Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Ok we are back to the profile/interview feature of a Fabulafricana woman, today's woman of interest is the agreable and beautiful model to the top designers miss Nana Keita, she's obviously beautiful but I also hope that through this interview that she is a young woman like us with a beautiful and agreable personality, that's my type ofd chicka ;one that does her job well, praise the Lord, work hard and enjoy it fabulously and humbly.
She represents Mali within the International Modelling Industry(Oscar de la Renta, Patricial Field,Isaac M.ect...) and would love to see more people from her land represented as well in the media:)
She was kind enough to respond to my looonggg serie of questions, diarama sista :)

Nana Keita, let's go!!

Who is Nana?Nana is another world citizen with big dreams :)

How do you define yourself as a Malian woman?

Well everyone who knows me know that I love my country and am attached to its culture, and I think that makes me a Malian woman.

Where are your fav' places to hang out in Bko?I haven't lived there for quite a long time now, so I'd say my house (rire)

What are you best modelling memories?
There are so many, from seeing my work at the news stand, to randomly seeing myself on tv for the first time, a chance to meet with legends like Ralph Lauren/Oscar De La Renta, great memories from working with amazing people such as Alber Elbaz (Lanvin) and so kind and inspirational Tracy Reese, working for Halston (whose legacy in the American designs is undeniable) the lovely Isaac Mizrahi, to name just a few among other great designers/models whom I have a lot of respect for and got a chance to work with.Also of course doing the Arise African Collective show where not only did I get to work with some of the greatest African models at the same event, but I got to meet the amazing Grace Jones who told me I was beautiful!! (I think I went blank for a moment! rires) And walking on a runway show by a designer from Mali (Xuly Bet) during New York fashion week was such an honor and dream come true.Too many great memories I'm grateful for that I can go on and on about but I will stop

Who are your fav' african designers? have you modelled for any and which ones would you like to model for in the future?I unfortunately don't know many of them but the late Chris Seydou, Alphadi, Diouma Dieng Diakhate, Pathe O. and Gilles Toure come to mind.I got a chance to walk for Gilles Toure during an event for Africa at the United Nations. It will be an honor to work for any of them, unfortunately it hasn't been possible yet due to schedule and the fact that I don't live near them, but I do hope I can pull it off in a near future.

What are some of your professional ambitons?I want to be one of the best at what I do while staying true to myself and to my culture. Be a role model to people not just as a model but in every other aspect of my life.Be helpful to my continent and every other places in the world that I can reach out to.

What would you change within the Malian society? The corruption

How did you get your start as a fashion model?I got discovered on a plane to Paris
What are some of your fav' Malian designers, painters, writers?
The late Chris Seydou and Lamine Badian Kouyate for Xuly Bet are the ones that I know of, so they are my favs.I have yet to meet painters from Mali, but ex "ministre de la culture" Mme Aminata Dramane does a great job when it comes to art in general, and my mother is a great painter too although she only does it as a hobby and keeps it private.My favorite malian writers are Amadou Hampathe Ba and Seydou Badian Kouyate.

Do you feel connected when you go to bamako or too mixed culturally to feel at ease within the society?No matter how many countries I travel to, or how long I live somewhere else, Bamako is and will always be home, so I'm always comfortable there.-
What is success to you?Success to me is going to bed everyday being at peace with myself and with God.

What does spirituality mean to you?God is a very important part of my everyday life and I try my best to be as close to him as possible by doing things that I'm required to do, but also avoiding things I'm not supposed to do. I make efforts to stay as morally correct as possible.

How did you feel when obama won and how did you celebrate the big day?I was of course happy for him and every other person who fought for this kind of change to happen in the world. It was a very emotinal moment indeed and I hope we get to see a lot more stories like his in the future.

You can see Nana at the Tracy Reese 2009 Show:HERE
Backstage at Patricial Field:HERE

Which african women do you admire and why?My mother comes first as she is the most amazing woman I know (and I'm not just saying that vecause she is my mom!! rires) And every single African queens out there living in villages or in cities with no electricity, and/or with no clean water, food, comfortable home, proper health care, victims of discrimination and any sort of physical or emotional pain, that still stand up strong and are great mothers to their children regardless of what they're going through in their every day lives. Those are my queens and I salute them.

What is ur fav' word in bambara and why?Mash'Allah. It's not really Bambara but it is frequently used in the language. It's a way to preach God and send him your thanks for what you have.What are your fav spots for vacation in the word?Anywhere whith a clean beach and privacy to relax is perfect.
What quote do u live by?Live everyday of your life as if it was the last one, and in the end make sure you're at peace with God.

What is one great beauty secret you can share with us?Most african women know this already, moisturizing your skin each time after shower is very important for your skin's health, it helps soften and gives it a nice glow.
What is a regular day in the life of Nana?Going to castings and/or jobs, make sure to do my 5 prayers (yes mom I'm keeping up!! riress

What motivates u in life to keep going ?God is my ultimate strength, and then my family and friends keep me grounded.-how do u feel about the twenties and the thrities as a youg woman?I believe every age is a celebration and we should embrace them all. Of course the older you get the more responsible and mature you should get

What's special abt african men?whats the one thing u would like them to improve on?Being African!! (rires) I don't know, that depends on each individual as they're all different in their own ways.Some of them need to stop thinking they are better than the women, or that they "own" their wife..

How do u feel abt polygamy?What? (rires) that word should not be part of our vocabulary. Religious people might lash out about that, but I don't think it's fair for any human being to be forced to share the person you love. Plus in an economic point of view it is one of the reasons why poverty has gained so much pace in Africa.

If I say Liya kebede...u say...One of the most beautiful inside out and down to earth person I've met in the fashion world.

If I say salif keita..u say"Maninka De Ka Faring" (rires, the ones who speak Bambara will understand)I think he has one of the greatest voices in the world and is a great musician.-life is.......short, make sure you leave a positive mark before yo

Being on top of ur finances means....Not spend frivolously and keep tomorrow in mind.
Whats the one thing you love abt yourself
That's for others to say.

When you want to unwind what do u do...I pray and/or talk to my mother, take a break and go on vacation if possible.

Who is one african model in the industry you think deserve more recognition and why?Every single one of them because they're all beautiful and most of the time have different things to bring to the table

What's one ONG in ur opinion that does a good job? I know the Rotary does a lot of great stuffs for the ones in need as I was president of Interact (younger version of Rotary) in the past.The great part about it is that none of the money or help comes from outside, the members are 100% required and dedicated to providing any sort of material or physical help they can.

Which african countries would you like to visit?A lot!! But next on my list are Egypt and South Africa

If you could have diner with 3 famous african people who would it be and why?Mandela because, well, need I say why? Don't we all love and cherish this hero?Alphadi or Angelique Kidjo because in addition to their talents they're such eloquent speakers I could listen to them all day

U feel the most beautiful when..... I get unconditional love.

Whats the best advice ur mama ever gave u... Always have a great faith in God and remember that whatever he does to your life, good or bad, it is for the best.

What would we find african music wise on ur ipod? Salif Keita, Viviane Ndour, Tiken Jah, Ali Farka Toure, Oumou Sangare, Youssou Ndour,Toumani Diabate, Koffi Olomide, Kuti Fela, Abou Nidal 2Geneve etc...

Whats one event that happened in the history of africa thay would stay marked in your mind (besides Obama lol) I was very young then but when Mandela finally achieved his goal and became president of South Africa after so many lost lives and years of pain and torture for him and everyone else who dared ask for their rights in that country. That was a very powerful moment for the whole world in my opinion.

What do u know for sure in life?
Everything must come to an end.

Thank you Nana for taking the time to do this loonng interview, we all wish you the best of the best, more International fashion covers, ads, ect.. so we can all say I know her, she is Nana Keita!!
Djaa les gos du Mali sont puissanciii:)
Eyeee Wayeee:)


IRepCamer said...

Lovely Interview!!!She is international indeed!!I LOVE your blog...I am kinda a blogspot newbie!!

Aïssata said...

I luuv her skin

Khady Beye said...

"I want to be one of the best at what I do while staying true to myself and to my culture" That's what's up. Elle a la tête sur les épaules :)