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Born Alek Wek
16 April 1977 (age 34)
Wau, South Sudan 
 Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) 
 Hair color Dark Brown 
 Eye color Brown 
 Measurements 34-23-34.5 (US) 86.5-58-88 
 Dress size 4 (US) 
 Agency Storm Models, London

Alek Wek (born 16 April 1977) is a South Sudanese British model who first appeared on the catwalks at the age of 18 in 1995, sparking a career lasting to date. She is from the Dinka ethnic group in South Sudan,but in 1991 she and some family members fled to Britain to escape the civil war in Sudan. She later moved to the United States. 


She was born the seventh of nine children in Wau in Sudan (now South Sudan) in 1977. When she was preparing to emigrate from Sudan, her mother picked the date April 16, which occurs in the rainy season during which she was born. She says her name means "Black Spotted Cow". Wek was born to her mother  a housewife, and her father Athian Wek (1933-1985), an education official. Alek Wek has stated that physically, she resembles her father, who also had unusually long limbs. Athian Wek had once broken his hip in a bicycle accident; his hip was repaired with metal pins. When the civil war broke out in Wau in 1985, the Wek family had to flee from both rebel and government forces. Long periods of walking caused Athian Wek's hip to get infected, and upon the family's return to Wau, he became paralyzed and endured a hemorrhage. He died in the hospital of Khartoum.

Wek was discovered at an outdoor market in London in 1995 in Crystal Palace, south London, by a Models 1 scout. She first received attention when she appeared in the music video for "GoldenEye" by Tina Turner, in 1995 and from there entered the world of fashion as one of its top models. She was signed to Ford Models in 1996 and was also seen in the "Got 'Til It's Gone" music video by Janet Jackson that year. She was named "Model of the Year" in 1997 by MTV. She was the first African model to appear on the cover of Elle, also in 1997.

She is a member of the U.S. Committee for Refugees' Advisory Council and is helping to raise awareness about the situation in Sudan, as well as the plight of refugees worldwide. She can base this on her own experience as a refugee, fleeing the war in her country of birth.She is a missionary for World Vision, an organisation which combats AIDS, an ambassador for Doctors Without Borders in Sudan, and devotes time to. In 2007, she released an autobiography, entitled Alek: From Sudanese Refugee to International Supermodel, documenting her journey from a childhood of poverty in Sudan to the catwalks of Europe