WATCH OUT FOR THEM: The modelling industry in Uganda is growing each day and in the past three years we have seen three models sign to international agencies. And now new faces are cropping up and designers are already booking them for personal projects, including photo shoots. Esther Oluka looks at these promising models.
Joy Winnie Aketch
In 2016, she walked for the legendary South African fashion designer, David Tlale during the Abryanz Style and Fashion Awards. In the same year, she walked the runway at Kampala Fashion Week. A teacher by profession, Joy Winnie Aketch is one of the notable faces to watch out for this year. Her striking resemblance to international supermodel, Aamito, could be her breakthrough or rise to the top in the global fashion market. On why she opted to model rather than take the teaching career path, Aketch says unlike teaching, she has always desired to model since she was a child.
“I used to envision myself walking in international runways,” she says.
She looks up to Aamito Lagum, the winner of the first season of Africa’s Next Top Model because she defied all odds to show that with faith, passion and charisma, anything is possible.
He walked in the Abryanz Style and Fashion Awards 2016 show and is also the reigning first runner-up for Mr International University of East Africa. His unique bone structure is a gem for most designers and show producers.
The 17-year-old has become a much sought after model after walking for Kampala Fashion Week in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Aliet has been an underdog that has come to feature in look books for designers such as Eguana. Just like many upcoming young models, Aliet hopes to get international gigs so as to make a worldwide mark in the industry.
“Since I am African, I hope to be a symbol of diversity,” she says. Her role model is international global fashion runway queen, Naomi Campbell and Aamito Lagum. Reason? They are both go-getters.
This South Sudanese beauty has been quite an underdog, springing up this year. She has walked in Kampala Fashion Week in 2015 and 2016. She hopes to make it to the industry’s global market and afterwards use her experience to mentor other models. Her role models are Aamito Lagum and Patricia Akello, a Ugandan model signed to Fusion Model Management in South Africa.
“Both inspire me because they have paved a way for other younger models,” she says.
Angelo Sarah Keji
At only 18 years old, this student of Kabojja International School is proving to be a strong face to watch out for. She has shot an editorial already with the Third Local Women of Fury and international model scouts have already expressed interest in her. Growing up, Keji hated the fact that she was skinny and not curvy like other girls. It was after joining the industry that she discovered that people can be beautiful in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
“Being in this industry has helped me accept myself because there are many other girls who are just like me,” she says.
Could New York, London or Paris be the next stop for her? Only time will tell.
Joan Sana Adong
Her extreme high fashion look has earned her a spot in the Women of Fury fashion editorial by Third Local, a fashion blogger. Adong has previously walked at the Abryanz Style and Fashion Awards. Her unique bone structure could be her major ticket to the global fashion markets. On what inspired her to join the industry, Adong says she has always had a strong desire to be part of the industry and now that she has the platform, she wants to use it to her advantage and make a name for herself.
Troy Elimu Lubega
He is the CEO of Kente styles, an interior designer, artist and budding fashion designer proving more that models can be versatile and do have brains to explore more in life. He is one of the most promising male models to watch out this year, having already featured in works for Eguana and Kaisdivo collection. His unique edgy look could be his break out to the international global fashion markets. His dream is to be the best, not just here at home but globally.
Veronica Bior Ayak
Standing at a height of six feet, the 15-year-old was recently discovered from the ultimate model search organised by Joram Model Management during a scouting tour at Makerere University Business School. Not only was the model management impressed with her height but also her distinctive dark skin and slender physique.
Ajak is ready to take the industry by storm, booking look books for the award-winning city styling hub Kaisdivo Collection by Abbas Kaijuka and a campaign for the Abryanz collection brand coming soon. The Senior Two student is joining modelling out of passion and self-belief. “I am venturing into this industry out of love for it,” she says. She is a strong face to watch out for with international scouts already expressing interest in her. The advantage Ayak has is that she has all the qualities needed for breaking out in this industry at a tender age