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date with a celeb :Model manager Sipate meets fan, Ramona

Sipate (R) and Ramona having a chat.  PHOTO BY ISAAC SSEJJOMBWESimon Sipate, of Sketch Agency, a company that trains and provides models and ushers meets Ramona Olunda, a stylist and designer in Kampala.

Hi Sipate. Where did you get the idea of starting up a modelling school and agency?
I started out as a dancer and made many connnections in the entertainment industry. I noticed there was no modelling school to help professionalise the act, so I started Sketch Agency.

Where do you find your models?
Whenever there is need for them, we hold auditions and we use social media platforms to inform aspiring models of available opportunities. That way, we keep beefing up our database.

Many of us think modelling in Uganda is just wastage of time. Is it true?
It is a fact that there is a lot of exploitation in the modelling industry and people think models have no values but on the bright side,  our industry is growing. There are many fashion shows, companies need faces to sell their products and models in Uganda are going places. Stacie Aamito a Ugandan model has just won the Africa’s Next Top Model contest.

Is there an age limit for models?
No. There is no age limit as models are used to promote all kinds of products that appeal to all age groups, from babies to the elderly. It’s up to someone to decide when to retire.

Considering that you always have girls around you, are you dating a model?
No. But my wife to be is an evangelist in the UK.

Who is your best designer both in Uganda and abroad?
I love Xenson’s work and then Luis Vuitton on the international scene.

Best local and international models?
Judith Heard and Tyra Banks.

How old are you?
30 years.

I hear models have to watch what they eat. What food are they supposed to eat?
They are supposed to take less fat, eat lots of salads and drink lots of water.

Which schools did you go to?
I went to Kabojja Junior, Eagles Nest, Najjanankumbi High, then Umcat for a diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication, before graduating with a degree in Mass Communication at Makerere Univesity in 2008.

Tell me more about your family background?
I’m the last born from family of four, born to the late Mr Thomas Kiwanuka and Ms Stella Nanziiri. Our ancestral home is in Makindye Luwafu.

I have heard that you guys in the modelling business link models and ushers to old and loaded men to have sex for money. Is that true?
When you work with me, expect professionalism. For me, respect and values come first. When I give you an ushering job, I expect you to be fully committed to your job. I should not be held accountable for whatever happens afterwards. If my clients approach the girls to do more than they were paid to do, I’m not in any way involved.

Where do you see Sketch Agency five years from now?
It will be a respectable agency, having helped to professionalise the modelling business.

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