This article was originally published by i-D UK.
Ajak Deng is the kickboxing mega model who’s experienced more than most will in an entire lifetime — and she's only in her twenties. Fleeing the second civil war in Sudan with her family, Ajak lived in a refugee camp in Kenya — where she built her own home — before starting a new life in Australia, and then a very successful modeling career that took her further afield.
Ajak initially had a very different career in mind, but — thankfully for the fashion industry — she was persuaded to give the catwalk a shot. It turned out this statuesque beauty was a natural and, in 2011, she claimed her place on the cover of i-D. But it wasn't all plain sailing. After experiencing racist attitudes in the industry, Ajak was ready to quit modeling for — until her fans persuaded her to stay, and she realized that she wasn’t just a model, she was a role-model.
You’re going to want to get more familiar with Ajak, so start with these 10 very important things to know about this down to earth star who’s set for great heights in the industry, kicking prejudice to the sidelines as she goes.