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Naomi Campbell in Dar for Charity

By Phyllis Nyambura

It was a warm Thursday night, when in a Dar es Salaam hotel, super model Naomi Campbell, walked to the ramp.

And today, the famed model is not taking the stage for world renowned designers like Louis Vuitton or Yves Saint Laurent where she will be paid big money.

She is adorned in a Tanzania designer�s ensemble, for free.
She is here in her capacity as the White Ribbon Global ambassador, and hopes that she can help more mothers deliver safely. The project is organised by UK�s First Lady Sarah Brown.

"I feel that fashion is a platform that encompasses everything and if we can help with this, we can help with anything," quips the 39-year-old beauty.

The catwalk queen, through her charity cause, Fashion for Relief, took great pride in dressing in the local designer�s outfits.

She appeared dressed in a smashing dress gown, by Zanzibar Farouque Abdela, before resuming with a cream outfit by Mustafa Hassanali.

"I love the colours when it comes to African fashion. I have khangas and I just love the colours," the model, who is visiting the country for the first time, says.

Off stage, however, Naomi is neither in a khanga nor a designer gown; she is dressed in navy blue skinny jeans, a Fashion for Relief white Tshirt, and some statement shoes.

�I am not such a great speaker,� she says at the beginning of her speech in a parked auditorium with guests, including First Lady Mama Salma Kikwete.

While taking quite sometime thanking everyone, she does not forget to mention just how close the issue of safe motherhood is close to her heart. �It is just sad that women should die this way,� she says.

And she assures her audience that the fashion capital is behind the drive. "Lots of people are involved, including Kate Moss (US super model). Lot�s of people," the clear-faced beauty says. �

The drive saw a substantial amount raised instantly as a Mustafa dress was auctioned for $10,000. The cream sheer dress was bought by Multichoice Tanzania director, Mr Franco Tramontano, who beat Vodacom�s director of corporate communication Mwamvita Makamba to it.

Ms Naomi, who is currently dating Russian billionaire Vladislav Doronin, is said to be in the middle of a month-long holiday.

According to research, Tanzania has one of the highest rates of maternal morbidity in the world. Every hour of every day, one woman dies due to pregnancy, labour and delivery complications. A total of 32 newborn babies out of every 1,000 die within a month of birth.

Most shocking is the fact that the majority of these deaths are preventable, simply through the use of skilled health workers qualified to manage a normal pregnancy; but who also have the capacity to identify complications during delivery and can facilitate a transfer to a medical facility.

The current state of maternal health in Tanzania poses a significant challenge. It is indicative of a growing health and social crisis that has the ability to influence the economic development of the nation and future generations.

The White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood in Tanzania (WRATZ) works to promote public awareness and develop action plans to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for all women.

Source: Citizen Tz

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