Letoya Johnstone, a transgender model from Kisumu now based in Nairobi first shot to fame three years ago when he shared a series of his bikini-clad body, lighting a social media bonfire.
Letoya who has had a great influence on Kenyans in the fashion industry likes sharing photos flaunting her ‘curves’ online and works with local and international brands.
For starters, she has been featured in the Elle magazine, Vogue Italia, Holland’s Bweb magazine and Couture Africa magazine, just to mention a few.
Through the odds she faced while growing up as a transgender model, Letoya was forced to establish the Toy Toy Models Management, a company through which she uses to style high end acts and also air the grievances in the modelling industry.
As a model activist, she has now called out on MANGO, a luxurious Spanish clothing chain which launched in Kenya in October 2018 and mainly stocks urban contemporary designs.
MANGO has erected numerous billboards across Nairobi streets bearing foreign models, what a section of Kenyan beauties have come out to dispel.
“KENYA is a black country and I am personally do believe that the country needs local black girls in Kenya to be the face MANGO here.
Could you just do me the honor and change this narrative?! Why do these western countries think that black people are UGLY? Letoya wrote
According to many Kenyan agencies, some brands leave local models out when pitching street billboards in cities richly surrounded by charming beauties.
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I remember so well talking about this when I saw @mango Putting a white girls only billboard in their @westgatemallke Store. I am so humbled that @luciamusau Has noticed it too because now they are moving to the main streets billboards with these white girls. Ask @naomi , KENYA is a black country and I am personally do believe that the country needs local black girls in Kenya to be the face MANGO here. Could you just do me the honor and change this narrative ? ! Why do these western countries think that black people are UGLY ? #SOMEONETELLMANGO Xo Xo Toy Toy baby – Kill it with love. #letoyajohnstone @coutureafrica @truelove_ea @shaffieweru @adelleonyango @officialjanetmbugua @akotheekenya @jalangoo @sheilamwanyigha @milelefm @kiss100kenya
Aye @Mango you sure you couldn’t get black models for your billboards in Kenya. Thought you should know that we have top models like @ajumanasenyana , @letoyajohnston1 can also get you beautiful models if that’s the problem! Thanks in advance for supporting local talent 🤷🏾♀️ pic.twitter.com/slgBtQdLcA
— Lucia Musau (@LuciaMusau) January 30, 2019
Letoya has gone ahead to call on all models to commence an online discussion in order to tame the clothing brand as such ‘racist’ acts are likely to end bright modelling careers.
“This racist behavior proves that our young women and men should bleach their skins to look like that girl on the billboards. If all KENYAN people can stop going to the MANGO store for straight one year then they are going to close down.
Imagine it is just that simple. Black models in a black country is the way to go. If not then try and mix them up. These Kenyan models have potential.!” she wrote
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