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From Top Model to Miner- The Journey of Tiguidanke Camara

Tiguidanke Camara

How does one go from being a top model to a miner? From walking the run way on flamboyant heels to digging the ground in a pair of  ‘work man’s’ shoes?

Passion! That’s simply how.

Born and raised in Conakry Guinea, Camara began her modeling career at the young age of 14.  While still modeling, she graduated early from high school and later received her college degree in Business Management in Morocco, but decided to take it up full-time when she moved to the US in 1996 after completing her education. Camara was then discovered in New York by Hilory Beckford, the mother of supermodel Tyson Beckford, who became her agent, and Camara’s career quickly took off with features in a number of well-known magazines.

In the course of her modeling career, the power lady made a grand discovery, one that would change her life forever- she found that most of the jewels she showcased came from Africa – even her home country. Inspired by this new knowledge, she began speaking to some of the importers and learned that one had his own mining license in Guinea.

“Then I started asking questions,” recalled Camara. “I thought, ‘If he could do it, I could do it.’ He is not even from Africa or Guinea, but he has been successful at doing this. Being a native, why can’t I also be successful?”

Tiguidanke Camara

Today, Camara is the founder and chairman of Tigui Mining Group (TMG) and Camara Diamond & Gold Trading Network (CDGTN), founded in 2012 and 2009 respectively, a company involved in mostly mining and agriculture operations in West Africa. Its subsidiary, Camara Diamond & Gold Trading Network, owns mining licenses in gold, diamond and associated minerals spanning 356km² in Guinea. These include five semi-industrial gold exploitation licenses on the Birimian Belt in the northeast of the country and three exploration licenses along the Guinean Diamond Triangle in the southeast. The group has also launched a gold prospection project in Cote d’Ivoire.

Camara is the daughter of Mohamed Mounir Camara, a long-standing politician and former governor. She was raised in Guinea until the age of 14, before moving to Morocco where she pursued a degree in business management.

she is a member of Women in Mining International (WIM) and one of the founding members of Women in Mining Guinea created in 2013. She is also an active advocate of women’s presence and role in the development of the mining industry.

Lovelyn Okafor
Lovelyn Okafor
Lovelyn Okafor is a Journalist/Writer, Poet, Lawyer and God-Lover. She enjoys a good read and sees everyday as an opportunity to live and enjoy her calling whilst working towards perfecting it. She believes that someday soon, Africa will reach her full potential as the light-bearer of the world. You can find her on Twitter: @lovelyn_o

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  1. Great story of a woman who did not settle for the road most travel and use her talents to seize the most appealing opportunities for self empowerment and growth.

    Tiguidanke Camara’s journey from model to miner is quite admirable! She’s a great inspiration!

  2. Helpful writing . I was fascinated by the points – Does anyone know if my business can access a fillable CA DL 51 version to edit ?

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