Rihanna Leads Tributes To Mama Cax, The Model And Activist, Who Has Died, Aged 30

Mama Cax was praised for challenging attitudes towards people with disabilities in the fashion industry.

Rihanna and Jameela Jamil are among those who have paid tribute to the model and activist Mama Cax, following the news of her death at the age of 30.

Cax – real name Cacsmy Brutus – will be best remembered for her game-changing efforts in terms of representation of people with disabilities within the fashion industry, making headlines earlier this year when she walked the runway at New York Fashion Week with an embellished prosthetic leg.

She also appeared in campaigns and runway shows for brands including Sephora, ASOS and Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty line.

Mama Cax at New York Fashion Week in September
Mama Cax at New York Fashion Week in September
Bennett Raglin via Getty Images

A post on her Instagram shared on Friday revealed: “It is with deep regret and intense sadness that we announce the passing of Cacsmy Brutus (Mama Cax). Mama spent the past week in the hospital and, unfortunately, on Monday, December 16, 2019, she left this world.

“To say that Cax was a fighter would be an understatement. As a cancer survivor, she had grown accustomed to taking on life’s several challenges head on and successfully. It is with that same grit (fervor) that she fought her last days on earth.”

Since the news of her death was made public, models and figures from the fashion industry have also paid tribute, including Rihanna, who used Cax in one of her fashion campaigns.

“A queen. A force. A powerhouse beauty that brought her strength to the @savagexfenty stage this year inspiring so many across the globe,” Rihanna wrote. “Rest In Power sis.”

In the comments, the Savage X Fenty account wrote: “We’re heartbroken.”

Jameela Jamil also described Cax as her “beautiful friend” and an “extraordinary role model”, while Tess Holliday also noted: “My beautiful friend, my beautiful, wonderful friend. My heart is broken.”

Mama Cax on the runway during New York Fashion Week in February
Mama Cax on the runway during New York Fashion Week in February
Noam Galai via Getty Images

Cax was born in Haiti, and was diagnosed with cancer as a teenager, complications from which led to her leg being amputated.

In her last Instagram post, shared shortly before her death, she said she had been suffering “severe abdominal pain” while in London, where she was doing a photo-shoot, and had been taken to hospital.


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