Today we’d like to introduce you to Soukeyna Diouf.
Soukeyna, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I’d say my story begins with passion, a desire to make a change in how we, as people define beauty. We look to models for what’s in, hip, trending but shouldn’t it be more important than designers & high fashion? I’m from Senegal, where one’s act matters more than their looks. I believe our actions speak more of our beauty than our appearance. My formative years were spent in Senegal, so I do not have a story of a struggle to appreciate my skin. I recognized I was darker then most people I saw on TV but my father coming from the Serere people of Senegal, it was only a source of pride for us. I returned to the US for college in 2015 to attend Howard University where I studied biology but I knew I did not want to practice medicine. I have always been into art but any African can tell you; science is what is respected. I would research the modeling industry, familiarize myself with those that have come before me to truly understand what I was getting myself into. What became an obvious obstacle was my height. I stand at a calm 5’4 which is pretty much unheard of for a model let alone a supermodel. So, it became clear & just made sense for me to become the 1st African petite supermodel & has been my goal since! I am considered a minority in many ways being an African Muslim woman but I also understand for people like me it only takes one person to change the narrative. I do not wish for fame followers or fortune, I simply wish to change what people think about beauty & hope to encourage everyone to embrace the beauty that lies within themselves.
Can you give our readers some background on your work?
I am an agent of change, in other words, a muse. I inspire the expression that will shape our world. I like to believe if you wish to know the history of the world you are to look to art. As a model, I have the responsibility of being the canvas or foundation from where the art is built off of. It involves a certain degree of letting go & trusting as well as being in tune with yourself. Whatever it is you feel on the inside will reflect in the final result. I want people to see my work and feel as if they can do anything, and exercise being themselves to the fullest extent & feel confident that is more then enough.
Artists rarely, if ever pursue art for the money. Nonetheless, we all have bills and responsibilities and many aspiring artists are discouraged from pursuing art due to financial reasons. Any advice or thoughts you’d like to share with prospective artists?
Starting out no one believed in me so not many people invested into me which meant I had to do a lot myself. I feel many artists struggle to gain support but shy away from putting themselves out there. People will not know who you are unless you tell them. I asked anyone from friends to family to take some of my 1st photos. Eventually, photographers would reach out to shoot & slowly I built my own portfolio. With the arts, it’s the will to make it happen that matters more than the way you make it happen.
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
A lot of my work is on my social media pages which are all my name spelled backwards @anyekuos_. I chose this because on social media you can only get a sense of who I am based on how I look rather than a real genuine sense of who I am as a being which I would consider backwards. Anyone can support my work by contributing to several causes I am involved with. On my pages, you will find a link in my bio to donate to a fundraiser to build a school in my country, Senegal. I have partnered with Reach Foundation to help change the education situation of African children. Also, as a Global Health Champion of the UN Foundation, working with Nothing But Nets an organization combatting malaria as I have had it myself.
- Website: https://www.instagram.com/anyekuos_/
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anyekuos_/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/anyekuos_
- Other: https://act.buildon.org/team/230469
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