Katoucha Niane , supermodel and anti - female circumcision campaigner found dead in Seine - Mystery surrounds cause of death
Former supermodel Katoucha Niane muse of fashion legend Yves Saint Laurent, has been recovered from the Seine near Paris today 29th February. The body, which was spotted under a bridge by a passer-by, and which was thought to have been in the water for close to a month, was still clothed in a designer dress. She disappeared on January 31st after being dropped off by friends after a party.
She lived in a houseboat on the Seine, near the Alexander III bridge in Paris. On February 1, 2008, she returned to her houseboat from a party. This was the last time she was reportedly seen alive. On February 4, 2008, police opened a missing persons case for her. Her purse was found untouched outside the door to her boat.
Katoucha was a french national and was born in Conakry in Guinea. She was proud of her African background and her father was playwright and historian Djibril Tamsir Niane.
She left the catwalk full-time in 1994 where she had modelled for Christian Lacroix, Paco Rabanne and Thierry Mugler and in recent years launched a foundation campaigning against female circumcision. (see video about her campaign - pic 8 months ago)
Excised at the age of nine in Guinea, she recounted the ordeal in a book, In My Flesh.
She said she saw her career as a form of "revenge" for the horror of the mutilation.
See UNICEF for more and better information about this wretched practice or The Female Genital Cutting Education and Networking Project
There are between eight and ten million women and girls in the Middle East and in Africa who are at risk of undergoing one form or another of genital cutting. In the United States it is estimated that about ten thousand girls are at risk of this practice. FGC in a variety of its forms is routinely practiced in Middle Eastern countries (the two Yemens, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, and Southern Algeria). In Africa it is practiced in the majority of the continent including Kenya, Nigeria, Mali, Upper Volta, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Mozambique, and Sudan.