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Adut Akech is not pleased with Australia’s Who magazine for using another mode’s photo in its interview with the Australian-Sudanese model.

Akech opened up about the mishap in a lengthy Instagram post on Sunday. “With the article they published a large photo saying it was me. But it was of another black girl,” she wrote.

The magazine ran a photo of model Flavia Lazarus, who’s from Uganda, The New York Daily News reports.

“Not only do I personally feel insulted and disrespected but I feel like my entire race has been disrespected too and it is why I feel it is important that I address this issue,” she noted in her post (see below).

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I’ve have given some deep thoughts the past few days on how to approach this situation that isn’t sitting well with me.  For those who are not aware, last week @whomagazine (Australia) published a feature article about me. In the interview I spoke about how people view refugees and peoples attitude to colour in general. With the article they published a large photo saying it was me. But it was of another black girl. This has upset me, has made me angry, it has made me feel very disrespected and to me is unacceptable and inexcusable under any circumstances. Not only do I personally feel insulted and disrespected but I feel like my entire race has been disrespected too and it is why I feel it is important that I address this issue. Whoever did this clearly the thought that was me in that picture and that’s not okay. This  is a big deal because of what I spoke about in my interview. By this happening I feel like it defeated the purpose of what I stand for and spoke about. It goes to show that people are very ignorant and narrowminded that they think every black girl or African people looks the same. I feel as though this would’ve not happened to a white model. My aim for this post is not to bash Who Magazine -they have apologised to me directly – but I feel like I need to express publicly how I feel. This has deeply affected me and we need to start an important conversation that needs to happen. I’m sure that I’m not the first person that’s experienced this and it needs to stop. I’ve been called by the name of another models who happens to be of the same Ethnicity, I find it very ignorant, rude and disrespectful towards both of us simply because we know that this doesn’t happen with white models. I want this to be somewhat of a wake up call to people within the industry it’s not OK and you need to do better. Big publications need to make sure that they fact check things before publishing them especially when its real stories and interviews and not just some made up rumors. To those who work at shows and shoots it’s important that you don’t mix up models names. Australia you’ve a lot of work to do and you’ve got to do better and that goes to the rest of the industry

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“Whoever did this clearly the thought that was me in that picture and that’s not okay. This is a big deal because of what I spoke about in my interview. By this happening I feel like it defeated the purpose of what I stand for and spoke about. It goes to show that people are very ignorant and narrowminded that they think every black girl or African people looks the same. I feel as though this would’ve not happened to a white model,” Akech added.

“Big publications need to make sure that they fact check things before publishing them especially when its real stories and interviews and not just some made up rumors,” she wrote.  “To those who work at shows and shoots it’s important that you don’t mix up models names. Australia you’ve a lot of work to do and you’ve got to do better and that goes to the rest of the industry,” she concluded.

The Lord Mayor of Melbourne Sally Capp commented on the controversy on Twitter, stating that the city is “frustrated and deeply disappointed.”

“I want to say how frustrated and deeply disappointed we are at the @cityofmelbourne regarding what’s occurred with our incredible @melbfashionweek ambassador Adut Akech and MFW model Flavia Lazarus. Adut is right, we need to do better,” Capp wrote on Twitter.

In a follow-up post she said: “We are working to identify ways we can make a positive impact so that these acts of discrimination, whether intentional, blasé or blindly, do not keep happening.”

Capp added, “The response to the situation so far is unacceptable and we are talking to all parties to find a way to put this right.”

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An important message from the M/FW team.

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