Liya Kebede

Liya Kebede
Liya Kebede
  • Born: March 1, 1978
  • Nationality: Ethiopian
  • Profession: Model

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Liya Kebede is an Ethiopian-born model, maternal health advocate, clothing designer, and actress. Forbes identified her as the eleventh-highest-paid top model in the world in 2007, and she has appeared three times on the cover of U.S. Vogue.

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A small gold plain cross was passed down from my grandma to my mom, then to me, and now to my daughter. It is always nice to own something that connects you to the women who made it possible for you to exist. Women
Children with healthy mothers are much more likely to survive childhood, attend school and live healthy, productive lives.
Creative new health strategies like micro-insurance for poor people or Kangaroo care for pre-term babies are transforming health outcomes in even the most low-resource settings. Dedication and innovation are transforming health care worldwide. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
Doing designs on a loom takes a lot of talent and experience, and, trust me, I won't be able to do that. Trust
Dying in childbirth is something that's not new; it's been going on for ages, and so it's not something that people focus on; it's not something that gets funded a lot, and it's exactly for that reason that we are losing mothers all the time, and we have kids with no mothers. Time
First I became U.N. Goodwill Ambassador for WHO, and that was in 2005. And then, about a year or so later, I decided to start my foundation.
For my diet, I choose mostly organic. But in general, I am a big believer in trying to strike a balance with everything.
For my wardrobe, I like to invest in classic pieces and pair them with more trendy new pieces and accessories each season.
Helping others isn't a chore; it is one of the greatest gifts there is.
I actually started modeling in Ethiopia, because that's where I grew up, and I started out by just doing little fashion shows for school, and I liked it so much that I started pursuing it.
I always loved having the chance to disappear in a story. I always was kind of obsessed with that.
I am always touched when friends make contributions to my foundation on my behalf.
I can contribute, be valuable, and grow in many ways, since my interests are so varied. That is very satisfying.
I don't listen to people who say my dreams are impossible; I just work to prove them wrong. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I don't think we should judge celebrities for doing charity work. Period. Whatever their reasons for doing it, they are shedding light on issues that would otherwise go unnoticed. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I grew up watching films. Film has been part of my life since I was a child. Life
I know how much parents love buying clothes for their kids and how they want to give them something new in the closet. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I never thought modeling would become my career. I thought it was something I'd do to pay my way through college.
I really don't think there should be a movie about me. That's for sure!
I tend to gravitate toward Proenza Schouler and Alexander Wang. Their designs are accessible and easy.
I think, first of all, every time you want to play somebody who is real is always challenging and always scary, because you are given a responsibility of someone's real life. Life ;Time
I want to do action, romantic comedy, and I love drama. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Romantic
I want to spend as much time as possible with my children, so I always like to keep my beauty and fashion routines effortless... but still chic! Time
If nothing else, I want women to understand that they are powerful. If you look back at history, in almost every big moment, in every leap forward, you find ordinary women at the core. We have more ability to make changes in the world than we can imagine if we have the courage to try. Women ;History
I'm a mom. I'm from Ethiopia. I gave birth in the U.S. and had all the proper care available to me. If I had given birth in Ethiopia - I don't know if I might have even survived it.
I'm Christian. Growing up in Ethiopia, it's half-Christian and half-Muslim. You grow up with Muslim kids. I'm very much aware of their religion. Religion & God
In 1967, the world health community launched a global effort to eradicate smallpox. It took a coordinated, worldwide effort, required the commitment of every government, and cost $130 million dollars. By 1977, smallpox had disappeared. Health, Healthcare & Medicine ;Government
In a hundred years, how do you want the world to be? Everybody should get together to make the world a better place.
Investing in women's lives is an investment in sustainable development, in human rights, in future generations - and consequently in our own long-term national interests. Women ;Future
It is important for me that I represent a brand that reflects my personality.
It's always a tricky thing, trying to make aid sustainable.
It's not just Ethiopia, but Africa in general - most of the media concentrates on what's not going well. But there is so much beauty there. When you go, it changes everything. It changes you, your life, and the way you see things. The challenge is changing the image of Africa that's been anchored in people for years now. Life
It's one thing to donate money. It's a whole other thing to give an opportunity for someone to make his own money. Money, Coins & Minting
It's very difficult to hand someone your whole life story to play, and you've never really met that person. Life
I've been told the best way to make a sexy face is to say 'pruuune.'
Midwives and doctors play a crucial role preventing unnecessary maternal deaths. They educate women about nutrition, health and family planning. And they step in when complications arise. Women ;Health, Healthcare & Medicine ;Families, Children & Parenting
Miriam Were has made outstanding contributions to public health in the developing world. She brings basic medical services to women and children in East Africa. Women ;Health, Healthcare & Medicine
No other health disparity is so stark; virtually every woman who dies giving birth lives in a poor country. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
One thing modeling taught me is that the spotlight can change everything.
Prenatal care is one of the most effective ways to reduce maternal mortality because it identifies complications or high risks before emergency situations.
President Obama has made maternal health one of the core priorities of U.S. international aid funding. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
Take good care of your skin and hydrate. If you have good skin, everything else will fall into place.
The desert loves me. I love the desert. It's nice to be in the heat in Africa. I love it. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
The most inspiring piece of advice I've gotten is simply to persevere. My mom taught me to always keep going no matter what from an early age. When it feels too difficult to push forward, I always remind myself, 'This too shall pass,' and then I redouble my efforts.
The world needs our mothers.
There are things that I will always shoot, but now that the modeling and acting worlds are becoming very close, you can do a little bit of one and more of the other.
There's a saying in Africa: 'To find out you are pregnant is to have one foot in the grave.'
Traveling around Ethiopia, I saw dozens of abandoned textile factories. People kept asking me to help them find work. So I thought I could make use of my experience in fashion to commercialize their products outside of Ethiopia. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
We can't end poverty if we fail to save the lives of our world's mothers.
We should work to guarantee that there is a midwife or health worker by every woman's side during childbirth. Health, Healthcare & Medicine ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
What I love most about Mother's Day is that I am acknowledged and honored for being a mother. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
When a woman has her first child in places like Africa, they're really young. They can be 12, 13,14, so their frames are really small, and they're usually malnourished.
When countries commit to protecting vulnerable lives, they should receive support from those who can provide it in order to make their programs a success. Success
When I see Lemlem walking around New York City, it's just mind-boggling, because I know it came from this one man sitting and weaving this little product.
When our mothers are alive and healthy, they do extraordinary things... like the mothers of Plaza de Mayo, who marched in Argentinean plazas, defying the military junta dictatorship and demanding the whereabouts of their abducted children... or the Liberian mothers who faced down civil war armed only with T-shirts and courage. War & Peace
While I was pregnant, I had dozens of checkups. They covered everything from blood tests to ultrasounds, and I even had the option of attending birthing classes with my husband.