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Adut Akech on fighting for the ones she loves

Adut Akech

Her name is Adut. And she is iconic. South Sudanese-Australian super Adut Akech is a multiple ‘model of the year’ winner and counts Naomi Campbell as a mentor. She hardly needs an introduction. But when she was announced as a face of Tiffany T1 – the new Tiffany & Co. jewellery collection celebrating power, strength, optimism and connection to self – we took the chance to get to know her better.
Akech’s favourite piece in the Tiffany T1 collection? “[The] T1 bracelet … It can go with everything.

“Everyone was so lovely and who doesn’t like being draped in beautiful pieces of jewellery?” she says of the campaign.

 

 

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For Akech, creative collaboration is a major perk of this industry she’s been a part of since she was 16. As is the opportunity to project her voice for the things that matter most. Akech was eight when she came to Australia as a refugee. Now she is working with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, to help others going through similar hardship.

“The UN Refugee program is very close to my heart,” she explains. “My family were refugees from Sudan so I know first-hand what that struggle is like. I want to bring awareness with my platform to help others get through this very difficult journey.”
When Akech arrived in Australia she promised her mother she would buy her a house one day. Now, she says, it’s her proudest achievement.
It’s not surprising that those closest to Akech would describe her as “selfless”. She is at her most courageous, she tells, when “I need to help others.”

“Whether it be a friend, family or someone I feel is in real need … I will fight for them until the end.”

 

What is the first thing we should know about you?

My name is Adut.

 

I’m not afraid to …

Speak my mind.

 

The bravest thing I’ve ever done …

I think leave home and family and essentially everything I knew.

 

My star sign is …

Capricorn.

 

It suits me because …

I think I am pretty loyal.

 

The people I hold close are …

Carefully chosen. I am very much about quality and not quantity.

 

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I’m fortified by …

My friends.

 

The music that energises me is …

I clearly love my boyfriend’s music ... Runtown.

 

The quality I most admire in others is …

Honesty.

 

I look after myself by …

I love massages and facials ... It is me time.

 

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Introvert or extrovert?

Both ... I love being alone but also a highly functioning extrovert …

 

I’m inspired by …

All of the incredible creative people around that I work with every day… As well as those that I hold close to my heart.

 

I won’t compromise on …

Core values.

 

My personal heroes are …

This list is so long … Frontline workers, mothers fighting to give their children their best lives, refugees struggling to survive … all of those people that have helped me in my life.

 

My words to live by are …

Be true to yourself and you can do anything that you put your mind to … never let them tell you ‘no’.

 

The achievement I’m most proud of is …

The ability to buy my mother her home.

 

I feel most myself when …

I’m home with my family.

 

I’m looking forward to …

I try to live in the moment. I want to enjoy every minute of this.

 

Read the full interview in the 'Courage' issue, out now.

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