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HABARIINSPIRATION 52 msafi ri M eet Africa's latest top model – 23 year- old Kate Menson, winner of the Eighth M- Net Face of Africa Competition which was held at the Sun City Superbowl in South Africa at the end of November. This gracious and svelte Ghanaian strutted her way to the top, beating nine other contenders from several African countries including South Africa, Zambia, Nigeria, Namibia, Ethiopia and Uganda. Kate has won a three- year O- Model Africa contract to the creator, Megan Kruger. In its inaugural year in 1998, the competition launched the career of Nigeria's Oluchi Onweagba Orlandi, who went on to become an international supermodel after winning the competition. She went from selling bread on the streets of Nigeria, to gracing the pages of some of the world's top fashion magazines including Elle, Vogue and Harpers Bazaar, walking for designers like Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan and Giorgio Armani as well as appearing on campaigns for L'Oreal, Clinique and Banana Republic. Her success in the fashion industry gave her the impetus to launch O- Model Africa, a Johannesburg based modelling agency of which she's the director. Together with M-Net and Jan Malan's Umzingeli Productions, O- model Africa has been at the forefront of discovering and nurturing modelling talent in Africa, and this year's M- Net Face of Africa Competition was testament to this commitment. The models were scouted and trained by the 2006 FOA Winner, Kaone Kario and Umzingeli Productions' Andiswa Manxiwa who has years of experience and knowledge as a model and was the recipient of Africa's face Top Choreographer Award. Accompanied making, and found 10 gorgeous girls of their standard. When asked how she felt, Kate's the Face of Africa, I'm so happy". professionals at O- Model Africa, a subsidiary of Shine, the biggest agency in Africa. " We chose her because she has the potential to work in this industry, she can handle rejection", says Kruger, who was one of the judges alongside Oluchi, the Fashion Editors of Cosmopolitan SA and True Love East Africa as well as designers from Tanzania, Nigeria and South Africa. Let's hope there's little rejection for Kate Menson, the new Face of Africa. O- MODEL AFRICA HAS BEEN AT THE FOREFRONT OF DISCOVERING AND NURTURING MODELLING TALENT IN AFRICA, AND THIS YEAR'S M- NET FACE OF AFRICA value of US$ 50,000, a cash prize package of R87,000 and mentorship from The Shine Group by the M- Net crew, the two travelled to 13 countries looking for a model of Kate's who will most likely be welcomed into O- Model Africa's women's division because response was, " Things have gone so fast, one minute I was just Kate and the next I'm Things will go even faster when Kate starts working with the highly skilled group of COMPETITION WAS TESTAMENT TO THIS COMMITMENT Already in demand, a bright future lies ahead for Kate Menson. PICTURES BY: Thokozani Masango of Africa Kagiso I Kwapa provides the background on Africa's newest top model, winner of the M- Net Face of Africa competition