This picture is from my first test with City Models Paris. I probably got signed because of that Afro, back in '94. This trend was kind of coming back.
I was 15, I was by myself. In this huge flat in Paris, the photographer, an Italian named Massimo had a party the night before. People were keeping on appearing as we were shooting. I was wondering how big was the flat and how big could have been the party.
While I was changing clothes, Massimo told me he liked my panty and ask me if I didn't mind staying like that for the next pictures. Then this beautiful girl from South Africa appeared and told him they should do me a huge Afro.
I was very shy and very impressed by her beauty but I could told her that I grew up in Mozambique, that I was feeling close to South Africans and was looking forward to see Mandela became the first black president. The elections were about to happen. She told me South Africans were crossing fingers and hoping nothing happen to Madiba in the meanwhile.
A few days later, a couple of my dreams were fulfilled. I got signed and Mandela became president.
Modeling is not for every teenager but in my case, it helped me handle the fact that I was out of Africa. I loved how it allowed me to escape my daily high school life and to meet different people, to share and learn at an early age, although I didn't stayed with this agency and actually really started my modeling career years later.
It has been my getaway for a while.