18 August 2007

Kenya: Naomi Campbell Might Open Modelling College

Nairobi — British super model, Naomi Campbell, on holiday in Malindi, hinted that she might start an international modelling college in the country.

The world-renowned catwalk icon lavished words of love on Kenya, saying she would like her children to spend sometime in the country.

"When I have children, I would love to see them play on the Kenyan sand barefoot. I love all this," she said, gesturing at the turquoise clear waters off Malindi's silver sand beaches.

Naomi was speaking on Friday at the lawn of the posh Lion in the Sun Hotel. This was the first time she agreed to be interviewed by local media although she is a frequent visitor to the Kenyan coast.

The supermodel jetted in last week with a fashion editor, Mr Edward Eninful, and a fashion photographer, Mr Simon Haris.

She regretted that Kenya was yet to make a mark in international modelling.

"I believe there are pretty girls from your lovely country who can grace the international catwalk and the front pages of fashion magazines, with proper strategies," she said.

Naomi said she would stop over in Nairobi during her next visit, and meet top fashion agencies to discuss the idea that would put Kenya on the international modelling scene.

The super model, who wore a flowing kitenge, said she likes Malindi because the residents are friendly.

"I was here 10 years ago and like the place, whose people smile right from their hearts. It was like a test, and I have since fallen in love with Malindi," she said.

At one point, Naomi asked photojournalists to take her picture while holding a framed photo of herself, former South African President Neslon Mandela and Mr Flaviao Briator, the Renault Formula One team boss, who is also her business partner.

She fondly referred to Mandela as her grandfather.

"I am going to see Mandela in London during the unveiling of his statue when I leave," she said.

Before the interview, Naomi had just entertained children whose parents work at Lion in the Sun Hotel.

Naomi, who started modelling at 15, is angry with fashion editors for shunning black models.

"Blacks models are being sidelined by the major modelling agencies. It is a pity that people don't appreciate black beauty," she said.

The super model vowed not to leave the catwalk until black models were recognised.

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