Born in Lodwar, Turkana County,
Despite her success in
After a while, she participated in the Miss Tourism beauty pageant in 2003 and was crowned Miss Nairobi. She was first scouted by Lindsey McIntyre, who was wowed by her slim, well-toned features and scouted her at the beauty pageant after she had won.
The pictures were compiled into a portfolio and presented to Ford Models, an international modelling agency based in the United States, which then entered her in Ford’s Supermodel of the World competition.
During the finals the following year, Nasenyana won the $50,000 (Sh5 million) finalist’s prize, making history by becoming the first black model to win in an international contest that did not focus on black models only. During that same year, she won €6,000 (Shs 690,000) for being voted Best Model during the Spanish Fashion Week.
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Under McIntyre’s guidance, Nasenyana soon signed with
In August 2005, she was voted among the world’s 10 most beautiful women by Complex magazine and in 2012 she was named African Fashion Week Model of the Year. In 2013, Nasenyana partnered with City Models Paris to open Africa’s first international model and casting agency.
As a young girl, Ajuma was teased for her dark skin, and for a long
The money and fame did not stop her from finding love. Ajuma met her husband Gustav Ericson when he was 17years old and she was 15. According to the supermodel, he describes him as her first love. Despite the fact that their love has experienced its ups and downs, she has in previous interviews admitted that they always found their way to each other and always end up stronger than before.
The couple has two sons.
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Besides modelling, Nasenyana has acted as a spokesperson for black models who often face discrimination within the industry.
European standards of beauty place a lot of pressure on black models and black women in general, thereby causing a rise in practices such as skin bleaching, which is common in Kenya.
Ajuma has been vocal in her campaign against skin bleaching and has severally expressed interest in launching a cosmetics and natural
(All photos Courtesy)