Indian fashion week set for first transgender model


A Nepali who will become the first transgender model to walk the runway at an Indian fashion show hopes to inspire other victims of gender identity discrimination across conservative South Asia.

Anjali Lama, who was born a man in rural Nepal, was ostracised by members of her own family after telling them twelve years ago that she wanted to live as a woman.

She overcame abuse and prejudice to become the Himalayan country’s first transgender model and is now preparing to strut the catwalk at Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai, India’s premier fashion show, next month.

“Growing up in Nepal as a transgender was extremely difficult,” Lama, 32, told AFP in an email interview ahead of the fashion extravaganza, which runs from February 1 to February 5.

“In South Asian countries people still aren’t that accepting, they treat it like an illness. The public looks at you differently and treats you in a different manner.”

“One has to stay strong and reach out for their dreams,” she added.

Lama was born Nabin Waiba to a family of poor farmers in remote Nuwakot in mountainous Nepal.

But she always knew that she had been born in the wrong body and in 2005 took the decision to dress as a woman for the first time.

“I knew I couldn’t feel like another person living in someone else’s body. Hence, I was ready to face the cruel words that people threw at me,” said the model.

“Most of the people, including my own brothers, weren’t ready to accept me for who I was. I had to stay strong and believe in myself. My mother and sisters were the only ones who supported me throughout.”

Lama found some acceptance in Kathmandu, where she moved to study, and later became an activist for an LGBT rights group called Blue Diamond Society.

She underwent partial sex reassignment surgery in 2009 and her interest in modelling was piqued the following year when she was pictured on the front cover of a magazine featuring an article about transgender people.

– New York, Milan, Paris? –

It spurred her to pursue a career in modelling full-time. She enrolled in classes but initially found work hard to come by.

“I was getting rejected because of my identity and that was extremely disheartening,” said Lama, who has established herself as a successful model in her native Nepal over the past couple of years.

In 2014 she featured in a documentary titled “Anjali: Living Inside Someone Else’s Skin” in which she said she hoped to become completely female one day — an operation that is financially out of reach for most Nepalis.

Her recent success has come as Nepal has increased its recognition of transgender people. In 2015 the country, which allows citizens to choose their sex, started issuing third gender category passports for those who identify themselves as transgender.

“With the changing times people have become more accepting,” explained Lama.

Manisha Dhakal, one of the founders of the Blue Diamond Society, said Nepal’s government needed to do more to provide equal opportunities in education and employment for transgender people.

“To get the acceptance in society we need to be economically empowered,” she told AFP.

In neighbouring India, “Hijras” have also long complained of discrimination and marginalisation. They are recognised as a third gender but are often shunned from society with some forced into begging or prostitution.

Lama — who said it would be a “dream come true” to follow other transgender models onto major catwalks such as New York, Milan and Paris — hopes her turn at Lakme Fashion Week will make a difference in the battle for acceptance.

She added: “I do hope to be an inspiration for other transgender people. I’d like to tell them to always believe in themselves and to work towards their goals.”



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  • patrick thuranira

    alluta continua its too hot in da satans territory

  • now these petitioners have officially “DUMPED” Kenya and hopeful Kenyans. Something is going on here and I can sniff it.

    • Abdulkarim Njoka

      Boss,the court has NOT DUMPED anything ,its the individuals who filled,ndio wamewithdraw.Koti hata haikufikia kutoa uamuzi !! soma vizuri !!

    • Timo

      wamelipwa pesa..tht’s whsup..

  • PatrioticKenyan

    I smell alert here; Someone has done his mathematics here. The only way to stop Musalia, Eugene or Kalonzo joining UK and Ruto was to ensure the two are granteed being in the ballot box, and it has happened. Now no serious presidential hopeful will hang around Uk and Ruto hoping to catch in on their miseries, especially one to do with the road block that the Kenya court would have brought. No right thinking presidential candidate will hope to benefit by the interdiction of the two by ICC especially when they are already president and deputy. Therefore, the third force has only two choices, go all the way to the ballot box and loose or join RAO. That’s a clever one, but will it work. I have my doubt.

    • bad logic; it means whoever hangs around them is not an ambulance chaser but a serious partner not out to prey on their misery. Kalonzo is that man, & contrary to the perception that he is an opportunist, he is a gentleman. am betting all my colleagues lunch should he join ODM. He will accept a lesser position from Uhuruto……watch this space

      • PatrioticKenyan

        I bet coalition will be signed when Kalonzo is still deciding. He has been put in an precarious situation by Mutula, Muthama and Kaloki. He thought he will benefit from the UK/Ruto ICC cases, but it’s clear he won’t at least not for now. So what options are there for him now

        • MRC Damu

          Let him go to Raila and he will be humiliated and dumped just like in 2007 at Khadija grounds – Mombasa. Raila bundled him out of ODM and now he is seeking an alliance with him. Wonders shall never cease, Raila is a ‘kigeugeu’ who never appreciates what others do for him.

        • kins

          RAO n ODM as running mate . That the least he can accept . nt the humiliations of speaker of parliament or majority leader wen u have at most 17 mps . Karibu nyumabani VP!!! after all u were the mooter of ODM

        • @PatrioticKenyan: Who said VP’s future was pinned on brothers Uhuru and Ruto? Beggers with wisdom above the ordinary beggers are testing waters in the wrong way indeed! Kenyans are to decide anyway!

        • @PatrioticKenyan: While guys are only being driven by tribal minds, just watch how things are going to play out. And be sure the team that will have VP Kalonzo on board WILL win. Dont forget brother Hon. Ruto is sort of blessed with bad judgement. In 2002, he was in Kanu and the party lost elections. Come 2007, as its now, he was the most chest-thumping fellow in Odm and things went pretty bad for the party. He even found himself in one of most dreaded courts on earth! With that streak, do you need to be told whats next? Conventional wisdom escaped you guys!!!!

      • Abdulkarim Njoka

        saaaasa ange accept kuwajoin the G2 ,si angefanywa messenger,heri huko ODM huenda akawa namba 2.

      • kins

        U are not a politician at least from ur prediction . But lets wait n see !!

    • kins

      RAO has all to gain. Read my words !!!!

  • grace joseph

    Some hyenas(raila,kalonzo,karua,pk,musalia) were following uhuruto in the hope that the swinging hand will drop and feed on it.UHURUTO 2013

    • kins

      Thats not kind !!!!

    • @grace joseph: You are being too judgemental too soon. You need to wait for things to play out. Who is Uhuru anyway? I thought without tribalism he is nothing! You think Kenyans are that stupid to flood to him? You dont think the only thing known about him is those huge budget “mis-outs?” Once the ICC card, that he used so effectively to build himself is turned against him, am sure you WILL be shocked by how quickly he is going to melt out like ice. Conventional wisdom is NOT on his side. Mark my words madam!!!!

  • Thank you Lord you are a God who answer prayers, you have answered mine on this one.Praise be to you and we are calling on you even on the ICC one.

    • Mike

      Yeah, it will be great having our president and deputy president both away from the country for however long the trial takes.

    • Abdulkarim Njoka

      Wahasiriwa wa PEV pia wana maombi yao !

      • @Abdulkarim Njoka: Exactly and more serious genuine prayers!

    • kins

      Go to hell

      • WANDIGI

        Its only God who can take people to hell. My brother even satan was taken there by God what would benefit anyone to have all his enemies going to hell and him last. there too. REPENT,- Get saved through Christ we meet heaven.

    • @Sheila Nyokabi: God in pure corruption, what a joke?

    • daimoer

      If you serve a true God then you should have cried and fainted for women and inborn children who were burned to death by the people you support. stop praying for the ICC suspectsand be balanced. I guess you are not humane enough. wewe ni kupavu mkabila tupu. let one put you in A BURNING fire and feel how victims felt. Jinga bure kabisa!

      • PatrioticKenyan

        I gues we all know that the people who bear the greatest responsibility to the fire are those who agreed to take power because the burning of those innocent kids sent their message to the international community. If no one called for mass action I think those kids and women would still be alive. The good thing is God does not require us to explain what happened; He was there.

        • Concerned

          I can see people taking sides here even the so called ‘brothers in christ’. We need a neutral ground here! Why can’t u all shut up n wait 4 the ICC to do its work!

        • soitewa

          So what is your point? God was there and then..this is common knowledge. Will God come down and elect leaders for Kenyans . My reaction was against blind people who fancy suspects more than the victims! I pray more for victims than suspects!

      • isaac karanja

        ‘If you serve a true God…..???????? The true servers of true would not abuse as you are the least true servers would do, is to keep quite if not praying. Should they talk, they should, GIVE ADVICE, TALK HOLINESS, NOT SHOWING ANGER ….YOU KNOW THE ALL THE VIRTUES.Daimoer examine you god coz your fruits are demonstrated. Wandigi Thika Bro. in Christ

        • Ukweli

          I know how sons of Agikuyu have been brainwashed to support evil and live in self denial. I cannot blame you but your ignorance as depicted by your reaction. I may be wrong but God’s timing is the best. The Kikuyus are in the hands of God to avenge as they have caused massive torment, and suffering to Kenyans populace!

    • Jim Mafuta

      Dear Lord, I pray for the soul of my father who was stabbed to death during the PEV. And my friends who are IDPs.

  • Ladies & Gentlemen,
    braqce yourselves for a world’s first; Hague presidency

    • mureithi

      we can stop them by not voting them in

  • mureithi

    this guys will prung kenya into chaos

    • Jack_Abondo

      not if you do the right wisely.

    • kins

      how ??? vote them NOT

  • jim Kiai

    money can buy petitions…

    • Abdulkarim Njoka

      True, Jim :Pesa pap and the petitioners can withdraw!!! This is at best stinks of a buy out and at worst its an after thought ,kwani when they were filing this petition hawakujua raila and kalonzo existed ?

      • @Abdulkarim Njoka: For first time I agree with you! Money certainly changed hands. And remember our so called civil society fellows are hungry for money, their tool in trade!!!!

  • Thoughtsonly

    It doesn’t matter, We will still see this Alliance for what it is.

  • Abdulkarim Njoka

    ETI…… The case was withdrawn after the applicants said they did not expect issues of integrity to be addressed fully if Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi were not enjoined in the case.KWANI they didnt know of Kalonzo ,rao and Mudavadi’s existance when they were filing this application.wakwende zao!

  • Richard Leo

    Lets meet on 4/3/2013 on the ballot. That will be the ultimate decider of who runs this country. I urge more Kenyans to register as voters and read fully and understand chapter six of the constitution, then come next year March make an informed choice based on integrity, respect for human rights, sound, practical, realistic, achievable leadership policies. And this does not let them lose from the chains of ICC yet. They still have an upheal task of clearing their names in the ICC. That one they must; then maybe we will change our mind.

  • Benja

    UK/RUTO TUKOPAMOJA 2013, that My prezo and deputy MUST FACE ICC; I have no problem with that at all. after all they shall be vindicated.

    • @Benja: You need to wait a little. And over 90% vindication is not there. Remember someone threatened unimaginable violence if his Odm party lost? Then without surprise, his area became epi-centre of PEV soon after elections. Then there was this other fellow, who was feted for enlisting Mungiki services to fight for our kinsmen. In this incriminating situation, how do you expect any shred of vindication? Or perhaps, since some guys visited an old medicine man in Samburu down at the coast, we have false confidence? Ever heard of hope against hope? Remember MRC guys were surrounded by same same old fellow when they were given proper “beatenation” by GSU!

  • Benja

    let nobody say that this guys will plunge the country into chaos, it’s you who is saying so, not them and the DPP should order for your investigation for you to tell the country more.

  • kins

    Its now a level field . Thats wat we wanted ! Mtu akishindawa asiseme at fulani alifungiwa!

  • p kiarie

    Those who were expecting a through pass from mutunga too bad,the road is clear and the hill nearer we just wait for kibaki to vacate and then we do investigation proper on the happenings of 2007 some people will go back to kamiti i hope they have not forgotten their rooms na mkate nusu kwisha

  • kotue

    kikuyus should be wiped out of kenya!

    • ikolomani

      This comment should be deleted!

  • mpepuria

    Clearly Uhuru and Ruto are beneficiaries of Kibaki’s regime. All knew that the cases will be dropped. Uhuru has many cartels working withing the govenment. Agikuyu are everywhere in the government to propel their own forward. Puppets like Githu Muigai, the AG , Iteere, CBK governors , kabogo, kimunya and the list is endless. Uhuru is enjoying all these merceneries . Ruto is just a spanner boy in Uhuru’s pockets. If Kenyans are real serious they should phase these greedy people out. Title deed are everywhere in central province. Mining rights are given to them. Kibaki flew a plane to rescues his own from Tanzania in one of the accidents and did nothing in Tana delta and Garrisa.All the facts are open for sane Kenyans to see! When will Kenyans sets themselves free from Kikuyu shackles? Vote not for Uhuru and Ruto because they will make you poorer and enrich their Kikuyu tribesmen. Birds of the same feathers flock together. Whenever you see Kabogo , Sonko, and all hooligans there you see Uhuru, to add salt to the wound one shameful acts of Uhuru was when he was being escorted to the ICC by his sycophants. They literaly disobeyed JKIA rules and started threatening security personnel just because they have their own in power. It was stupid to see Uhuru followers push away KAA security while doing their job! Uhuru is not worthy to lead Kenya. Kenyans be forwarned!

    • PatrioticKenyan

      i thought you have a different style of compain strategy this time round. This kind off compain only earned Kenya seed bloodshed. One tribe against 41, now Ruto is a spanner boy. Come on wake up and look for votes in fairness and truth. Propaganda will not help.

      • @PartioticKenyan: While I dont agree with the entire post, although it has some home truths, brother Ruto is certainly a spannerboy. There is no doubt about it at all. And rumours have been doing rounds to the effect that he was literally bought out. Am sure you do know there is no smoke without fire. His money spent on campaign trail were actually refunded PLUS+ PLUS +PLUS+……..!!!! And when you are just recruited by lorry driver on the highway as hand-help, can you dream of being anything beyond spannerboy? The owner of the truck doesnt even know you! Ruto mischieviously auctioned tribesmen. The question of a deal is not there. Whats there is utter selfishness. Have you tried to ask yourself why Uhuru certainly became the big man? There were no elections remember? I guess, thats why VP Kalonzo Musyoka bolted out even when sacks of money were laying on the table! A serious leader can NEVER be party to such ONE-SIDED deals. Ruto is something close to amatuer and as such, saw no problem in carting away sackfuls of notes! Infact, after the old man down at the coast pointed fingers, his defences simply melted out!!!!

      • Mresh

        U people u think straight and get out of ur cocoons. Call a spade a spade! I strongly agree that Mpepuria has facts n i think we need facts. Leaving alone the few terms u hav picked from his comment, can u give us facts to counteract his. Good day Kenyans

  • Kamau cia njoroge

    you may call me what you may think i am. I am a kenyan but lets face the Facts. Like it or leave it UK/WR will win round one with about 60% of all votes even if all other out fits join together. Politics is about numbers. In 2007, all other tribes had joined together against the agikuyu ( 41 minus 1) and we were at par or +-300k votes. Agikuyu just needs 0.5million votes fom any other tribe to scope the 50+1 votes to win. We just need ruto to bring the county numbers and mp’s but not real votes. Go to population statistics and t IEBC registered voters for you facts. Its painfull to others but thats is the truth, Uhuru is the president and Ruto the VP. Ruto new where to belong and be in the next government. These are the facts, numbers don’t lie, hence saying vote wisely and all other sort of fake hopes, this is the next government.

    • ikolomani

      Very simple and pedestrian logic; I am a luhya so let me assure you, Mudavadi commands very few votes, so too does Wamalwa.

    • Concerned

      Why r u sounding tribal? U mean the intention of having Ruto is to be used to fill up the gap so that Kikuyus should win! If this is the case as u put it, the i strongly agree that this is dirty politics!

  • Benja

    kwessi pratt, kuwa mpole, hasira za nini. Vindication is just a stone throw away. Ukweli ukijulikana uwongo hujitenga. And by the way don’t talk on behalf of kenyans. e.g. “you think Kenyans are stupid” you see you can only talk with certainity about yourself. e.g. “you think I’m stupid” something like that. Otherwise, for me fun wa UK/WR mimi nawao; tooth and nail.

  • Benja

    kotue, you see, when you say Kikuyus should be wiped out of Kenya; I honestly sympathize with you, because truly something is wrong with your thinking. For me you have are no different with Kamau cia Njoroge and his narrow thinking. My prayer to both of you is God to broaden your IQs so that you may think & see far and wide. i.e. beyond just TRIBES (MAKABILA).

    • sotre

      Cursed is anyone who uses God’s name in vain. Kikuyus have played a role in Kenyans backwardness. I know how proud you are but digest facts and leave God alone! Am not guessing.. Why Kikuyus operate business in other counties while others cannot do the same in their counties? Am not your teacher …this things are known by children.. Throw denial away any ask God to forgive you!

      • hugo victor

        go open a business in kikuyu counties if you can. there so many ppl who have business in central who are not from central .dont just whine i bet you dont even have a business in your own home county.

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