By Alek Wek
Alek Wek has been the face of advert campaigns for firms starting from trainer to Michael Kors to Nars and has labored the runways on behalf of designers equivalent to Diane von Furstenberg and Christian Dior. but her defining moments expand past the runways of recent York, Milan, Paris, and London. Born to a middle-class relatives within the Sudan, Wek chanced on her existence without warning inverted while civil warfare broke out between outlaw militias, the Muslim-dominated govt, and southern rebels. The clash not just killed million humans, it created a complete neighborhood of refugees, together with Wek's family—many of whom fled to London. this is Wek's terrific, bold tale of emerging from refugee to overseas stick insect.
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Additional resources for Alek: From Sudanese Refugee to International Supermodel
I marveled at the machinery. It was hard to imagine they could turn it on me, but when my mother told us never to dawdle on the streets because they were just too dangerous, I began to realize that the soldiers weren’t necessarily there to protect me. My parents deﬁnitely didn’t allow us out after dark. However, we tried to keep our daily activities up. My mother would still take the cows to pasture and there was always water to bring home from the pump. One afternoon my younger sister, Athieng, and I put our plastic water jugs on our heads and went to fetch water.
Her good mood was infectious. We hadn’t eaten anything since our cup of tea that morning and were getting hungry. My mother spotted a bunch of pumpkin leaf growing nearby and sent me to collect it. ” she said. ” I did. I remembered the stew she made with the leaves, which made me even hungrier. We stopped a few more times along the trail to gather greens called tamalaca, as well as wild okra and a fruit called amaco ding. I was so hungry I wanted to eat it right there. Suddenly, my mother stopped dead in her tracks.
She didn’t need to worry. I was too scared to leave. I was going to stay safe inside our house forever, my mother always near. Before the war, in the evenings, we children walked by ourselves to the missionary school to play volleyball and other games. That seemed absurd now. The nuns canceled everything so that they could stay in the safety of their convent. My parents made sure we were inside, behind the gate, by ﬁve o’clock. Word was that the local police were running out of ammunition. They had always done their best to protect the local people, but now the only ones with bullets in our town were the government soldiers, who, when it came down to it, really couldn’t care less about people like us, especially the Dinka, and the gangster militias, who deﬁnitely didn’t care about anyone.