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This Sudanese-American Student Landed a Major Modeling Contract After This Photo of Her Went Viral

19-year-old Anok Yai's homecoming photo took over social media, landing the young student a lucrative modeling contract.

Anok Yai was just hanging out with some girlfriends during Howard University's homecoming earlier this month, when photographer Steven Hall, approached her for a picture, she obliged. Afterwards, the 19 year-old posted the picture on Instagram, because that's just what you do when someone takes a bomb ass picture of you. Except when Yai posted her photo, it blew up almost immediately. Before posting the picture she had around 300 followers, she now has over 62,000. The viral photo currently has over 35,000 likes.


Once her photo went viral, the Sudanese-American student began hearing from various modeling agencies. She signed with Next Models on Tuesday.

The teen told the Washington Post about how her life completely changed after the picture was posted. She went from attending class on the regular to going on interview after interview with various modeling agencies. It's an extraordinary story, but one that also comes with a lot of pressure to deliver.

"And I was nervous because I had just gone from being a random girl living in New Hampshire to an Instagram-famous model. I wasn't sure if I could handle all the expectations."

Nonetheless, Yai is ready to start a new journey in the spotlight.

When [the Instagram post] got to a couple thousand and it just kept going higher and higher, I was surprised. And I was happy. I always wanted it to happen, but it was something I never expected.

The entire story is only a testament to the power of social media, and of course, melanin. Congrats to the young model!

It's Official: British Vogue Has Made 2022 The Year of the African Model

The major fashion magazine's February 2022 issue features 9 gloriously Black and African models - and we can't get enough.

Sigh... The Black Woman.

Legendary fashion and lifestyle magazine British Vogue has set the tone and welcomed in a new era with their latest cover, celebrating Black women in all of their glory. In what is arguably their most diverse, Afro-centric issue to date, the February 2022 issue of the popular magazine features 9 glorious (and Black) African models. Their latest issue, which celebrates "The Rise of The African Model", features South Sudanese models Adut Akech, Akon Changkou, and Anok Yai, Ethiopian beauty Akway Amar, Senegalese-Italian Dibaa Maty, Nigeria's Jumbo Janet, Nyaguaa from Sierre Leone, Australian Abény Nhial, and American model Majesty Amare.

Photographer Rafael Pavarotti captured the group's beauty, and British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful's vision beautifully. On the cover, Enninful says, "I saw all these incredible models from across Africa who were just so vivacious and smart. These girls are redefining what it is to be a fashion model. He went on to speak about the soon-to-be-historic cover on his Instagram, writing, "No longer just one or two dark-skinned girls mingled backstage, but a host of top models took a meaningful, substantial and equal place among the most successful women working in fashion today. It means so much to me to see it."

Echoing Edward's words and highlighting the importance of having diverse models on both sides - the model and the viewer - model Adut told the fashion magazine, "When I first started modeling internationally... I would literally be the only Black, dark-skinned girl in the show. There were no Sudanese models, no African models," the 22-year-old model said, "Now, I go to a show and there are girls from my country, girls from Africa who look like me. So yes, there has been a huge change. It has gone from me being the only one at a show, to 15 or 20 of us. I'm just so happy that we are finally at this place. I was tired of always feeling out of place, and feeling like an outcast."



Social media lost it when the cover dropped, many sharing the emotional impact seeing so many Black models on an international cover has over them.



News Brief
Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Nigeria's Government Has Lifted Its Twitter Ban

We chat to two Nigerians working in media about the restoration of Twitter across the country.

In the late hours of January 12, 2022, the Nigerian government announced the discontinuation of its Twitter ban seven months after it was placed. According to a statement by the National Information Technology Development Agency, signed by President Buhari, the primary cause for lifting the ban was the social media platform’s agreement to open a local office.

Twitter has been a major tool that young Nigerians have used to air their grievances against their government, and foster communities to seek change. The platform served as a strong force during the #EndSARS protests as a virtual protest point, helping circulate important information that peacefully mobilized protesters and secured the release of detained protesters.

"The voices of young Nigerians are often placed in a box by the ruling class, never to be heard," comments journalist Nasir Ahmed Achile. "But the communities formed on Twitter reinforced the idea of strength in numbers and the understanding that we’re all so alike, facing similar struggles, fighting the same oppression."

It came as a big blow on the 8th of June 2021, when the Nigerian government decided to place a ban on Twitter after the platform deleted a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari, which threatened citizens in the southeast region following destruction of public property.

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Music
(YouTube)

The 5 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Burna Boy, Wizkid, Kofie Mole, Joey B, Imarhan, Rema, and more

Every week, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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