She hails from both South Sudan and Kenya and her look doesn’t fit in the likes of the Beyonce’s, the Pocahontas and the Marolyn Monroe of this world, however, Shanelle Nyasiase might just be even much more beautiful. On first glance, it is normal to question her capabilities as a top model as she doesn’t fit the steriotypes of beauty, as once upon a time when we (the older we) saw this repeated history with Alek Wek.
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To rewind a bit further, when we saw Alek Wek stand out the pool in the Busta Ryhmes video ‘Put Your Hands’, it was one of the most talked about entities in the black community if Alek Wek was hot or not, beautiful or not, she then went on to make millions.
Ever since the Alek Wek phenomenon opened doors for so many models to come, you know the strong African features that wish to make it big. Even many of those girls of today wil have no clue she was the door breaker for them. Although to us, now that is the norm, Shanelle Nyasiase look is one of it’s own and even more controversial. It is possible to say her look is the apithamy of east African beauty.
What is even more radiant is her confidence in her skin, her smart instagram remarks on her image posts such us ‘Cuter than your boyfriend’ shows she is fully aware she is not of the conventional beauty, and it’s with this confidence that makes her stand out. We were set to launch our model crush with another hottie from Burkina Faso but it makes sense that Shanelle Nyasiase had to go first.
When Shanelle Nyasiase moved from her native South Sudan to Nairobi, Kenya to live with her 12 cousins, she had no idea she would soon be closing the Balenciaga runway show or appearing in ad campaigns for the likes of Versace and Alexander McQueen.
Soon after taking local modelling jobs to support herself, Nyasiase was introduced to photographer Daniele Tamagni who then connected her to “mother agent” Ingrid Tamborin, and things began moving quickly.
“Her career was fast,” says Tamborin, who is based in Milan but travels to Kenya, Ethiopia and the East Africa region to find talent, managing around 10 girls at a time. “It has a lot to do with uniqueness: she’s strong and clever, with good instinct. [At the time] she wasn’t the Shanelle you know now.”