Herdsman's day with top model spent worrying about his cows

A MASAI herdsman who is the face of a worldwide AIDS campaign confessed yesterday that his photo shoot with supermodel Gisele Bundchen had caused him sleepless nights - because he was worried about his cattle and goats.

The images of Keseme Ole Parsapaet, 28, and Bundchen, 26, the world's highest-paid model, have adorned countless billboards and the pages of Vogue magazine to advertise the Red campaign, started by U2's Bono.

Mr Parsapaet admits he had never heard of the Brazilian beauty before the one-day shoot in London last July. "To be honest, all I was thinking about when I was with this woman was my cattle and goats," he said.

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The father of two's world in the southern Kenyan bush is very different from the glitz and glamour of the fashion industry.

In Oloomunyi village, on the outskirts of the capital, Nairobi, life expectancy is only 50 years. If you don't want to drink rainwater, the nearest spring is a six-mile walk. Malaria is plentiful; electricity is not.

Mr Parsapaet's parents never sent him to school. At eight, he was herding goats. By 18, he had killed a lion as part of an ancient initiation ceremony to become a Masai warrior.

These days, he normally earns 46 a month trading livestock,

but he was paid 2,500 for the photo shoot - five times Kenya's average annual wage. With it, he built a three-room tin hut and bought more cattle and goats.

"I now have 20 cattle and more than 150 goats," he said. "To have goats and cattle is more important than modelling."

Jackson Siolol, a childhood friend, said: "We all think it is hilarious that we have a supermodel in the village."

Although Mr Parsapaet has not heard from Bundchen since their charity shoot last July, two pictures of the pair take pride of place in his hut.

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"She would be welcome to visit here to see how we live," he said. "We would slaughter a goat and roast it and drink cow's blood mixed with milk. That is the traditional Masai welcome and she would be our guest.

"But she could not persuade me to give up my life here."

Gap, Emporio Armani, Converse and American Express are among those who have signed up to the Red campaign. They donate part of the sales of Red products to help AIDS patients.

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