NAOMI CAMP­BELL

THISDAY Style - - STYLE & DESIGN -

A leg­end in the world of fash­ion, su­per­model, Naomi Camp­bell was re­cently in La­gos for the Arise Fash­ion Week 2018. Not only has Naomi graced the cover of ev­ery top rated mag­a­zine, she has also walked the runway for the world’s most high­kly rated de­sign­ers...too many to men­tion! In ad­di­tion to this, Naomi has been a strong ad­vo­cate for racial bias in the mod­el­ing in­dus­try and is also an ac­tive hu­man­i­tar­ian, tak­ing part in projects such as the Nelson Man­dela Chil­dren’s Fund, not to men­tion her own char­i­ta­ble event, Fash­ion For Re­lief which she hosts ev­ery year. The Style team spent a few min­utes chat­ting with her on her ex­pec­ta­tions of Arise Fash­ion Week and a few of her favourite char­ity pro­grams. What are your ex­pec­ta­tions from Arise Fash­ion Week?

I don’t have any ex­pec­ta­tions, I am here with an open mind to see La­gos and to do my work the best I can do and to see the young emerg­ing African de­sign­ers and the work that they do. That’s what’s im­por­tant to me Was mod­el­ing some­thing you al­ways wanted to do , how did you get started?

No I didn’t plan to be a model, I stud­ied theater arts since I was five, ac­tu­ally three and it just hap­pened to me un­ex­pect­edly. But I feel it was meant to be that way, so I am grate­ful and blessed to be work­ing and have been work­ing for a very long time You have of­ten de­scribed the mod­el­ing in­dus­try as a tough one, voic­ing out is­sues like racial bias. How did you man­age to stay on top in the midst of all these?

Well right now I’m go­ing to talk about the present mo­ment. The cli­mates are chang­ing very much and you see a lot more di­ver­sity than you’ve ever seen so I am very op­ti­mistic and happy it stays that way. It’s def­i­nitely a new time right now. Time we fi­nally get to be re­spected and ap­pre­ci­ated for who we are, our beauty and what we stand for. Asides from mod­el­ing, you are also an ad­vo­cate for ev­ery­thing from healthcare to poverty erad­i­ca­tion. What are some of your favourite causes?

With char­ity the ones I de­cide to do are nor­mally the ones that I feel pas­sion­ate and have an un­der­stand­ing about, so I re­ally what to be in­volved in it. I make it a com­mit­ment to my­self on be­half of my char­ity, get­ting the team in­volved and go­ing a 110% speed ahead. I don’t dis­crim­i­nate; I’ve gone all over the world with 32 my char­ity help­ing women, chil­dren, ba­bies, and com­mu­ni­ties.

For me what’s most im­por­tant now is chil­dren’s education and mak­ing them feel safe. What schools they go to and their par­ents know­ing they are go­ing to come back home and walk through that door. Which of these would you say has been your most ful­fill­ing and re­ward­ing pro­ject ever?

I think for me the most fill­ing was get­ting to work with pres­i­dent Nelson Man­dela for 20 years on the Nelson Man­dela Chil­dren’s fund. Be­ing around such an in­cred­i­ble hu­man be­ing was amaz­ing. He was like an an­gel, a saint. For me, it was un­der­stand­ing and learn­ing how to deal and how to com­mit and feel what’s right. What I felt I could make, what kind of change I could bring to the sit­u­a­tion at hand at the time. But there’s no favourite be­cause once you get your heart in­volved, it’s in­volved. We hear you are sup­port­ing the ‘dream catch­ers’, the dance group from Iko­rodu here in La­gos. How did you find out about them and why did you de­cide to sup­port them?

I haven’t met them yet. I am go­ing to meet them to­mor­row. I found out about them on so­cial me­dia. And I feel they are tal­ented and de­serve a chance to shine. What three things would you want the world to al­ways re­mem­ber you for?

I don’t know, I mean I would al­ways be an ad­vo­cate for women of di­ver­sity. And I will al­ways fight for that. I would al­ways be an ad­vo­cate for women of di­ver­sity. And I will al­ways fight for that. We have done all the work to po­si­tion the young gen­er­a­tion and make it an eas­ier road for them.

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