Hey Love bugs, Good morning!!! I couldn't think of a better way to start this morning than inspiring you all with my newest blog-post section. As the caption reads, i'm dedicating this section solely to showcasing the very best and most successful Africans to excel in their various fields. Part of why i started this blog four years ago, was to help shine more light on Africa. As a proud African and a Nigerian, i thought to keep everyone inspired with my passion for Fashion, Beauty and Entertainment from Africa and all across the globe, in a fun way of course! The only way you can truly stay abreast and motivated and strive to achieve more or do better, is by constantly inspiring yourself. So, i hope in my little way i inspire you all. The very first person to be featured on this section, is someone i am very proud to show off, Angola's shiniest black diamond, Super Model Miss Maria Borges. See more of her after the cut.
At just 24-years-old (born 28 October 1992), Maria Borges is one of the best things to happen in the World of African Modelling Worldwide. A Native of Angola, Maria was born in Luanda to her parents during the Civil War (which lasted till she was 10 years old). Maria's mother left her at the Age of 11 and Maria's father was hardly ever around because of the civil unrest in Angola. She practically grew up under the guardianship of her sister who was just 15 years at the time. Things where indeed very hard for Maria and her siblings because of the situation they unfortunately found themselves. Maria soon started her modelling career after she was discovered in 2010 at the Elite Model Look Angola Contest, where she came in Second Runner-up to Winner Roberta Naciso.
In 2012, she signed with Supreme Agency and a month later she began her journey to success and world domination after she walked her first Fashion Week. For her first Fashion Week appearance, Maria walked 17 different runway shows and for her next Fashion Week appearance, she became a Givenchy Exclusive. Till date, Maria has walked the runway for over 50 of the worlds biggest and most prominent international designers as well as back home in Angola. Can you beat that.
Maria might just be 24, but she has achieved far more than you can comprehend. To be an Angolan model who emerges out of Angola despite a challenging childhood, and still go forth to conquer the International scenes... Maria is truly a gem. Maria's story should also remind us all that "We are allowed to dream". Dont stay limited, you can be the biggest and the best version you imagine yourself to be, as long as you work hard and keep your your head focused, the sky would be your starting point.
In 2013, she was named Forbes Magazine's "Top African Model". After walking notable runways for some of the biggest designers like Givenchy, Tom Ford, Balmain, Dior, Giorgio Armani, Versace, Oscar de la Renta, Ralph Lauren, Jean Paul Gaultier, Marc Jacobs, Zac Posen, Elie Saab, Marchesa...Just to mention a few. Also, Maria has graced the pages of both International and Angolan Magazines and look-books; From Vogue Italia to Vogue Portugal, Vogue UK, W-magazines, Marie Claire, Harper's Baazar, her long list of achievements go on and on. Did you catch the part where i said she was just 24!!! Phenomenal.
In her most recent achievement, Maria just landed in Elle Magazine's latest Issue (picture above and below...August 2016), Photographed by the talented Cedric Buchet, and styled by David Vandewal. Clearly, this African beauty is unstoppable and is still just getting started. Of all her achievements, the one that gave me chills was watching her strut down the runway at the 2014 world renowned Victoria Secret Fashion Show. Did i forget to add that she is also an Angel (Victoria Secret). She was the first ever African supermodel to work the Victoria Secret Runway with her Natural afro hair...Maria is living her dreams and enjoying the fruit of her patience and dedication.
She is often referred to as the young Naomi Campbell and is the protégé of Ricardo Tisci (creative director of Givenchy's Women Haute Couture), who she refers to as her "god-father". Maria's role models are Naomi Campbell, Carine Roitfeld and Michelle Obama (nice!). How does she stay grounded with all of her success? Maria credits her success to patience. She says “Step by step” (which she has tattooed on her forearm),‘Be patient; take it step by step.’ Maria Borges is indeed a rising star and an African Jewel. As a way of giving back to the society, she opened a children’s charity unit in her local Angolan church and visits home every Christmas to celebrate with the kids.
Maria on the Versace Runway
Maria at the Angola Fashion Week
Adrina Lima and Maria Borges
Backstage at the Victoria Secret Fashion Show
Maria Borges on the Balmain Runway
Maria Borges on the DVF Runway
Maria Borges at the 2013 Victoria Secret Fashion Show with Taylor Swift
Maria Borges on the Tom Ford Runway
Maria Borges at the 2013 Victoria Secret Fashion Show
Maria on the Moschino Runway
Maria Borges on the Oscar de la Renta Runway
Maria Borges on the Prabal Gurung Runway
Maria on the Balmain Runway
Maria posed backstage at the 2016 Fashion Week after the Armani Privé grand finale at Palais de Chaillot with her fellow models and Mr. Armani.
Maria Borges is truly an inspiration and we can all learn a thing or two from her Journey. There is a long way to the top and you might not get there if you dont take things step by step and go patiently. Also, always have it at the back of your head that where you are coming from doesn't determine the journey ahead or where you are going too. Maria Borges didnt allow the thought of growing up in aggravated war-ravaged environment deter her or stop her from achieving her dreams or making it to the top.
One of the best quotes i love of her social media, has to be "Dont let the world change your smile, let your smile change the world".