African supermodels

Hawa Diawara

Hawa Diawara of Mali is a muslim who says swimsuit modeling conflicts with her faith

We introduce you to three more African supermodels: Hawa Diawara of Mali, Agbani Darego of Nigeria, and Liya Kedebe of Ethiopia.

Hawa Diawara

Born: May 12, 1984 in Mali.

Career facts: Based in New York, signed to Trump Model Management. Has worked for DKNY.

Did you know? As a muslim, Hawa has often found her assignments, such as swimsuit modeling, conflicting with her faith.

Quotes: It is against my religion to wear see-through. lingerie or swimwear.

Agbani Darego

Born: Born 1983 in Nigeria.

Career facts: In November 2001, she beat Miss Scotland and Miss Aruba in the final round to become the first black African Miss World. Is signed to Next Model Management.

Did you know? The BBC writes, Ms. Darego is the fourth African to win the Miss World contest, normally dominated by winners from Europe, the Americas and India. White South Africans won the pageant in 1958 and 1974, and an Arab Egyptian was victorious in 1954.

Liya Kebede

Born: January 3, 1978 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Career facts: Kebede's big break came when Tom Ford offered her an exclusive contract for his Gucci fall/winter 2000 show. Kebede was a finalist in the Miss World supermodel contest. She was on the cover of the May 2002 edition of Paris 'Vogue' which dedicated the issue to her. Has appeared on the cover of American 'Vogue'.

Quote: How many of us realize that, in much of the world, the act of giving birth to a child is still the biggest killer of women of child-bearing age? said Kebede in a speech honoring the United Nations.

GO TO: Oluchi Onweagba, Nigerian supermodel