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Adut Akech walks the runway during the Valentino Fall/Winter 2019-2020 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on July 03, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Peter White/Getty Images)

'I Feel Like My Entire Race Has Been Disrespected'—Model Adut Akech Responds to Image Blunder in Australian Magazine

"I feel as though this would've not have happened to a white model," said the South Sudanese-Australian model after an image of another model was published alongside her interview in Who magazine.

South Sudanese-Australian model Adut Akech has expressed rightful disappointment after a major publication published a story of her with an image of a different model.

"I feel as though this would've not have happened to a white model," said Akech in a statement shared on Instagram after a photo of fellow model Flavia Lazarus, was published alongside an interview with Akech in Australia's Who magazine. She stated that she felt "angry" and "disrespected" by the blunder. "Not only do I personally feel insulted and disrespected, but I feel like my entire race has been disrespected," she wrote.


The public relations agency responsible for the mixup has apologized, OPR, apologized for the mistake on Monday. "The error was administrative and unintentional and we sincerely apologise for this mistake and any upset it has caused to the models involved, and our client the City of Melbourne," OPR said in a statement shared on Melbourne Fashion Weeks Instagram page. Akech is an ambassador for Melbourne Fashion Week.

Melbourne's Lord Mayor Sally Capp met with the model on Monday to discuss the incident, according to Australia's ABC Adelaide newspaper. OPR is employed by the council.

"I want to say how frustrated and deeply disappointed we are at the @cityofmelbourne regarding what's occurred with our incredible @melbfashionweek ambassador Adut Akech and MFW model Flavia Lazarus," she stated in response to the incident. "Adut is right, we need to do better."

The occurence undermines much of what Akech—who spent part of her childhood as a refugee in Kenya—discussed in the interview. She discussed both race and the treatment of refugees in the article, according to ABC Adelaide.

The incident, once again, highlights racial biases amongst white people, who often see black people as homogenous, despite obvious dissimilarities in appearance. For black people and other people of color, this is a common occurrence in workplaces and classrooms, something which Akech echoed in her statement.

"Whoever did this clearly thought that was me in that picture and that's not OK," she wrote. "By this happening I feel like it defeated the purpose of what I stand for and spoke about. It goes to show that people are very ignorant and narrow-minded that they think every black girl or African people looks the same. I'm sure that I'm not the first person that's experienced this and it needs to stop."

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Photo by Lana Haroun

From #FeesMustFall to #BlueforSudan: OkayAfrica's Guide to a Decade of African Hashtag Activism

The 2010s saw protest movements across the continent embrace social media in their quest to make change.

The Internet and its persistent, attention-seeking child, Social Media has changed the way we live, think and interact on a daily basis. But as this decade comes to a close, we want to highlight the ways in which people have merged digital technology, social media and ingenuity to fight for change using one of the world's newest and most potent devices—the hashtag.

What used to simply be the "pound sign," the beginning of a tic-tac-toe game or what you'd have to enter when interacting with an automated telephone service, the hashtag has become a vital aspect of the digital sphere operating with both form and function. What began in 2007 as a metadata tag used to categorize and group content on social media, the term 'hashtag' has now grown to refer to memes (#GeraraHere), movements (#AmINext), events (#InsertFriendsWeddingHere) and is often used in everyday conversation ("That situation was hashtag awkward").

The power of the hashtag in the mobility of people and ideas truly came to light during the #ArabSpring, which began one year into the new decade. As Tunisia kicked off a revolution against oppressive regimes that spread throughout North Africa and the Middle East, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook played a crucial role in the development and progress of the movements. The hashtag, however, helped for activists, journalists and supporters of causes. It not only helped to source information quickly, but it also acted as a way to create a motto, a war cry, that could spread farther and faster than protestors own voices and faster than a broadcasted news cycle. As The Guardian wrote in 2016, "At times during 2011, the term Arab Spring became interchangeable with 'Twitter uprising' or 'Facebook revolution,' as global media tried to make sense of what was going on."

From there, the hashtag grew to be omnipresent in modern society. It has given us global news, as well as strong comedic relief and continues to play a crucial role in our lives. As the decade comes to a close, here are some of the most impactful hashtags from Africans and for Africans that used the medium well.

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Convener of "#Revolution Now" Omoyele Sowore speaks during his arraignment for charges against the government at the Federal High Court in Abuja, on September 30, 2019. (Photo by KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty Images)

Nigerian Activist, Omoyele Sowore, Re-Arrested Just Hours After Being Released on Bail

Sowore, the organizer of Nigeria's #RevolutionNow protests, was detained by armed officers, once again, in court on Friday.

Omoyele Sowore, the Nigerian human rights activist and former presidential candidate who has spent over four months in jail under dubious charges, was re-arrested today in Lagos while appearing in court.

The journalist and founder of New York-based publication Sahara Reporters, had been released on bail the day before. He was arrested following his organization of nationwide #RevolutionNow protests in August. Since then, Sowore has remained in custody on what are said to be trumped-up charges, including treason, money laundering and stalking the president.

He appeared in court once again on Friday after being released on bail in federal court the previous day. During his appearance, Sowore was again taken into custody by Nigerian authorities.

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14 Cultural Events You Can't Miss this December in South Africa

OkayAfrica's guide to must-see events during South Africa's festive season.

South Africans will tell you that December is not just a month, it's an entire lifestyle. From beginning to end, it's about being immersed in a ton of activity with friends and family as well as any new folk you meet along the way. Whether you're looking to turn up to some good music or watch some provocative theater, our guide to just 14 cultural events happening in South Africa this December, has something for everyone.

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Screenshot from the upcoming film Warriors of a Beautiful Game

In Conversation: Pelé's Daughter is Making a Documentary About Women's Soccer Around the World

In this exclusive interview, Kely Nascimento-DeLuca shares the story behind filming Warriors of a Beautiful Game in Tanzania, Brazil and other countries.

It may surprise you to know that women's soccer was illegal in Brazil until 1981. And in the UK until 1971. And in Germany until 1970. You may have read that Sudan made its first-ever women's league earlier this year. Whatever the case, women and soccer have always had a rocky relationship.

It wasn't what women wanted. It certainly wasn't what they needed. However, society had its own ideas and placed obstacle after obstacle in front of women to keep ladies from playing the game. Just this year the US national team has shown the world that women can be international champions in the sport and not get paid fairly compared to their male counterparts who lose.

Kely Nascimento-DeLuca is looking to change that. As the daughter of international soccer legend Pelé, she is no stranger to the game. Growing up surrounded by the sport, she was actually unaware of the experiences women around the world were having with it. It was only recently that she discovered the hardships around women in soccer and how much it mirrored women's rights more generally.

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