Supermodel lucky to reach ramp

Sudanese supermodel Alek Wek still struggles to believe that she managed to escape the hell in her homeland - because her identification details were all wrong.

Sudanese supermodel Alek Wek still struggles to believe that she managed to escape the hell in her homeland - because her identification details were all wrong.

The now in-demand catwalk star left Sudan as a teenager with her sister Athieng for life in London with another sibling, Ajok.

But she had no idea what her birth date was and officials listed her as male on the identity card she needed for travelling.

Wek recalls: "I needed an ID card and a passport to go to England.

"We had to choose a date for my birthday. We decided on April 16.

"A street photographer took my picture, which my brother took to the police station in Khartoum's central business district to get my ID card.

"They never saw me in person and, looking at the photo of a tall, skinny kid with short hair, assumed that I was a boy.

"My formal ID card listed me as male, with an invented birth date.

"My world has always been a bit unpredictable."

But even with passport and ID card in hand, Wek almost didn't complete her trip to Britain - she and her sister were confused when their plane landed in Frankfurt, Germany.

She adds: "A stewardess took us to our next gate, which we never would have found otherwise. The airport was vast, and we spoke only Dinka and Arabic." - Wenn

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