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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!

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Six Things History Will Remember Kenneth Kaunda For

News of Kenneth David Kaunda's passing, at age 97, has reverberated across the globe. Kaunda, affectionately known as KK, was Zambia's first President from 1964 to 1991.

Following Nelson Mandela's passing in December 2013, Kenneth Kaunda became Africa's last standing hero. Now with his passing on Thursday, June 17 — after being admitted to the Maina Soko Military Hospital in Lusaka earlier in the week — this signals the end of Africa's liberation history chapter.

It is tempting to make saints out of the departed. The former Zambian struggle hero did many great things. He was, after all, one of the giants of the continent's struggle against colonialism. Ultimately however, he was a human being. And as with all humans, he lived a complicated and colourful life.

Here are six facts you might not have known about him.

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Music

The 7 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Olamide, Black Motion, Blxckie x Nasty C 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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News Brief

Black Motion Release New Single ‘Xxikiwawa’

Stream Black Motion's new single 'Xxikiwawa'.

South African house music duo Black Motion have finally released their single "Xxikiwawa". Featuring DJ Fortee, Lady Du, Pholoso and DJ Khosto, the song is the duo's first single since the release of their 2020 album The Healers: Last Chapter.

As usual, Lady Du's kwaito-style raps and chants take centre stage as she rhymes about hustling and trusting in the elders to answer our prayers. She ends her verse with a Brenda Fassie interpolation: "Indaba i-straight ayidingi i-ruler."

In trademark Black Motion fashion, the song is built on big drums and prominent percussion panned to give way for vocals but still managing to dominate.

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Interview: Tecla Ciolfi On The Journey To Starting Her Popular Podcast ‘Texx Talks’

South African music journalist Tecla Ciolfi launched her podcast 'Texx Talks' at the height of lockdown in 2020. Since then, it has become one of the most notable music platforms in the country.