Here Is All You Need To Know About The African Barbie Doll
Chelsea Ndirangu is a Kenyan model known as the African barbie doll because of her doll-like features. The model also hopes to start her own agency in Kenya someday to inspire girls.
You may have read the name the African Barbie Doll on some corner of the internet, and wondered who really is the person behind that unusual name. Her real name is Chelsea Ndirangu. And your curiosity is about to be fed. The Kenya modelling sensation sat down for a chat with James Kahongeh to take about herself, growing up in the US, her modelling career, her curious nickname, and so on.
The African Barbie Doll is certainly an unusual name even for a nickname, and so it is not surprising that it is the first question that comes up during the chat. As you might expect, fans on the internet picked the name for her and it stuck, with Chelsea describing the nickname to be as fitting as a glove.
"The internet community picked the name for me, she says. "I have been told a great deal about how my doll-like features look surreal. This feels flattering and a little weird too. Last year in July, I trimmed my hair and started rocking 'finger waves'. Everyone seemed to love my new style and how it complimented my face. I like the name; it fits into my playful personality like a glove."
The African Barbie Doll goes on to talk about herself: she was born in Kenya and grew up in the Arlington/Mansfield area in Texas, US. She began modelling when she was seven. Asked what pushed her into modelling she said: "Growing up, I would take my mother’s magazine subscriptions and flip through the pages, admiring the beautiful models. I would then imitate them by posing in front of a mirror. My dream was to one day get on the cover of a magazine. My favourite model was, and still is, Naomi Elaine Campbell. I always thought if she could do it, I could do it too. That’s how I got hooked."
Furthermore, Chelsea talks about the highlight of her career participating in a modelling contest titled “Keeping Families Connected” in Dallas earlier this year. She describes it as her first-ever serious modelling gig. It has not all been smooth for the African Barbie Doll. She has struggled to try imitating more accomplished models, before realising she has to be herself and that modelling is about character and attitude. Then age and looks.
And when James asks which country she would like to represent as a model, her answer was unsurprisingly Kenya. She said: "That would obviously be Kenya. I am so fortunate to have so much support from back home. My friends in Kenya are my main support system. While we may not meet often, they are like family to me. So, Kenya any day."
Finally, every career person likes to project where they might be in the future. To dream of breakthroughs. And Chelsea is no different. In three years, she hopes to be signed to her dream modelling agency. Additionally, she wishes to be a Victoria Secret model and to feature on the cover of i-D, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. And also to attend a Met Gala.
In all her dreams, the African Barbie Doll also intends to establish a modelling agency in Kenya when her dreams come through. To make it easier for young aspiring models.