"My name is Touré Makorah Kimmy. I am Ivorian and I have been living in France for 7 years now. My names Kimmy and Makorah both have an ethnic meaning that I love to share every time. Kimmy is short for “Kimmykan” which means Queen. In addition, a queen of the Krou people once had this name. Makorah pronounces himself in truth «Man Kora» in Djoula/Bambara. «Man or Nan» means Mother or Man. «Kora» means New. I am very attached to my country Cote d'Ivoire. I am very attached to the African continent. I hope that this continent and its inhabitants (human or not) are as RESPECTED and CONSIDERES as in the West. For this, I think we need to shed light on who we really are. And it means learning and sharing our cultures and ways of life, our ways of being and thinking, our environment… Once again, I am very attached to Africa in general and to my country, Côte d'Ivoire. Therefore, I decided in a very natural way to study water and the environment. Why? Because in Africa, nature, the environment, water, trees, animals, are an integral part of our beings. At times when our envelopes were influenced by people, all of these were RESPECTED and VENERES. Today, it’s a complex story... So yes, I did a Master’s Research in Hydrology. I then specialized in Public Policy and Environmental Strategies in an engineering school. All this in order to return one day to Africa, to Cote d'Ivoire, in order to make my sincere contribution. During my years of study, each summer, I came back to Côte d'Ivoire, to Abidjan.
This period allowed me each time to reconnect with my heart (a family, my old life, my projects…). Every time I came home, it was clear in my head: “I want to live here”, “I want my future children to live here”, “I’m here to build myself, to grow up”.
Today, I don’t know where I am anymore…
In parallel with my studies, I discovered a new passion: modeling!! It’s funny because this passion is in total opposition to everything, or at least most of the principles I stand for… But I don’t know why this new passion resonated in me! Basically, I started the photo because I wanted to get closer to my cousin. Since I was studying in France, we had lost sight of each other and I wanted and needed to sincerely renew my ties with him. So I started modeling because my cousin used to do it! At first it was a game for me, I didn’t think it was interesting for anyone because of my spots. But strangely, people were very interested in my profile! It encouraged me to pursue this passion in France afterwards.
With the Body Positive movement, my profile had meaning and interest. Honestly, I was 10,000 places away from thinking that one day I would have been like one of those girls in the beautiful fashion art pictures. But thanks to the movement, thanks to my history, this has been and is possible. I discovered a new way of expressing my ART, my history, who I am, the causes I defend and who I want to be. Being an atypical photo model allowed me (and still allows me) to express my vision of the difference and the acceptance of this difference.
I have a Naevus. The environment in which I grew up was never a handicap for me. I grew up being loved despite my difference. I did not have a difficult childhood, on the contrary. But like anyone living in this society, at some point in our lives, we meet idiots… The fact of being an atypical photo model, and thus an example for other people who have the same particularity as me, or similar particularities has made me grow a lot. I realized I wasn’t the only one in the world in this situation.
Through some one-time Instagram shows, I’ve met women and men like me. I also created an Instagram page (@womenwithprints) dedicated to Naevus. Through this page, I met other people, with other stories and testimonies…
Today, I confess that I am lost between these two poles of me. I am lost between the engineer Hydrologue and the atypical photo model. I am lost between my desires, passions for the environmental cause, African and modeling while advocating the bodypositive, feminism, Afro-feminism and self-acceptance. I am very aware that one does not stop the other, but I am also «aware» of the fact that in this society, you cannot be an engineer and a model at the same time. In this society, when you are a foreigner in France, there are a multitude of things you cannot do and your hours are counted on the territory.
[…] I follow my spots, but I’m also more than my spots! My name is Kimmy. I’m an environmentalist. I am Pan Africanist. I’m a feminist and an Afro-feminist. I’m an atypical photo model. I have a lot of uncertainties. I have a lot of flaws. I have many qualities. I’m me and I’m looking for the best version of me. I want this me to be a model, an example of honesty, sincerity and love to follow and to take as his equal. I want to show the world that the Human, behind all these screens, these apps etc, is normal, beautiful, true and sincere! Imperfection, uncertainty, blur, are part of life. It’s nice to realize that. It’s even more important to accept it!