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Top 11 African Female Models To Watch

Here are 11 African female models that need to be on your radar as they make waves in the fashion industry.

Fashion is inextricably linked to its models, and models of color consistently serve as muses for top designers.


We are celebrating the 11 African female models below as they make major waves in the industry.

ICYMI, take a look at our top 12 African male models to know here.

1. Nyadak “Duckie" Thot (Australia/South Sudan)

Height: 5′ 10″

Agencies: New York Model Management, Premium Models (Paris), d'management group (Milan), Storm (London), Chadwick Models (Sydney)

Duckie went from placing third on Australia's Next Top Model to making an international name for herself. She left home and headed to NYC in search of acceptance of diversity and she found it. She's spoken out about her struggles with natural hair in the industry and is very conscious of the fact that she is a representation for girls that look just like her. When Rihanna launched her eponymous makeup line this year, she used this model to portray just how diverse the line was.

The depth of this model's skin jumps out at you. She literally resembles a Barbie doll. It come as no surprise that her career has taken off! She has graced an all-black 2018 Pirelli calendar, was in Rihanna's most recent Paper magazine feature and on its Fall '17 cover, landed a Vogue Australia editorial and Harper's Bazaar Kazakhstan cover, and has ripped the runway for both Yeezy and FentyxPuma. Her list of clients include Helmut Lang, DSquared2, Jeremy Scott, Mansur Gavriel, Moschino, Puma, and Sephora.

2. Adwoa Aboah (Britain/Ghana)

Height: 5′ 8″

Agencies: DNA Models (New York), Viva Paris (Paris), TESS (London), Viva (Barcelona), The Lions (New York/Los Angeles)

Adwoa was “born on a Monday" to a mother that's a successful agent and a father that is one of the most sought after location scouts in London. Fashion was a step that made sense.

She's a model in peak demand. She's worked for Burberry, Calvin Klein, Fendi, DKNY, Alexander Wang, Theory, H&M, Aldo, Versace , Topshop, Rihanna x Puma, Kenzo, Simone Rocha, Chanel, Dior and Erdem, to name a few. Her caramel skin and freckles have even landed her on i-D, Italian Vogue and American Vogue covers alongside Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner.

The Italian Vogue cover we just spoke of came months after a suicide attempt and a subsequent coma from the trauma. She was depressed and addicted to drugs, but came out triumphant. Her triumph would be the founding of an online platform, Gurls Talk, to help girls like her deal with their sexuality, mental health, and body image.

3. Maria Borges (Angola)

Height 5' 11"

Agencies: IMG (New York/Paris/London/Milan), Traffic (Barcelona), Mega Model (Hamburg), We Are (Lisboa), MP (Stockholm)

Maria is a global ambassador for L'Oreal Paris and has graced Victoria's Secret's fashion show on many an occasion, once in particular, as the first black model to do so with natural hair. The beauty's list of clients include Balmain, Etro, Dior, Gap, Oscar de La Renta, Tom Ford, and Zac Posen. She's come a very long way from the orphan girl working in a supermarket to make ends meet.

4. Fatima Siad (Somalia/Ethiopia)

Height 5' 12''

Agencies: One Management (New York), Munich Models (Munich), Modellink (Stockholm)

After placing third in America's Next Top Model, Fatima's career took off. You can spot this beauty in editorials for American and Spanish Vogue, Elle, Australian and Indonesian Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, and Cosmopolitan. She's worked for Giorgio Armani, Hermés, Ralph Lauren, Dries Van Noten, Max Azria, Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Hervé Léger, Tiffany & Co., Armani Exchange, BCBG, and Liz Claiborne.

What's most moving about this model is her candid talks on experiencing female genital cutting in her youth and fleeing her home for safety here in the United States.

5. Halima Aden (Somalia)

Height 5' 6.6''

Agency: IMG (New York/Paris/London/Milan)

Halima was born in a Kenyan refugee camp and moved to the States at the age of 6. Scouted after competing in a Miss Minnesota USA pageant, she walked a Yeezy runway last February and went from that to Maxmara, Albert Ferretti, American Eagle, Fenty Beauty, a Vogue Arabia cover, a Glamour cover and an Allure cover. She redefines beauty standards by doing all the aforementioned in her hijab. She is breaking barriers for Muslim women everywhere.

6. Ayaana Aschkar-Stevens (Britain/Ghana)

Height 5' 9.5"

Agency: Premier Model Management (London)

Ayaana has been in an Ivy Park editorial and hopes to work for brands like Chanel in the near future.

7. Aamito Lagum (Uganda)

Height 6'

Agencies: DNA Model Management (New York), VIVA Model Management (Paris, London, Barcelona), Why Not Model Management (Milan)

Because she is the first winner of “Africa's Next Top Model," Aamito has been in the industry since 2013. The rebel skipped out on law school for her career! She has worked with J. Mendel, Tadashi Shoji, Yeezy, Ohne Titel, Zac Posen, Marc Jacobs, Paul Smith, Bottega Veneta and H&M. She has appeared in Elle, Allure, W Magazine, British Vogue and Vanity Fair and spoke out against slanderous trolls who berated her when MAC Cosmetics posted a picture of her luscious lips.

8. Khoudia Diop (Senegal)

Height 5' 8"

Agencies: The Colored Girl, Electric Republic

Teased as a child for her skin color, Khoudia has since been placed in a campaign for French cosmetics brand Make Up For Ever and has been making major strides in the industry advocating for people with skin with as much depth as hers. Revisit her photo story celebrating her Nyenyo heritage.

9. Amilna Estevao (Angola)

Height 5' 10"

Agencies: The Society Management (New York), Elite (Paris, Milan, London), Da Banda (Luanda)

In 2013, 14-year-old Amilna landed an Elite Look contract in her capital city and it's been smooth sailing ever since. Her resume is a laundry list of some of the most highly coveted brands in the fashion industry: Givenchy, Lanvin, Balmain, Alexander Wang, Burberry, Phillip Lim, DVF, Dolce & Gabbana, Express, Fendi, Kenzo and more.

10. Herieth Paul (Tanzania)

Height 5' 11"

Agencies: Women Management (New York, Paris, Milan), Elite Model Management (London), M4 Models (Hamburg) Folio Montreal (Montreal), AMTI: Toronto (Toronto)

Herieth has worked for Victoria's Secret, Nina Ricci, Zimmermann, Adam Selman, Stella McCartney, Lacoste, Tom Ford, Calvin Klein, Armani, Cavalli and 3.1 Phillip Lim. She has appeared in editorials for i-D, Vogue Italia, and Teen Vogue and graced the cover of Canadian Elle. Her beautiful skin has even landed her a role as a face for Maybelline New York.

11. Imaan Hammam (Netherlands/Morocco/Egypt)

Height 5' 10"

Agencies: DNA Model Management (New York), VIVA Model Management (Paris, London, Barcelona), Why Not Model Management (Milan), CODE Management (Amsterdam)

Imaan prides herself on being an African-Arab model opening doors for girls just like her. The Muslim model celebrates all aspects of who she is. She's covered American Vogue on two occasions and has received Anna Wintour's applaud many a time. She's worked for Burberry, Alexander McQueen, Maison Margiela, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, Prada, Michael Kors, Moschino, Chanel, DKNY, Jean Paul Gaultier, Hugo Boss, Stella McCartney, Oscar de la Renta, and much more. Her career is on fire!

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Photo: Julius Kasujia

In Conversation: The Ugandan Supermodel Fighting Climate Catastrophe

We talked to Aamito Lagum about the climate strike and what her activism means to her

You may know Aamito Lagum from the first season of Africa's Next Top Model in 2013, where she blew away the competition in the popular reality television show. After taking the crown, she moved to New York and started walking in many of the world's biggest fashion shows. Dozens of magazine spreads, campaigns and photo shoots later and Lagum is a globally recognized face with a big following. But she's also a person deeply concerned about climate change. In 2018 she spoke at the Global Climate Action Summit bringing her experiences as a Ugandan into the discussion. This month she took part in the Global Climate Strike, meant to push leaders to deal with the crisis. We talked to Lagum about what the climate crisis means to her and how she hopes to empower fellow Ugandans on issues of climate justice.

How did you first get involved with climate change activism?

I grew up in Kampala and used to visit my grandmother in the northern part of Uganda. It was there that I started noticing the climate literally changing. It was beginning to feel hotter and hotter, there were shorter rainy seasons and a much longer dry season. I especially remember that there used to be a river near my grandma's where people would fish and get their drinking water—it was the life of the village. As time went on, the river dried up, and there's been less and less activity there. I was in Uganda this past year and travelled up north. It was so hot, worse than I've ever experienced. Activism is something I'd say I had been curious about for a long time and wanted to know more. Now that the world is talking about climate change, I feel like I can now put into words what I saw when I was growing up in Uganda—and that I see to this day.

Why is environmentalism close to your heart?

For me, it's a very personal issue. In America, there's enough to sustain us throughout the year. During the winter, we don't have to worry about whether we'll have enough food to get us through the dark cold months. But in Uganda, people are eating only one meal a day because there just isn't enough food. This isn't because they're lazy and can't work, it's because the climate is too unreliable. When the rain comes, it's too heavy that it spoils the crops. When the hot season comes it takes the crops a really long time to grow—so the harvest has a small yield and the food isn't enough to sustain them. People starve, to be honest. And when it comes to hunger, I know it's the women and children who suffer the most.

What do you think is the most pressing issue facing the continent in regards to climate change?

The continent is one of the most susceptible places on earth to climate change, at the same time we are the least responsible for the greenhouse gas emissions that have created this crisis. The biggest effect on Africa right now is the erratic weather patterns. In countries like Ethiopia, there are people who say they used to see drought every five or six years, now they say it's happening every two or three years. In the Somali region, people say the 2017 drought hasn't really ended in some areas and people are unable to recover between dry periods. At the same time, there is too much rain in Mozambique during winter months. Just this year there were violent storms like Cyclone Idai, which was literally one of the worst storms on record in that part of the continent.

Oxfam, for instance, is pushing for governments and large companies doing business in Africa to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. But they're also working with farmers in parts of the continent to adjust their crop cycles to the changing weather patterns, even to take out loans or help build up their savings so they have a kind of buffer. I think we also have to be careful to protect some of the continent's greatest natural resources—our rivers, lakes, forests. I realize that work and new economic opportunities are important to fighting the very real and heart-breaking poverty there, but we have to also be sure to protect the nature that millions there rely on for things like fishing and even tourism.

Photo: Becky Davis/Oxfam

Can you talk more about the work you do with Oxfam and how it's improving happenings on the ground?

Oxfam is fantastic. When I went to Uganda with Oxfam, my main focus was on women and the work Oxfam and its partners are doing do to help women. It's the women who have the power to make change on a household level, who focus on the children and what they need to thrive. The men don't make those kinds of decisions. The work Oxfam is doing helps women make the kind of small-scale decisions that lead to big change.

One example of an Oxfam program we saw was at a refugee camp in Uganda, where women were making sanitary pads for girls who couldn't afford or access them. The girls couldn't go to school because of this. Something so basic has the potential to reduce the number of school dropouts and have a much larger impact on these girls' lives.

It's important to realize what power women in Africa have to affect long-term change. For instance, it's the women who do the cooking and decide whether to burn charcoal, firewood or briquettes. If they begin to use briquettes versus firewood, that teaches their children that firewood isn't good for the environment—briquettes are often made of recycled materials, they produce less smoke, and they don't require cutting down trees. These are the kind of simple, but important choices that kids will grow up knowing. Oxfam is empowering women so women can pass on their values and knowledge to their children, so they'll make better decisions growing up.

You work in what some would consider two very different worlds: modeling and activism. How does one inform the other for you?

I actually don't think they're two different worlds. The world is one, and everything is interconnected. Modeling provides an opportunity for activism. As a model you have to ask how do you influence people, what do you say to people to create positive change? If you've been given some sort of platform—even if it's not modeling—it's so important to ask how you can create some kind change. That's the direction we're going in. We now have a lot of access to people with just one click. We can post something and 100,000 people will see it instantaneously. It's fantastic and I feel very blessed that I'm living in this day and age.

I also see the fashion community paying lots and lots of attention to the need for more sustainable products. I know examples of denim companies that are more sustainable—they're into more sustainable fabric and more sustainable ways of running their business. Stella McCartney is always advocating for sustainability, holding people accountable, and researching how products are made. There's also an increasing amount of information on fast fashion companies which aren't sustainable or ethical. Lots of people I know no longer buy from them and are becoming more conscious. The more that people talk about these issues and become aware, is how change happens.

How do we empower people on the continent to take action against climate change in order to protect their livelihoods?

I think many of the things that happen on the continent is because people aren't aware. They don't know that years of what they've been doing will have an impact on generations after them. People coming together, getting information, spreading the word about climate change is one of the ways we can make change.

Africa is so rich in oil, minerals, and other natural resources, that many large foreign companies are looking to do business there. But there isn't lot of information about the kind of damage they can do to the environment and people's health. For instance, major mining companies on the continent create so much coal dust that it causes people to have asthma and pollutes the harvest rain water.

In Uganda, only a percentage of people own phones. So this means not many people have access to information through Facebook, and other social media channels. Most people still listen to the radio and that's not reaching people our age. So how do you get to the woman in the small village who doesn't know about these huge companies? That they are polluting the land, that the animals are dying because they're drinking polluted water from companies that are dumping waste water everywhere? I believe if they knew, they would come together, and they would hold their governments and decision-makers more accountable.

One of the things that's most important for everyone to understand is that nothing will get better unless rich countries most responsible for climate change –including the US, Germany, and the United Kingdom – reduce emissions and take serious climate action. I truly believe information is power.

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Duckie Thot's Reaction to Landing the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show Will Warm Your Heart

The South Sudanese-Australian model will walk in this year's show and everyone's excited about it.

A video of South Sudanese-Australian model, Duckie Thot learning that she'll be walking in this year's Victoria's Secret runway show, has gone viral, and rightfully so—her reaction is super pure and heartwarming.

The in-demand model—who starred in Rihanna's Fenty Beauty campaign and made her runway debut last year at Kanye West's Yeezy S/S '17 show—shared a video on Twitter, showing her joyous reaction to learning the good news. "Words can't express how much this means to me, thank you Victoria's Secret for the opportunity of a lifetime. #VSFashionShow," she wrote.

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Photo by Romain Chanson/AFP via Getty Images.

Three Protesters Killed During Anti-Government Demonstrations in The Gambia

These are the first deaths to be reported since the protests against President Adama Barrow began.

Ongoing anti-government protests in The Gambia have turned deadly. Aljazeera reports that this past Sunday, three protesters were killed while protesting for President Adama Barrow to resign. These are the first reported deaths since the protests began a few months ago.

Several other protesters were injured after the police fired tear gas and rubber bullets in an attempt to disperse the massive crowds.

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John Legend (seated at piano) and DJ Khaled perform onstage during the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Grammys 2020: Performers Pay Tribute to Nipsey Hussle In Traditional Eritrean Attire

During a Grammy tribute, featuring John Legend, Kirk Franklin, Meek Mill and more, a group of dancers paid homage to the late rapper's Eritrean heritage, by sporting traditional garb.

The 2020 Grammys have been one of great reflection, as various artists and public figures that we've lost recently have received tributes.

One of the artists commemorated tonight was the late Eritrean-American rapper, Nipsey Hussle who was killed in March of last year in his hometown of Los Angeles. His tribute featured performances from artists like John Legend, Meek Mill, DJ Khaled, Kirk Franklin, as well as fellow LA rappers YG and Roddy Rich.

The tribute opened with a heartfelt performance from Meek Mill. Later, during a rendition of their collaboration "Higher," DJ Khaled and John Legend brought out a group of dancers dressed in traditional zurias and other Eritrean attire—a tribute to the late rapper's unique heritage. "I'm half American and half Eritrean—as much as I am a black person from America, I am a black person from Africa too," Nipsey once said in an interview.

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