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A daily chronicle of a rapidly changing continent.

Meet Zimbabwe's new supermodel

Nyasha Matonhodze is sweet 16 and is turning heads worldwide.
Zimbabwe model nyasha matonhodze 2011 5 23Enlarge
Nyasha Matonhodze, 16, grew up in Zimbabwe and Britain and is now making a splash as a model in the world of high fashion. (Elite London/Courtesy)

Meet Zimbabwe's first supermodel: Nyasha Matonhodze is 16, slim like a willow and pretty like a flower.

She's making a big splash on the international modeling scene. She has been signed to be the face of Louis Vuitton, the French luxury goods label, doing shoots for major fashion magazines and she's strutting the catwalks for top designers.

Matonhodze spent her early years in Zimbabwe and then moved to Britain to live with her mother. She comes across as a smart and sweet teenager who is wise beyond her years.

This is her breakthrough year. She has been signed by the Elite London model agency and has caught the eye of stylist Katie Grand who booked the young model for catwalk shows by Louis Vuitton, Emanuel Ungaro, and Loewe.

On the success of her appearances in those key fashion shows, Matonhodze posed for magazines like Harper's Bazaar, Teen Vogue, and V magazine. Most recently she has landed a contract with Louis Vuitton which means she will be the featured model for the line and will be photographed by renowned fashion photographer Steven Meisel and styled by Karl Templer.

In a delightful interview, Matonhodze describes her early years in Zimbabwe and her move to Britain. She describes herself as goofy and reveals her favorite ice cream (Ben & Jerry's Cookie Dough). She says she has clicked with Sudanese model Ajak and she says they share their African roots as they negotiate the high fashion world.

It looks like Matonhodze has a big career ahead of her but the model's life is a crazy one in the fast lane. Here are our best wishes for her success and most importantly that she can keep her feet on the ground and her head on her shoulders.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/africa-emerges/meet-zimbabwes-new-supermodel