Erica Nego
Erica Nego press conference .jpg
Born1984 (age 37–38)
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
NationalityAmerican United States
Ghanaian Ghana
Other namesYayra Nego
Known for

Erica Yayra Nego (born c. 1984 in Minneapolis, Minnesota) is a beauty queen, model, and businesswoman. Nego was elected Miss Minnesota USA in 2009 and Miss Universe Ghana in 2011,[1] and is also the co-founder of Style & Grace, a Minneapolis-based etiquette academy.[2][3]

Early life

At the age of 12 Nego was signed to Ford Modeling Agency. She is of Ghanaian, German and Persian ancestry.[4]


As Miss Minnesota USA 2009, Nego competed at Miss USA 2009 placing in the top 15 at the competition.[1] She also competed at Miss Universe 2011 in São Paulo, Brazil on September 12, 2011.[5]

In popular culture

The play School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play by Jocelyn Bioh was inspired by the 2011 Miss Universe Ghana competition in which Nego participated, and the controversy around colorism that this contest sparked.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Miss Ghana Universe Website". Archived from the original on 2014-02-22.
  2. ^ "Mind Your Manners: Holiday Etiquette Tips". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  3. ^ "10 THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT ERICA NEGO - SecureNigeria365". SecureNigeria365. 2017-04-07. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  4. ^ "Yayra Nego is Miss Universe Ghana". Modern Ghana. 2011-07-03. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  5. ^ "Sao Paulo, Brazil to Host the 2011 MISS UNIVERSE® Pageant Live on NBC". Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  6. ^ Chris Hewitt (March 13, 2019). "Inspired by Minnesota beauty queen, Jungle Theater's 'School Girls' questions colorism". StarTribune. Retrieved April 15, 2019.