By Kevin Onuma
‘Top African female models’ is a post page on InformAfrica that features some of Africa’s top super models, including model photos and brief bio of each top African model being discussed.
1. Agbani Darego (Top Nigerian Super Model)
Agbani Darego is the first popular figure on my Top African Female Models list. Beautiful Agbani, born December 22, 1982, is best known for being the first black African to be crowned Miss World. She is a member of the Ijaw tribe of Southern Nigeria. She earned the title of Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria and Miss World 2001. She is an active model, and her model photo above was made available courtesy Fashion Model Directory.
Growing up as a teenager, Ms. Darego longed to be a model. During her teen years, she auditioned for the M-Net Face of Africa modelling competition, but was not chosen as a finalist. However, that never slowed her desire and passion to become the super model she envisioned. In fact, the M-Net audition was more like a stepping stone towards achieving her goals later in life . As a model, Darego appeared in print adverts for boutique chain Collectables, according to Wikipedia.
As far as modeling goes in Africa, Agbani Darego has made a name for herself and people ought to celebrate her achievements from time to time. She helped put Africa on the map – in terms of modeling or beauty pageant.
2. Liya Kebede (Top Ethiopian Super Model)
Liya Kebede, an international beauty, born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – was once the 11th highest earning supermodel in the world, having earned $2.5 million dollars in 12 months, according to Forbes. She was born on January 3rd 1978. In the model photo above, Liya Kebede is pictured rocking an elegant ring by Tiffany’s.
While Liya was in school at the French Lycee several years ago, a film director spotted the young beauty and introduced her to a French modeling agent. After completing her studies, she moved to France to pursue work through a local Parisian agency. Liya inevitably relocated to the fashion capital of New York City, where she currently resides full-time.
According to the super model’s website, it all came together when the then 27 year old stunner appeared on the cover and in 4 out of 6 stories of French Vogue, with a headline that proudly states the issue is “All about Liya.” She has since appeared on the covers of Italian, Japanese, Korean & Spanish Vogue, Numero, V, French, Flair, i-D, South African Elle, Harper’s & Queen, Essence, and Time’s Style & Design issue. Liya was also featured on the September 2004 cover of American Vogue, where she was named one of the leading faces of “the Return of the Super Model”.
3. Alek Wek (Tall, Black, and Beautiful African Model)
Born in Sudan on April 16, 1977, Alek Wek left her homeland in 1991 to escape the civil war ravaging the country. Upon arriving London, at the age of 14, she was discovered by a model scout in a South London market. All her model photos seen online and posters are gorgeous and adventurous.
According to Wikipedia, Alek first appeared on the catwalks at the age of 18 in 1995, which is sparking her career to to date. She is from the Dinka ethnic group in South Sudan.
The top African supermodel first received attention when she appeared in the music video for “Golden Eye” 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, which was also in 1997.
4. Rosemary Chileshe-Ellis (Top African Model from Zambia)
Rosemary Chileshe-Ellis is a gorgeous Zambian filled with compassion and blessed with inspiration. Apart from being a catwalk model and being a former beauty queen, Rosemary envoy at the the Miss World 2004 and Miss Universe 2007 events. She is also engaged in a handful of charity projects – from being the ambassador of All Star Kids Charity & Manchester Aid for Children. When she isn’t working, she loves cooking, singing in the choir, teaching, dancing, and writing motivational articles.
Rosemary was first introduced to the Modelling industry at the age of 18 on her way into Manchester from her family home in Sheffield by a representative of the prestigious Models 1. However, due to secondary school commitments, she did not take it further as modelling was not her desire at that moment in time.
Having completed secondary school, she then stayed on at school in upper sixth form until 1999 to pursue Business Studies as she felt it would give her a wider choice career wise. The young aspiring model’s photos seen online, including the one shown above are quite charming.
In 2000, she started her university studies at Sheffield Hallam on a four year sandwich BSc (Hons) degree course in Business Property Management. In 2004, she graduated with honours.
In 2003, her third year of university, Rosemary moved to Manchester for a year to undertake her placement, shortly after she got signed to Dimples/EdenClayre Modelling Agency in Greater Manchester. To date; Rosemary is self – represented as she believes that the only person who can fully work hard for her in securing the right deals, is herself.
Rosemary Chileshe-Ellis has a lot to offer the fashion, modeling, and beauty industry. Model agencies, fashion designers and the likes, are advised to keep a keen eye on this rare Zambian beauty for future opportunities. It’s always good to see an African at the top :)
5. Fatima Siad (Top African Supermodel based in the U.S)
Fatima Siad is a Somali-Ethiopian top fashion model. She was born December 17 1986 and is currently 25 years of age. In the model photo above, Fatima is seen rocking a silk chiffon long dress with a fox fur scarf, gold leather heels, brass necklace and bracelet.
Born in Mogadishu, Somalia to a Somali mother and an Ethiopian father; Fatima underwent female genital mutilation at age 7. Her two sisters were killed by the Somali army during the civil war. She placed third on America’s Next Top Model, Cycle 10.
Some of Fatima Siad’s appearances include: Tyra Banks Show episode titled Tyra’s Pay It Forward with Joanie Dodds, Recessionista: Queen of Cheap – where she modeled clothes. She also appeared on Modelville Introduction, Modelville 2, Modelville 3, Modelville 4, and Tina Knowles modeling in a House of Dereon fashion show.
6. Sara Nuru (Africa’s Top Model With Ethiopian Beauty)
Sara Nuru, born August 19, 1989 with Ethiopian roots. She was crowned Germany’s Next Top Model in 2009. The 21-year-old fashion model from Munich, whose parents immigrated from Ethiopia, has earned the nickname “Sunshine” from Germany’s Next Top Model, and was widely popular among her competitors.
Before Nuru won Germany’s Next Topmodel, she already had the opportunity to gain experiences as a model for friendly designers, after she was approached by a photographer when she was 15 years old. She appeared in a fashion show held in Dresden which also featured cycle 3’s winner Jennifer Hof, according to Wikipedia.
To conclude, the “Top African Female Models” page on InformAfrica informs and encourage Africans and the global community to celebrate the success of our African models and their astonishing work in art, modeling, fashion, and beauty. Most importantly, this article serves as an avenue for upcoming African models to read the success stories and experiences of popular model figures.
Is there an African model that should be included in our Top African Female Models list? If so, use the comment box below to share your opinion.