South Sudanese model Aweng Mayel Chuol and fiancée Alexus defied the Africa’s tradition-bound views on LGBTQ lifestyles to announce their marriage glowingly on social media.
Chuol, a striking beauty in high-end fashion magazines, posted pictures of the wedded couple on Instagram. “Married my best friend today. I am GEEKED,” she wrote on Twitter.
“You mean the world to me,” addressing Alexus. “Forever grateful for you and the village that you’ve brought into my life.”
Of Dinka and Nuer descent, Chuol was born in the Kakuma refugee camp in Turkana, Kenya, after her family fled South Sudan. At age 7, she moved to Sydney, Australia, with her family.
At 21, she was discovered while working the register at a golden arches in Sydney and then again by an agent and friend of a friend and has since been on the fast climb to the top of the fashion world, walking for Vetements, appearing in Vogue Italia, Dazed, and More Or Less, and working campaigns with Jean Paul Gaultier and Burberry.
She’s also worked with charities like War Child and Children in Conflict, and later this year, the model will mark her 21st birthday by speaking at the UN’s mental health forum, in efforts to increase conversations around the mental health of refugees.
The model has been outspoken on the conflicts in South Sudan and the plight of refugees there.
“I feel like my last three birthdays I have been doing some amazing things and I want to continue that,” she says. “Getting to speak in front of international bodies, presidents, and prime ministers on mental health – especially mental health in refugee girls – is something that I am anticipating!”
Chuol is currently based in New York and is a law student with political aspirations.
“We got married,” she wrote in a post seen by thousands. “We had three people in the room with us. And four people at the entire ceremony. It was for us. But wanted to share my happiness with y’all,” Aweng posted on Twitter. The ceremony took place on December 12. The wedding will take place in 2021 in Los Angeles.
Same sex unions are generally frowned upon in African nations, with South Africa currently being the only country on the continent that legally recognizes those marriages.
In Sudan, marriage between same-sex couples has been constitutionally banned since the country adopted its Constitution in 2011.
In an interview with Dansk magazine, she described her main goal: Ideally, I want to leave a very big and impactful mark, a mark where people will say, she was someone who had a story and her story shall not only be heard but remembered. I want to be someone who not only was a model or a business woman, I want to be someone who is known to change things, just not society, from a social point of view, but also politically.
What is your conception of beauty? Do you agree in the urge of editing a subject for it to appear perfect?
“I have always had this war with everyone I work with, and I feel that everyone has adapted with my decisions and accepting it. Do not digitally photoshop me; if a make-up artist can’t do a look which appears to be as if one has photoshopped me then it’s just no good.
“In terms of beauty? I could define it as RAW. Let’s keep it real.”
SOURCE: Global Information Network