Husband: Paul Biya
Bio: Chantal Vigouroux was born in 1971 in Dimako in the East Province of Cameroon to Miss Doumé pageant winner Rosette Ndongo Mengolo and French expatriate Georges Vigoroux (some say the father is Lebanese). She spent her adolescent years in Yaoundé and in 1994 at barely 23 got married to H.E. Paul Biya nearly 40 years her senior.
Chantal Biya has established several charitable organisations, among them are African Synergy, which pursues various HIV/AIDS initiatives, and the Chantal Biya Foundation (Fondation Chantal Biya). She hosted the original First Ladies Summit in Yaoundé during the 1996 Organisation of African Unity summit. Her “Jeunesse Active pour Chantal Biya” is an organ of her husband's Cameroon People's Democratic Movement.
Last year, she was amongst the 14 African first ladies who attended a 2 day summit in LA to meet top experts to discuss how to develop and improve locally-run programs that benefit mothers and children throughout the African continent.
Since coming into the public eye, Chantal Biya has been renowned for her style as much as her charity work.
Her Style: Chantal Biya sets her own trends and is her own fashion dictator and this risqué style has made her to face ridicule amongst some of her public as well as the media. Her style is a melange of African and Western attires encompassing the all in one look (shoes and handbags to match colour of costume). In the past, she has mentioned Dior and Chanel as her favourite European labels as well as occasionally carrying her Hermes Birkin bag, while her traditional outfits are custom made, designed and sewn by tailors. Her choice of colours are bold and loud, flamboyant and over the top with costume accessories to match.
Her Makeup: Chantal Biya’s love of colour can be seen in all that she is. From her clothes to her handbags to her shoes to her makeup it is all colour colour colour! From her dark accentuated eye brows to her red cheeks, multicoloured eye shadows and bright lipsticks, it is evident that more is less in her books.
Her Hair: Which African first lady do you know with a hairstyle of their own? Hands up Chantal Biya whose huge bouffant mullet extensions dubbed the “banane” (or banana) has become her most talked about feature.
The indomnitable lioness, grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
Loathe her or like her, there is no denying that Chantal Biya has a unique fashion style never before seen amongst the first ladies within Africa, remarked even so by the American socialite Paris Hilton.
Flamboyant and extravagant, yes, bold and colourful, yes, over the top and outlandish, yes, but this is what has made Chantal noticeable and the most talked about African first lady of this times. From New York to Milan, London to Paris, her press relations whether good or bad is phenomenal!
What are your views?
All images courtesy of Google.
I hope to bring you more of Africa's fashionable first ladies so stay tuned!
To read part 1, click here