Nokia Face of Africa hots up

Aisha (Nigeria)

Born on November 2, 1984 in Lagos, Aisha Danjuma stands 1.76m tall. A student who speaks English, Yoruba and Hausa, her role model is Nigerian model Funmi Iyanda. In her own words Aisha admires Funmi for being “very independent” and “an epitome of Africa beauty.” And asked to describe herself Aisha says that she is “simple, god-fearing, smart and adventurous.” A fan of designer Zara, Aisha’s favourite color is blue.

Andenyi (Kenya)

Twenty-one year-old Andenyi Anjalo is a Nairobi native whose believes in the saying “Only when you truly believe in yourself will others truly believe in you.” Born on May 3 in 1985, the young Kenyan says that she always wanted to be a model.

Athletic and assertive Andenyi is a keen swimmer who plays tennis and loves to dance. A second year student in international relations, she picks Sue Muraya, Happiness (Tanzania), Chloe and Alexander McQueen as her favourite designers.

Catherine (Ghana)

Ghana’s Catherine Hemans Yankey was born in Monrovia on January 8, 1988. Now 18, Catherine reveals an ambition to be a fashion designer if her career on the ramp is not successful. She speaks English, Twi and Nzema and says that she enjoys watching movies and reading about successful people in magazines. She admires Liberia’s current president.

Chipo (Zambia)

Born in Luanshya in Zambia, 19-year-old Chipo Ngoyi’s motto is “Never give up!” Born on January 12, 1987 Chipo (full name Chiposwa) looks up to legendary catwalk queen Naomi Campbell because she “has made to the very top of the highly competitive modeling industry.” Encouraged by her mother to enter the Nokia Face of Africa 2006, Chipo would like to be a social worker. She’s the last born in a family of five and says that the best thing about her country is that Zambia “is blessed to have never gone to war.”

Deline (Zimbabwe)

Zimbabwe’s Deline Maiyiwa is 21-years-old and was born on April 24, 1985. She lives in Harare and believes that “if at first you don’t succeed and stumble, you can lift yourself up and try again.” Naming statuesque Nigerian supermodel and the first Face of Africa Oluchi as her role model, Deline says “she gave me and all the other African models hope and courage to be true and proud African models.” An advocate of courage and confidence, Deline would love to be a singer as she has a ‘huge passion for music’ and would love to explore that part of her life. She proudly admits that she’s a fashion fanatic.

Gertrude (Kenya)

Born in the famed coastal town of Mombasa in Kenya, Gertrude Ogada speaks English and KiSwahili. She’s outspoken about the fact that her mother is her role model because “as a single mom, she was able to bring us up, give us a quality education, feed us and cloth us without anyone’s help.”

Twenty-one year old Gertrude wants to be a lawyer but she wouldn’t mind trying her hand at fashion design. She says that Kenya has a good tourism sector (“look at all the wildlife and beautiful hotels we have!”)

Gertrude plays basketball and enjoys swimming. Five words to sum Gertrude up? “Simple, principled, determined, hard-working and responsible.”

Ishioma (Nigeria)

At just 18 years of age, Ishioma Onyebo is already a real go-getter which is summed up by her approach to life, “forward ever, backward never!”

A supporter of Nigerian talent (including designers Dakova and Deola Sagoe), Ishioma says that it she makes it to the NFOA final at Sun City, she’ll be “on top of the world”. Blessed with a sense of humour, Ishioma has two sisters. She entered the Nokia Face of Africa because she wanted to fulfil her dreams of becoming a supermodel.” Ishioma speaks English, Igbo and Yoruba.

Kea (Botswana)

Gaborone born, 19-year-old Kea Basima loves her home country of Botswana for its peace and stability. She’s looking to travel the world as a model and says “I am going to do whatever it takes to see myself modelling at the Nokia Face of Africa final at Sun City.” A lover of Odilap Designers, Kea is the first born in a family of three girls.

She says that she is her own role model and elaborates by saying, “I take it upon myself to pave my own way without having to look up to someone else to guide me through it.” She entered the Nokia Face of Africa 2006 because “I had the requirements which were needed and I also have a passion for modelling.”

Melody (South Africa)

At 1.82m tall, Melody Zulu is one of the tallest semi-finalists in the Nokia Face of Africa 2006. Born on February 18 in 1985, Melody is a staunch supporter of the carpe diem (“seize the day”) school of thought. With an interest in fashion retail, Melody lists designers Ruff Tung, Craig Native, Holmes Bros, Malcolm Kl’k, Clive Rundle, D-Squared, Diesel and Guess among her favourite fashion labels.

But did she expect to be selected for the Nokia Face of Africa 2006 project? “No way,” she says. “I was just so excited to be in the second round (swimwear) in the top 16 that I still have sleepless nights by just getting this far.” Loud, spontaneous and friendly, Melody hails from Durban in South Africa.

Mulenga (Zambia)

At 17, Mulenga Mubanga is the youngest of the Nokia Face of Africa 2006 semi-finalists. Born in Lusaka, Mulenga strongly believes in life’s many possibilities and holds to the motto “the sky is the limit!”

Coming from a family of two older sisters and two younger brothers, Mulenga says she is inspired by her dad because he encourages her to take risks and exceed herself.

Currently studying business administration, Mulenga has had some previous modelling experience at high school and college. She says Zambians are “friendly, warm and welcoming!” Asked to name her favourite designers, Mulenga says that she enjoys wearing her own fashion creations because “they reflect who I am!”

Munira (Uganda)

Born in Jinja in Uganda on July 12 in 1985, twenty-one year old Munira Namakula’s motto is “always follow your principles.” A fan of designers Mango, Guess and Gucci and a lover of fashionable shoes, Munira reveals that modelling wasn’t her dream but now that she is in it, she wants to succeed.

Now living in Kampala, Munira says that if she won the Nokia Face of Africa 2006, she would contribute to charity, especially acid victims. Meanwhile Munira is fan of new technology and admits that she’d love to work with computer geniuses from around the world.

Mirash (Ghana)

Born in Tema, 21-year-old Mirash says that “determination is the key to success” and believes that you should “always be yourself.”

Her role model is Tyra Banks because she is “self confident, down to earth and she is what a supermodel should be.” Mirash has previous modelling experience in Model of the Universe Ghana 2005 and Model of West Africa 2005. Asked what’s special about Ghana, Mirash says “My country Ghana is independent. It’s full of lovely people and we have beautiful waterfalls.” Very ready to learn, Mirash says that even if she doesn’t win the Nokia Face Of Africa 2006 title, she will continue her modelling career.

Phumelele (South Africa)

Eighteen year old Phumelele Mtshali was born in Mafikeng in South Africa on June 25, 1987. She believes that “everything happens for a reason” and respects Naomi Campbell because she “has been on the ramp forever and I would like to follow in her footsteps.” Phumelele is proud of South Africa for being “a diverse county with the best of everything and developing well.”

Currently studying law, Phumelele describes herself as strongwilled, patient, conservative, passionate and considerate. She speaks Twsana, Zulu and English. Having taken a course in modelling, Phumelele sees the Nokia Face of Africa as an opportunity to pursue a career on the ramp.

Selamawit (Ethiopia)

21-year-old Addis Ababa resident Selamawit Teshale says that her role model is fellow Ethiopian Liya Kebede because of the way she represents herself. If she wasn’t a model, Selamawit would like to be a graduate in marketing with her own company.

She says that Ethiopia is special because “we have our own language, calendar, tradition.” Described as honest, sensitive and confident, she is studying marketing at New Generation College. Selemawit enjoys walking, shopping and hanging out with friends. She speaks Amharic along with English and her favourite designer is Ethiopian Osman.

Sandra (Burundi)

Hailing from Bujumbura in Burundi, 18-year-old Sandra Bigirimana’s motto is “God is powerful.” The teenager says that if she wins the Nokia Face of Africa 2006 title, she will “assist my family and orphans because I am an orphan too”.

Describing herself as kind, polite and courageous, Sandra is currently a student at the Lyce’ de la Solidarit’. Her parents died when she was very young and she now lives with her sisters and brothers. Sandra speaks French, English and Swahili and entered the Nokia Face of Africa 2006 because “I saw that I could represent my country as a model.”

Venantia (Namibia)

Born in Windhoek on October 22 in 1987, Venantia Otto would love to have her own talk show about empowering rural women. This explains why the 18-year-old’s role model is supermodel turned talk show host Tyra Banks.

Venantia has no previous modelling experience but she’s excited about the opportunity to model and believes that modelling is about hard-work, focus and personality. Venantia loves Namibia and says that the country’s best features include its incredible dunes and its wildlife.

Zuhura (Tanzania)

Nineteen-year-old Zuhura was born in Mwanza in Tanzania on October 3, 1986. Her motto is that one should “work hard for a better life.” Zuhura says that Tanzania is a peaceful land, with lots of national parks, the Kilimanjaro Mountain and the Indian Ocean with beautiful beaches.

If she wins the Nokia Face of Africa 2006, Zuhura says that she’d love to build a house for her parents. Her favourite designer is Manjula Ally and she loves traditional jewellery. Hailing from a family of 5 sisters and 4 brothers, Zuhura loves music, cooking and dancing.

July 2006
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