There are so many African beauty queens with dark skin but most South Sudan women are the darkest in Africa.

When asked: "Why are South Sudanese people darker than other Africans?"

A South Sudanese by name Jacob Jior's response was:

"The fact I know why we may be too black than other African countries is because we are near the equator and the heat passes directly to our country, to prove this, if a South Sudanese is born in Kenya or Uganda and grows up from there, s/he will be brown like Kenyans. Another prove is, just bring someone from Scotland and expose this person to be working in South Sudan for only 3 months, s/he will no longer be white, but will be red in color. I had my boss from Finland whom I worked with for two years, when he removed his shirt, to work on a car, you would see different colors in the same body, the part covered by cloth would be white, and the knees, arms and the neck would be red, when I asked him one day, he told me it's direct sun light. He even told me the reason why I'm too dark is because of this."


Top 10 African Beauty Queens With The Darkest Skin Color
South Sudanese beauties: The photo has gone viral. Source: Yahoo Lifestyle

While it’s still more common to see light-skinned black entertainers top the charts and bag the leading lady roles, things are changing slowly but surely. Colourism is increasingly being called out in the entertainment industry, and elsewhere too, and the beauty of dark-skinned women is increasingly being recognized and championed by the global modelling and beauty industries.


Top 10 African Dark Skin Models


1. Meet Nyakim Gatwech: the "Queen Of The Dark" from South Sudan who was told to bleach her incredible dark skin by an Uber driver


Date of birth: born on 27 January 1993

Nyakim Gatwech: the "Queen Of The Dark"

Meet Nyakim Gatwech, the South Sudanese descent African American model who’s teaching people not to be afraid of the dark. With her deeply pigmented skin and fierce determination, the dark skin model is breaking down the barriers of conventional beauty and encouraging others to do the same.

Nyakim Gatwech: the "Queen Of The Dark"

The 24-year-old African model and fashion icon, who now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has no shame about her melanin, and she makes sure the world is aware. “My chocolate is elegant. So is what I represent… A nation of warriors,” she captioned one of her many Instagram photos, which routinely exceed 10 thousand likes each. In another, she details an experience in which an Uber driver suggested she try ‘bleaching’ her skin – and her only response was laughter. “You won’t believe the kind of questions I get and the kind of looks I get for having this skin.” Nyakim told Boredpanda.


Gatwech is known for her naturally dark skin color and has been nicknamed the Queen of the Dark. Gatwech has faced self-esteem issues and comments from people who promote bleaching to lighten skin color, but learned to embrace her beauty and pigmentation with love and support from her fans. She has over 700,000 followers on Instagram.

2. Meet Khoudia Diop: The badass model from Senegal who was also bullied for her skin color


Khoudia Diop

Khoudia Diop

Khoudia Diop, also known as the Melanin Goddess, (born 31 December 1996) is a Senegalese fashion model and actress. Diop was teased as a child because of her dark skin tone, but after moving to Paris, France at age 15, she was repeatedly approached with the suggestion that she become a model. She nicknamed herself the "Melanin Goddess" (alluding her dark black skin) to express pride in her appearance.



But now the self-proclaimed “Melanin Goddess” is taking the internet by storm with her beautifully rich skin tone.”I was teased a lot growing up, because of my skin tone,” Khoudia, who is based in Paris, told the Daily Mail. “And even now sometimes, people will make racist comments. Growing up, I faced it by confronting the bullies. As I grew, I learned to love myself more every day, and not pay attention to the negative people.”

3. Meet "Mimi Mbah" from Cameroon


Meet "Mimi Mbah" from Cameroon

Mimi Mbah, an aspiring Cameroonian model has become an Internet sensation for coming up with the perfect reply to an Internet troll who had an offensive opinion about her skin color.

Meet "Mimi Mbah" from Cameroon



Mbah said in an interview with the Metro: “It’s just nice to know that my confidence could help others. I want to tell all my dark skin women to stay positive and love themselves. Dark skin is not a crime and they are beautiful the way they are.”

4. Meet South Sudanese model "Adut Akech"


Meet South Sudanese model "Adut Akech"

Meet South Sudanese model "Adut Akech"

Born: 25 December 1999, South Sudan
Height: 1.78 m
Eye color: Brown

Akech made her fashion week runway debut as an exclusive in the Saint Laurent S/S 17 show and went on to close both their F/W 17 and S/S 18 shows as an exclusive. In 2018, she was chosen as "Model of the Year" by models.com, an honour which was repeated the next year.



She was one of fifteen women selected to appear on the cover of the September 2019 issue of British Vogue, by guest editor Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. On Monday 2nd December 2019, she won the 'Model of the Year' award at British Fashion Awards, in London.

5. Fashion model "Anok Yai" from Egypt


Fashion model "Anok Yai"

Born on December 20, 1997, Anok Yai is an Egyptian-born American fashion model of South Sudanese descent. She is the second black model to open a Prada show after Naomi Campbell, and the first South Sudanese model to do so. Yai currently ranks as one of the “Top 50” models by models.com.

Fashion model "Anok Yai"

Yai was discovered in October 2017 during Howard University's homecoming week, by a professional photographer who asked to take her picture. He posted the photo on Instagram, accruing over 20,000 "likes", and modeling agencies, including IMG Models, asked to get in touch with her. She eventually chose to sign with Next Model Management, who had called her daily for several weeks. Within 4 months, she became the first Sudanese model to open a Prada fashion show, which is deemed the highest feat in fashion modeling because of the careers Prada has launched. She has also appeared in the Prada SS 2018 campaign and an upcoming Nike campaign designed by Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci.


On her breakthrough moment, she told Vogue:

"It was an honor and I'm proud that I was the one chosen to open, but this is bigger than me. Me opening for one of the top fashion houses is a statement to the world - especially for black women - that their beauty is something that deserves to be celebrated."

6. South Sudanese model "Duckie Thot"


Duckie Thot

Born on 23 October 1995, Thot finished in third place on the eighth cycle of Australia's Next Top Model and made her runway debut at the Yeezy S/S 17 show. She is best known for being a face of Fenty Beauty as well as playing the lead role in the Alice in Wonderland-inspired 2018 Pirelli Calendar.

Duckie Thot

Thot has done campaigns for Fenty x Puma, Fenty Beauty, Moschino, Balmain, and Oscar de la Renta. She debuted in the 2018 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. She appeared on the cover art for CHIC's album It's About Time, which was released in September 2018.


Thot is currently ranked on the "Money Girls" list on Models.com.

7. Sudanese Model "Alek Wek"


Alek Wek

Born on 16 April 1977, Alek Wek is a South Sudanese-British model and designer who began her fashion career at the age of 18 in 1995. She has been hailed for her influence on the perception of beauty in the fashion industry. She is from the Dinka ethnic group in South Sudan, but fled to Britain in 1991 to escape the civil war in Sudan.

Alek Wek

Dark-skinned models were rare, if not unheard of, in the high fashion industry. Alek was "the first black model who didn't conform to a Caucasian aesthetic, the first with an uncompromising, sub-Saharan beauty... her industry saw her as new and exotic – a savage beauty." As a result, Alek's mainstream success was celebrated by black women all over the world. Oprah Winfrey commented that “if Alek had been on the cover of a magazine when I was growing up, I would have had a different concept of who I was.” In a speech on beauty and self-perception , Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong'o stated that she had been a self-conscious, insecure teenager before seeing Alek in the spotlight: "When I saw Alek, I inadvertently saw a reflection of myself that I could not deny. Now, I had a spring in my step because I felt more seen, more appreciated by the far-away gatekeepers of beauty".


Alek has appeared on the cover of American, French, German and South African Elle as well as i-D, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Forbes Magazine Africa and Ebony. She has also been featured in editorials in American and British Vogue. In 2002 she made her acting debut in The Four Feathers as Sudanese princess Aquol. Herb Ritts photographed her for a 1999 calendar in a Joanne Gair body painting that was a highlight of Gair's first retrospective.

8. Ajak Deng from South Sudan


Ajak Deng from South Sudan

Deng was born in South Sudan. Her family became refugees in Kenya before moving to Melbourne, Australia at age 11 when the Australian government accepted them because her mother died of malaria.

Ajak Deng from South Sudan

She auditioned for the role of a Bond girl but was told she was "too pretty" for it. Since 2018, she has been one of the faces of Fenty Beauty.


9. Kenyan model "Ajuma Nasenyana"


Ajuma Nasenyana

Nasanyana is a fashion model born in the town of Lodwar, situated in the Turkana District of Kenya.

Ajuma Nasenyana

Her first foray into modeling was in the Miss Tourism Kenya competition in 2003, where she was crowned Miss Nairobi. It was through this competition that she came to the attention of Lyndsey McIntyre of Surazuri Modeling Agency.

Soon afterward, Gamma Photo Agency came to Kenya to do a story on McIntyre's scouting work and were so taken with Nasenyana that she became the main feature of the story; which later ran in France's Gala magazine. The pictures taken were compiled into a portfolio and presented to international agency Ford Models, who entered her in Ford's Supermodel of the World competition.

10. "Ataui Deng" from South Sudan


Ataui Deng

Born on 3 November 1991, Ataui-Deng Hopkins, also known as Ataui Deng is a Sudanese American model who began her fashion career at the age of 17 in 2008. As the niece of Alek Wek, she began her career linked to her more famous aunt though her youth quickly became the aspect that the media focused on.

Ataui Deng

She arrived in San Antonio at age 12, four years later she signed to Trump modelling agency and moved to New York. She debuted as a runway model in September 2008 for the spring Jeremy Laing, Kai Kuhne, L’Wren Scott, Proenza Schouler, and Zac Posen shows in New York. She was filmed by Jeremy Kost backstage at the Zac Posen show for New York magazine. She skipped the fashion weeks in Europe in 2008 in order to finish high school in Texas. She appeared in Teen Vogue several times. She has also been photographed by Tibi Clenci. At age eighteen she became well known for having fallen on the runway for Z Spoke by Zac Posen.

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