The 5-minute Interview: Gyunel Boateng, Ex-model and charity worker

'I think it is everyone's duty to bring something good into this life'
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The Independent Online

Gyunel Boateng, 27, is the Russian wife of tailor Ozwald Boateng. She will help to launch the Pratham Read India initiative at London's Old Billingsgate Market next Friday. The campaign aims to help the 100 million Indian children who cannot read or write.

If I weren't talking to you right now I'd be ...

Working on my dissertation. I am at the London College of Fashion, doing my second degree. If I wasn't doing that, I'd be writing my speech for the Pratham charity. I hope to motivate people to be generous for such an important cause as helping to educate children.

A phrase I use too often ...

"I can't believe this is happening to me."

I wish people would take more notice of ...

What is going on around them. It is everyone's duty to bring something good to this life and realise there is a bigger picture, besides your own wishes and needs. We all come and take but we need to preserve nature and care about the environment.

The most surprising thing that happened to me ...

Was the birth of my daughter. I had a water birth and she was born asleep. Before, I always saw babies screaming when they were born.

A common misperception of me is ...

I like it when people underestimate me and my abilities. When I surprise them, it has a bigger impact. Being a Russian ex-model always brings out stereotypical thinking in people but, most of the time, I ignore what I don't like to hear.

I am not a politician but ...

It is very difficult for me to watch the news. I truly believe we should not have any wars. We have enough of everything on this planet and must learn how to live in peace. Most of the distraction now is not territorial, it is based on financial gain and people's greed.

I'm good at ...

Finishing everything that I start.

I'm very bad at ...

Trying to keep my mouth shut. I'm useless at lying.

The ideal night out is ...

Going to an outdoor concert with friends and forgetting about time.

In weak moments I ...

I cry, and then cry some more.

You know me as a model but in truer life I'd have been a ...

Traveller, or art collector.

The best age to be is ...

Late twenties.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is ...

Do not destroy anything created long before you came. And be generous at heart without expecting anything in return.

Sara Newman

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