14 March 2018

Kenya: Ajuma Nasenyana Brings the Runway to Kakuma

Photo: UNHCR/Samuel Otieno
Ajuma Nasenyana brings the runway to Kakuma.

Kenyan super model Ajuma Nasenyana and top designer, Ann McCreath of KikoRomeo held a training in Kakuma refugee camp to present avenues for more artistic, fashion oriented pursuits to the camp's youths.

For the last three decades, Kenya has welcomed and hosted refugees and asylum seekers from North, East and Central Africa. It's main hub, Kakuma is currently the world's largest refugee camp, hosting over 184,000 people from more than 15 different nationalities with numbers expected to increase.

Kakuma has it's share of success stories and surrounding communities such as the Turkana have a unsettled symbiotic relationship with the camp and its dwellers. Kenyan super model Ajuma Nasenyana and founder of City Models Africa, a branch of City Models, the well-known Paris-based modelling agency that represents her, was born in this area. When she started the venture in 2013 the Vivienne Westwood muse said, "I thought this was the right time to do this because at least I have something credible to present. Now, I have a way of helping the girls get out of the country and also promote talent locally."

This is exactly what she has gone on to do and most recently in a training of 50 multi-national refugee models and some from her Turkana community.

The work done to empower the youth in the camps is important as many are born and raised in refugee families thus considering Kenya home and opting to establish their lives in the country. Their prosperity would therefore not only impact their communities but the country as a whole.

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