UNSEEN BENIN

The place to Explore Benin and its Culture

ABOUT

Leila Top Model Afrique

My name is Leila Abdoulaye. Born and raised in Benin,West Africa, I moved to New York City in 1999 after winning a competition named Top Model Afrique. I had a successful career in the fashion industry but wanted more so, I’ve decided to start a career in Integrated Marketing with a specialization on Digital. I am currently earning my Masters Degree at NYU and I love every second of it.

I am proud of where I come from and my goal is to share through Unseen Benin, the true virtue of my country and the beauty and richness of it culture and people. I believe that are many beautiful and undiscussed parts as well as very important lost history that aren’t discussed in the Media. In addition, I hope through this blog, readers are able to see Africa as it is nowadays from a standpoint of a citizen. This won’t only be for Benin but also for all Africans that are proud of their heritage.

Last but not least, I encourage everyone reading to comment, share their thoughts and give me their feedbacks. I welcome and appreciate any love and support from all my readers and followers.

Enjoy!

12 comments on “ABOUT

  1. Will Roper
    June 23, 2015

    Hi Leila, this is a great blog! I am trying to find out more about the music from Benin. I’m researching the music of Orchestre PolyRhythmo de Cotonou for my Masters – do you have any suggestions of other websites or people to interview? any help would be amazing – thanks again!

    • Leila Abdoulaye
      July 3, 2015

      Hello Will. I hope I’m replying with enough time for your research. I am familiar with the band but unfortunately, I currently don’t know where to get you more info about them. I know my family was a huge fan and I can reach out to few key individuals than can help with some leads. Can you send me an email so I reach back to you in the event I am able to help at affinitygirls@gmail.com?

  2. Sirseal Johnson
    October 11, 2015

    Hello Leila,

    You are very beautiful. I have been trying to research the Benin culture and clothing prints (what do they mean or represent?), since my DNA traced back to Benin and Togo (50%). Where can I find information about these things on a deeper level? Thank you for your feedback and I love this blog 🙂

    • Leila Abdoulaye
      November 17, 2015

      Hello Sirseal. Thank you for your lovely comment my sister. You are also very beautiful. There are not many places especially written in English where you can understand the meaning of Beninese culture and clothing prints. I have written a blog about the meaning of the royal cloths and their symbolisms. Perhaps that may help you more. If you have specific questions, feel free to comment and hopefully I can further assist you.

      https://unseenbenin.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/royal-cloths-of-benin/

  3. Marcy O'Neil
    January 15, 2016

    Hello Leila,

    I’m happy to have found your blog. I lived in Cotonou in 2010 and have been visiting regularly since 2005. I have enjoyed the posts that I’ve read, and I was looking for something to post online to demonstrate the various fashions and pagnes that are popular right now. Grande merci!

    Marcy

    • Leila Abdoulaye
      January 15, 2016

      Dear Marcy,
      Thank you so much for you lovely comment. I am happy to hear that you’ve enjoyed the blog and thank you for visiting Cotonou regularly. Although I reside in NYC, I make it a point to go once a year as I love my homeland. If there is anything else I can assist you or a blog topic suggestion, please feel free to let me know. Enjoy!

      Leila

  4. Elias Mahoro
    March 15, 2016

    Dear Leila,
    I am so thankful for such information on Traditional dances of Benin. I am Elias from Burundi and I am so interested in traditional Dances as a way to be proud of my cultural heritage as well as that of the Great Afro-Caribbean region. I found the meaning or symbol of the dances so significant to the culture of the Beninese people. Is it possible to get this blog in French so that I can enjoy it more and more.

    • Leila Abdoulaye
      September 9, 2016

      Hello Elias,

      Thank you for your interest in the blog. It is my way as a Beninese like you to contribute back to our country while sharing the many beautiful cultural and historical beauties and aspects we offer. I would make an effort to create a French version of the blog. However, I am more comfortable expressing myself in English after years of living in the United States. Thank you again and come visit the blog soon as I am curating new and exciting articles. Merci beaucoup et à très bientôt!

      • Mahoro Elias
        September 9, 2016

        Hello Leila , I would like to thank you for everything . I really prevailed from using your article in my French written Task and at the same time learning more about your country . Thank you once again . Cheers Elias

      • Leila Abdoulaye
        September 9, 2016

        Hey Elias! I am thrilled to hear that the article has helped. It is the whole purpose of creating this blog. Your comments are words of encouragements that I need to hear in order to continue creating good and purposeful articles. Thank you for checking out Unseen Benin and stop by whenever you can to check upcoming exciting articles. Best!!! Léïla

      • Mahoro Elias
        September 10, 2016

        Oh Dear Leila, I am so excited reading your upcoming articles . Cheers Elias

  5. Cedric
    May 25, 2016

    Hi Leila
    How can locate ur brand when am in Cotonou. Also would love to have ur contact if possible for business.

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