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African profiles and photos: Maryann

36 photos of the professional photo model Maryann. Maryann is born in Kenya with a Kenyan mother and a Somalian father. In 2000 she married and has since then been living and working in Berlin, Germany as one of the few African photo/fashion models. Click on the photos to view full-size slideshow with the images.

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Copyright © Jacob Crawfurd - crawfurd.dk 1996-2017. All Rights Reserved.

African profiles: Maryann – African photo model in Germany

Growing up in a Kenyan town

Maryann was born in 1974. Her mother is Kikuyu from Kenya and her father from Somalia. She grew up with her mother and three sisters in the small Kenyan town Londiani. Being the oldest child, Maryann was partly responsible for the family: “As a single parent, my mother had a very strong influence in our family and my life. She made me understand, that the family is most important of all.”

Early in primary school it became clear that Maryann took great pleasure from music, dancing and singing. Like so many other kids she watched music videos on TV and started daydreaming about a future career in the limelight. “My Mum laughed and asked me: how do you want to do that? You are a village girl, and those people there on TV are from the big cities. But my mother also enjoyed telling us how she and her sister did an advertisement for the Kenyan Tusker Beer in the 70’s. It was successful and she wanted me to try something like that too.”

Moving to Nairobi

At the age of 19 Maryann left home and went to the capital Nairobi. “I wanted to try my luck and let my dreams become reality so I could support my family,” she says. In Nairobi she was encouraged by many to become a model. In weekends she posed in several photo shootings at home, but didn’t really believe in a model career: “ I had heard that all models are supposed to be tall, minimum 1.75m. However, I tried it and won several beauty contests in various clubs. It was fun and I became quite successful, first in dancing and then in modelling. I even started earning some money and was finally able to give my mother and sisters the needed support.”


During her time in Nairobi Maryann had made good friends from all over the world. Like many other young people in Africa, she was fascinated with the stories about the life in Europe -especially the parts about dancers, models and singers. Today she knows that they were creating a fantasy image of Europe, but nevertheless it made her ambitious. It made her dream of working in Europe to represent an image of Africa. “A few years later, I decided to go to Germany and try my luck. I met both good and bad people there, and one of the good ones was Klaus who has now become my husband and my best friend. He has been there for me ever since we met. He has always made me feel like a natural woman, regardless if I am a model or not.”

Maryann got a job as sales representative to have a secure financial foundation, but she always found time for dancing and modelling. She now works with several designers in Germany and participates in advertising campaigns for well-known fashion companies such as Prada. She appeares in dance video-clips, which are running on TV channels like Viva and MTV/Pop. She participates in many beauty pageants such as Miss Gridgirl contest 2004 on German RTL, and Miss African Beauty Queen 2005. “It gives me confidence and tenacity to continue with the job. I have always been supported by lots of people telling me, that I have the right talents for this business since I like to expose myself and flirt with the camera.”

Black models

It is not easy getting model jobs in Europe though –especially when you are black and don’t have the “obligatory” height of 1.75 m. On the worldwide top model scene it is hard to mention more than 3 or 4 black models, but Maryann is a fighter and doesn’t stand to loose. Apart from modelling her great ambition is to become a mother. “I look forward to hold my children in my arms. Children are our future and we should teach them well and lead them their way not forgetting to show them the beauty they posses inside ...as Whitney Huston once sang. Foremost I thank my mum, because that’s exactly what she did for me.”

Maryann would like to encourage other black models and dancers in Europe to keep moving, and not let the words of anybody bring them down: “No matter what people say, look forward, and be confident in yourselves …then you will see the results. I know there are a lot of people, especially from my origin, who doesn’t like the way I fight and expose myself, but I know that this is the way to make my dreams become reality. My Mum, husband, friends and sisters Ruby, Ivy and Janet have the trust in me, and they are giving me the right support. They always tells me... Maryann, YOU WILL MAKE IT.

© Text and photos: Jacob Crawfurd

Visit www.maryann-queen.com for more information and booking

Maryann was featured as "Face of the month" in Coloured Pictured Magazine Issue 03-15.

Important notice regarding the models on this site:
Please note that Crawfurd.dk is NOT a dating site. There seem to be a prejudice among some people that a black girl is "available" when she is posing for pictures. This is a serious misunderstanding! Most of the models featured here are married and they did not have their pictures taken because they are looking for a boyfriend. Respect the models privacy and integrity. Do not write to ask for their contacts. Do not copy the images, post them to other sites or try to use them for scams on net. The aim of the photos on this site is to promote a general concept of African/black beauty -not to disgrace or disrespect people of any race or gender.



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  Copyright © Jacob Crawfurd - crawfurd.dk 1996-2017. All Rights Reserved.