“We are so happy Noella is Brand Ambassador for AFWL 2015. She has been a great friend and supporter of our event and ethos over the years and a compassionate, hardworking, beautiful individual who understands our drive to showcase the best of Africa.” Said Ronek Ademuliyi, founder AFWL.
“I am delighted to be serving as this year’s Brand Ambassador to Africa Fashion Week London and to help showcase the brilliant work of African designers. It has always been my belief that fashion can be a tool for breaking down barriers and transcending cultures. This industry has the ability to put Africa on the world stage and can provide for countless job opportunities on the ground and abroad, from local factories to international shops. It is time for the world to see the amazing talent that lies within Africa.” Said Noella Coursaris Musunka.
Photographer: Michael Price
Noella Coursaris Musunka is an international model and the founder of Malaika. Noella was born in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The loss of her father at age 5, along with her mother’s lack of resources, led to her being sent to Switzerland to live with relatives. After achieving a degree in business management, she moved to London and began a career in modeling, where her first campaign was for Agent Provocateur.
Her success brought her to New York where she has been featured in a myriad of publications, including Vanity Fair, Essence and GQ. Alongside her active modeling career, Noella founded Malaika, a nonprofit that believes in empowering Congolese communities. Malaika’s work in the village of Kalebuka impacts thousands of people through their multiple programmes – a free school for girls, a community centre built in partnership with FIFA, and five fresh-water wells.
Photographer: Stefanie Calleja-Gera
Fiercely proud of her heritage, Noella’s determination to help improve the lives of Africa’s youth has made her an international advocate for them. The success of Malaika has enabled Noella’s work to be known to a wider audience. She has been featured on Bloomberg TV, three different CNN programmes and the BBC’s Focus Africa.
She has addressed UNICEF and the Kinshasa Parliament and gave a TEDx talk in Paris. Noella has participated in many international panels and was invited to speak about the future of Africa alongside President Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative’s Opening and Closing Plenaries in Morocco. In 2014, Noella was named one of the 100 most influential Africans by New African magazine.