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Kenyan-born girl becomes first model to grace Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue in a hijab & burkini (Photos)

The magazine is known for its saucy bikini models.

Halima on the cover of Sport's Illustrated

Kenyan-born Somali model Halima Aden recently made history by becoming the first Muslim model to wear a hijab and burkini on a Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue.

In the photographs taken at Watamu Beach by photographer Yu Tsai, Halima stuns in a blue burkini in one photo and in another rocks a black one.

During the shoot, Halima reflected on her journey from the Kakuma refugee camp where she was born to growing up in America and then coming back to shoot at her birth country.


 “I keep thinking (back) to six-year-old me who, in this same country, was in a refugee camp. So to grow up to live the American dream (and) to come back to Kenya and shoot for SI in the most beautiful parts of Kenya. I don’t think that’s a story that anybody could make up,” Halima told Sports Illustrated.

Taking to Instagram, Halima encouraged millions of girls worldwide by writing “Don’t change yourself. Change the GAME!! Ladies anything is possible!!! Being in Sports Illustrated is so much bigger than me. It’s sending a message to my community and the world that women of all different backgrounds, looks, upbringings... can stand together and be celebrated. Thank you so much @si_swimsuit & the entire team for giving me this incredible opportunity.”


Following her iconic cover, lots of celebrities have taken to her Instagram comment section to congratulate her on this huge feat.


“Game CHANGER,” wrote Canadian fashion model Winnie Harlow.

“YES BEAUTIFUL QUEEN!!!” read a comment from former Fifth Harmony singer Lauren Jauregui.

“Wow. You are a superwoman! I’m so proud of you, congratulations you boss,” wrote South Sudanese Model Duckie Thot.

“So dope!!!!” read a comment from Sudanese fashion blogger Shahd Batal.

British model Iskra Lawrence emotionally wrote “I'M CRYING... this is everything. I’m so proud of you and to every Muslim girl out there that never felt represented you can do it.”


“This is incredible! Wow wow wow! Mashallah you are an inspiration in every way imaginable! Congratulations girl!” wrote YouTuber Nabela Noor

Kenya’s Joy Kendi was also not left behind and wrote “Yaaaaaaas freaking yaaaaa”


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