Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Best African Female Models (Part 1)

Flaviana Matata

Born on June 9, 1987 in Shinyanga, Tanzania. Flaviana Matata is a Tanzanian beauty queen and fashion model.

Flaviana won the first edition of the Miss Universe Tanzania pageant in 2007, and went on to represent her country in the Miss Universe pageant the same year, where she placed among the Top 15 semifinalists and ended up in 6th place after the evening gown competition. She was the first contestant from Tanzania to compete at Miss Universe 2007, and compete with a shaved head.

She has recently modeled print advertisements for Sherri Hill. In March 2011 Matata won the Model of the Year award by Arise Magazine at the Lagos Fashion Week, she has also featured in the US magazines Dazed & Confused, Glass Magazine, L’officiel and also ID Magazine. Flaviana Matata has also done some runway modelling for brands like Mustafa Hassanali, Vivienne Westwood, Tory Burch, Suno, and Louise Gray and has featured in the Alexander McQueen film tribute and Topshop Spring 2011 ad campaign.

Her vital statistics are:
Country: Tanzania
Star sign: Gemini
Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Hair color: Black
Eye color: Brown
Measurements: 32-23.5-34.5 in (81-59.5-87.5 cm)


Cynthia Masasi


Born and raised in Mwanza Tanzania, East Africa, ambitious, intelligent, classy and sexy model Cynthia Masasi has been catching the attention of the entertainment industry since appearing on the scene in 2006. Whether she is gracing the pages of the hottest magazines on the newsstands, Ms. Masasi has made her presence known in three short years in an industry that only guarantees a mere “15 minutes” to shine.

Beginning in 2006, she has been on high demand for work in music videos, appearing in videos with T.I, Juvenile, Jazze Pha, Rick Ross, and many more. Even though Cynthia Masasi’s success can be contributed to her many appearances in hip-hop and rap music videos, she has voiced her opinion that music videos as a whole are demeaning to women. She took time out from this and start taking acting classes in LOS ANGELES CA, Ms Masasi graduated from NEW YORK FILM ACADEMY which is one of the best acting schools in the whole world.

It was not be long before Hollywood took notice of this fledgling talent. Since then, Cynthia has made her silver screen debut appearing in the independent movie Severed Inn. Other Project include: Princess Zara and the Lover Boy in America, Paparazzi, This is Houston and Rebound.

Cynthia or “Cynth” to friends and family has a host of siblings (five) who keep her grounded. She has Four younger sister’s Margreth, Lilian, Zitta, Lisa and one younger brother Mohamed Mbelwa, who she lovingly refers to as the love of her life.

She enjoys reading, traveling and attending the theatre and says the biggest misconception about her is that she is “stuck-up”. On the contrary, Cynthia says with all the success she has attained thus far in her career, she remains the same sweet, down to earth person, who talks a lot, loves to laugh, have a good time and attends church every other Sunday to remain spiritually focused.

Her vital statistics are:
Country: Tanzania
Birthday: August 08
Star sign: Leo
Height: 5.10 ft
Weight: 135 lbs

Alek Wek


Born on 16 April 1977 in Wau, South Sudan, Alek Wek is a South Sudanese British model who first appeared on the catwalks at the age of 18 in 1995, sparking a career lasting to date. She is from the Dinka ethnic group in South Sudan, but in 1991 she and some family members fled to Britain to escape the civil war in Sudan. She later moved to the United States.

She was born the seventh of nine children in Wau in Sudan (now South Sudan) in 1977. When she was preparing to emigrate from Sudan, her mother picked the date April 16, which occurs in the rainy season during which she was born. She says her name means "Black Spotted Cow". Wek was born to her mother (b. 1946), a housewife, and her father Athian Wek (1933-1985), an education official. Alek Wek has stated that physically, she resembles her father, who also had unusually long limbs. Athian Wek once broken his hip in a bicycle accident; his hip was repaired with metal pins. When the civil war broke out in Wau in 1985, the Wek family had to flee from both rebel and government forces. Long periods of walking caused Athian Wek's hip to get infected, and upon the family's return to Wau, he became paralysed and endured a haemorrhage. He died in the hospital of Khartoum.

Wek was discovered at an outdoor market in London in 1995 in Crystal Palace, London by a Models 1 scout. She first received attention when she appeared in the music video for "GoldenEye" by Tina Turner, in 1995 and from there entered the world of fashion as one of its top models. She was signed to Ford Models in 1996 and was also seen in the "Got 'Til It's Gone" music video by Janet Jackson that year. She was named "Model of the Year" in 1997 by MTV. She was the first African model to appear on the cover of Elle, also in 1997. Alex has been managed by Storm Model Management since 2006.

Amongst other things she has done advertisements for Issey Miyake, Moschino, Victoria's Secret and make-up company Clinique as well as walked the runway for high-profile fashion designers Shiatzy Chen, John Galliano, Chanel, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Jasper Conran and Ermanno Scervino. In walks for Christian Lacroix, she took the role of the bride on several occasions. In 2002 she made her acting debut in The Four Feathers as Sudanese princess Aquol.

Herb Ritts photographed her for a 1999 calendar in a Joanne Gair body painting that was a highlight of Gair's first retrospective.

Wek has also been a guest on both The Tyra Banks Show, America's Next Top Model and The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency.

Wek also designs a range of designer handbags called "Wek 1933", which are available throughout selected Selfridges department stores. The year refers to the year her father was born. Her inspiration for the designs came from the brass-clasp briefcase carried by her father.

She is a member of the U.S. Committee for Refugees' Advisory Council and is helping to raise awareness about the situation in Sudan, as well as the plight of refugees worldwide. She can base this on her own experience as a refugee, fleeing the war in her country of birth.

She is a missionary for World Vision, an organisation which combats AIDS, an ambassador for Doctors Without Borders in Sudan, and devotes time to UNICEF.

In 2007, she released an autobiography, entitled Alek: From Sudanese Refugee to International Supermodel, documenting her journey from a childhood of poverty in Sudan to the catwalks of Europe.

In 2011, she appeared as a guest judge in the sixteenth cycle of America's Next Top Model.

In July 2012, she will be returning to South Sudan with the UN Refugee Agency to highlight the stories of refugees returning from the north and the massive efforts needed to build and stabilize the country.

Her vital statistics are:
Country: South Sudan
Star sign: Aries
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Hair color: Dark Brown
Eye color: Brown
Measurements: 34-23-34.5 (US) 86.5-58-88
Dress size: 4 (US)
Manager: Storm Models, London

Twitter: @TheRealAlekWek

Ajuma Nasenyana


Ajuma Nasenyana is a Kenyan model. She has worked with Victoria Secret and Carlos Mienes, among other designers.

Nasenyana was born on Jan 14, 1984 in the town of Lodwar, situated in the Turkana District of Kenya.

Her first foray into modeling was in the Miss Tourism Kenya competition in 2003, where she was crowned Miss Nairobi. Here, she came to the attention of Lyndsey McIntyre of Surazuri Modeling Agency.

Soon afterward, Gamma Photo Agency came to Kenya to do a story on McIntyre's scouting work and were so taken with Nasenyana that she became the main feature of the story, which later ran in France's Gala magazine. The pictures taken anchored Nasenyana's portfolio, presented to international agency Ford Models, who entered her in Ford's Supermodel of the World competition.

In November 2003, Nasenyana traveled to Europe to build her portfolio prior to the Supermodel finals in New York City. She soon signed with agencies in London, Italy, Austria, Spain, Ireland, Canada and Sweden.

Nasenyana participated in the New York Fashion Week alongside Naomi Campbell and Alek Wek for designers such as Baby Phat and Carlos Mienes before traveling to Milan to model for fashion houses such as Ungaro during the Italian Fashion Week. Paris was the final destination during the winter show season and British designer Vivienne Westwood made her the lead model in her show.

Since then, Nasenyana has shot several magazine editorials, a video for Lacoste, and a catalogue for Issey Miyake.

In 2011, she was also named AFI African Fashion International's, Africa Fashion Week Model of the Year 2012.

Besides modeling, Nasenyana has decried the apparent trend in her native Kenya toward rejection of the indigenous Black African physical standards of beauty in favour of those of other communities. In an interview with the Kenyan broadsheet the Daily Nation, she stated that "it seems that the world is conspiring in preaching that there is something wrong with Kenyan ladies' kinky hair and dark skin[...] Their leaflets are all about skin lightening, and they seem to be doing good business in Kenya. It just shocks me. It's not OK for a Caucasian to tell us to lighten our skin[...] I have never attempted to change my skin. I am natural. People in Europe and America love my dark skin. But here in Kenya, in my home country, some consider it not attractive."

As a remedy, Nasenyana has contemplated launching a cosmetic and natural skincare line for women like herself. She hopes that her products will inspire her contemporaries to love their own appearance instead of attempting to alter it through artificial means, such as by skin bleaching.

Her vital statistics are:
Country: Kenya
Star sign: Capricorn
Height: 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Hair color: Black
Eye color: Brown
Measurements: 34-24-35 (US) 85-61-89
Dress size: 4

Asnath Rosette Mogomotsi


South African model Asnath Rosette Mogomotsi, or Roro as her friends call her, grew up in Midrand and is best known for her role as a suitcase model in the game show Deal Or No Deal. She has modelled in television commercials for Chicken Lickin’ and Jet Clothing. She has appeared in the magazines True Love, Elle, Babe, FHM and has modelled the Noni Gaza range for Legit Clothing.

Rosette Mogomotsi, who celebrates her birthday on 11 March describes herself as elegant, smart, confident and humble.

Rosette Mogomotsi completed High School at Northview High Scool in 2003, pursued a communication science degree and aspires to opening a home for orphans and the elderly.

Her vital statistics are:
Country: South Africa
Birthday: March 11
Star sign: Pisces
Height: 173cm/5'8"
Bust: 86cm/34"
Waist: 64cm/25"
Hips: 89 cm/35"
Dress: 32 EU/2 US/4 UK
Shoe: 39 EU/8 US/6 UK
Hair: Black
Eyes: Browns

Twitter: @Rosette_M

Joyce Makena


"Almost every girl dreams of being a model but I have double the passion. I love learning new things and being corrected when wrong. I am very determined and I give my best in everything I do. In sports I like volleyball and swimming which help me keep fit. Traveling, hiking, camping, reading and listening to music is what I enjoy doing in my free time."

After being crowned Ford Supermodel Of The World Kenya 2011, Joyce Makena was the Kenyan representative for the Ford Model Supermodel of the World 2011. She was selected from a bevy of beauties at the Onami Restaurant in Westgate Nairobi and joined 50 contestants from around the world to compete for a modelling prize worth US$250,000 in the United States.

The Kenyan arm of the competition was started by Surazuri modelling agency founder Lyndsey Macintyre in 2002. It has helped expose Kenya’s modelling talent with the most famous being Ajuma Nasenyana who has featured severally on catwalks in fashion capitals around the world and magazine pages.

The runner up in last year's contest judged by Ajuma Nasenyana, event organiser Grace Makosewe, photographer Barbara Minishi, Lyndsey Macintyre was 14 year old Georgina Anderson. 2010’s winner Gift Opar was only 15 years old when she won the competition.

Two other models Sonyeta Thomas and Elsie Njeri who failed to make the cut, were selected to take part in the legendary American designer Viviene Westwood’s show that is set to premier very soon. They were selected by Westwood when she visited Kenya.

Her vital statistics are:
Country: Kenya
Date of Birth: November 5, 1990
Star Sign: Scorpio
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Genre(s): Runway, Editorial
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 124 lbs
Bust: 32"
Waist: 24"
Hips: 34"
Cup: B
Dress: 6
Shoe: 7.5
Hair color: Black
Hair length: Short
Eye color: Black
Skin color: Black
Contact: +254 702199127

Leila Lopes


Born on February 26, 1986 in in Benguela, Angola, Leila Lopes is an Angolan beauty pageant titleholder who was crowned Miss Angola UK, Miss Angola 2010 and later Miss Universe 2011.

Lopes studied business management at University Campus Suffolk in Ipswich, England. When crowned Miss Angola UK on October 8, 2010, Lopes would become representative of the Angolan community in the United Kingdom to the Miss Angola 2011 event, taking place two months later in Luanda.

Her vital statistics are:
Country: Angola
Date of Birth: February 26, 1986
Star Sign: Pisces
Residence: New York City, United States
Height: 1.79 m (5 ft 10 1⁄2 in)
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Dark brown
Title(s): Miss Angola UK 2010, Miss Angola 2010, Miss Universe 2011
Major competition(s): Miss Angola 2010 (Miss Photogenic & Winner), Miss Universe 2011 (Winner)


Vanessa Obonna


Vanessa Obonna, known as Vanessa O is a young student and model. She was born and raised in Toronto, Canada in a home with 2 brothers, 3 sisters and both her parents. Her parents were born and raised in Nigeria and often loved to travel the world. Her brothers and sisters were born throughout the world in places like Nigeria, USA and England. Her family then settled in Toronto, Canada where Vanessa and her other 2 siblings were born. Vanessa is the youngest girl in her family and always looked up to her older siblings who gave her motivation and support as she entered the modeling world.

Vanessa O is known to be very determined at what she does, she enjoys her work and treats it just like any other job. Her parents keep her and her career in order and manages the way she makes her choices and decisions. She comes from a family where big dreams are often spoken about and then pursued. Vanessa O entered the modeling world in her early teens and from there has been going strong ever since. Throughout high school she dealt with balancing her education and career and managed to get through high school successfully. She always tried to avoid the negative people that often tried to come her way and surrounded herself with positive people instead. She never let negativity get in her way. She is now a fashion student and attends college. Education is very important to Vanessa because to her learning is fun especially when you learn about the things that interests you.

Vanessa O is a humble, talented business woman, model, and student and is known for always keeping busy. She’s now known for her curvaceous body, sultry eyes and nice attitude. Vanessa O landed Canadian magazine covers, ads and also appeared in music videos, short films and commercial work. She looks up to famous, talented musician Beyonce Knowles ever since Vanessa was a little girl and has dreams of being as famous as her one day. Vanessa O is a big star on the rise.

In 2011, Vanessa O won Best African Female Model at the 1st Annual African Entertainment Awards for her outstanding dedication towards her modeling. Vanessa O, is definitely a star on the rise.

Her vital statistics are:
Country / Ethnicity: Nigeria
Birthday: March 28
Star sign: Aries
Height: 5'8"
Measurements: 34-24-34
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown

Twitter: @MissVanessaO
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