by JoyNews, AT, Prudential Life Insurance Ghana, Pepsodent Toothpaste, Beta Malt, GARNET, Coronation Insurance, Academic City University College, Accra College of Medicine, Cowbell, Bel Beverages, GTP, Newmont Ghana, Africa World Airlines, and YFM. This is a Primetime production!