Fun fact about birthday girl Naomi Campbell: Nelson Mandela called her his 'honorary granddaughter'

Nelson Mandela and Naomi Campbell (Photo: Getty Images)
Nelson Mandela and Naomi Campbell (Photo: Getty Images)

Naomi Campbell turns 50 on 22 May so we thought we'd celebrate the supermodel with a few fun facts.

Did you know she was the first black woman to appear of the covers of French Vogue and Time?

What about the fact that Nelson Mandela would refer to her as his "honorary granddaughter"?

The two met in 1994 when Campbell travelled to South Africa to judge the Miss World pageant. They formed a close bond, with Naomi learning about the apartheid struggle and going on to support many of Madiba's political campaigns and causes as a result.

In an interview with InStyle in 2018, she said of "tata" and "granddad", as she called him: "This man truly cared and brought me into his family. I became friends with his daughters Zindzi and Zenani. Being close to them, I also always got to visit Mama Winnie [Mandela]... I have the utmost respect for Mama Graça [Machel], and I'm very close to her and her kids too."

"He taught me to be my true, authentic self and to stick to my integrity," she added. "Not everyone's going to like me, and I'm not asking everyone to like me, but I'm going to be true to whatever I commit myself to supporting. He also taught me to share with other people. He became a significant person in my life and will always be."

When asked to describe Mandela, she said: "He was bigger than the sun."

Scroll up for more facts about the philanthropist and fashion icon as she celebrates her 50th birthday. 

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