Tag - Interview



My urge to explore Lilian Mbabazi’s fashion style started when I closely watched her music video “Simple Girl”. So over the last few weeks, I’ve been learning more and more about Lilian, her art, her music and her fashion sensibilities. So I successfully managed to get an #interview with her. 
Currently, Lilian is having her debut solo concert “Lilian Mbabazi: Up Close & Personal” on August 21 2015 at Serena hotel.
Lilian Mbabazi is a female Ugandan singer widely known for her great songs like Simple Girl, Memories, Vitamin, Danger, Dagala and many more. She used to be in a girl group called Blu*3 and then went solo about 4 years ago. She is now very popular for her amazing live performances with her band The Sundowners. (Biography)
 ”People are always judging by your appearance, how you look or what you wear. So I would say yes, presentation does matter.”
Q. Lilian, there’s depth to your songs and you have a great fashion style! How would you describe your style in a nutshell?
Really? Thanks!  I wear what I like, what makes me feel comfortable. That’s the most important thing for me and hopefully it comes across as elegance with a twist.
Q. Amazing! So what do you have to say about the relationship between music and fashion? Does presentation matter?
I think as a female artist it’s difficult to separate the two sometimes. People are always judging by your appearance, how you look or what you wear. So I would say yes, presentation does matter but it’s not everything. At the end of the day it’s important to me that my music stands out most.
Q. You’ve worn a lot of African print outfits in your videos, including the floral green African blazer from “Memories”. Do you have a favourite?
I love clothes that celebrate my Ugandan and African heritage. I wouldn’t say I have a favourite. I just know what I like when I see it. I have help too thank goodness from a couple of great stylists like Ngyenzi aka Nunu (the co-owner of BOLD, Acacia Mall) and Mona (of Mona Faces)

Q. Now let’s talk about your upcoming debut concert “Lilian Mbabazi: Up Close and Personal”. What is it all about and what do you plan to wear?
Well it’s my first solo concert, at the Kampala Serena Hotel on 21 August 2015, were my fans and  audience will really get to see me through my music and what I’m all about hence the “Up Close & Personal” part. I’ll also be releasing my debut album which is self-titled. In terms of what I plan to wear you’ll just have to wait and see. It’s a surprise.


Q. Well, I have always followed your band “Sundowners”, do you all put on the same outfits or do you wear anything close to each other’s style?
No not at all. I’m really the only one who has to “dress up”. The Sundowners get away with wearing shirts and jeans. Unless we have a wedding or a corporate event so the guys have to usually wear matching smart outfits like black trousers and button down shirts with dress shoes or something like that.
Q. Often, people unintentionally end up with something of a “uniform” in their closet, a staple look that they depend on. Do you have an outfit from your wardrobe that is like this, something essentially “Lilian Mbabazi”?
I’m a big fan of blazers and leather jackets as well as skinny jeans/trousers. I wear those a lot so you might say those are my “uniform”.

Q. As far as designers, do you prefer established labels or up comers?
I love what’s happening in Uganda and East Africa in terms of the fashion scene.
Q. Who are some of your favourite designers?
Gloria Wavamunno, Kwesh, Kunda, Sylvia Owori and Stella Attal
Q. What style trait do you feel like is most attractive to people? In other words, if you were looking to attract attention from your fans, what element of your personal style would you seek to highlight?
My music is definitely what I would like to be the main attraction for my fans. In terms of highlighting my personal style I like to be colourful, elegant and comfortable. I’m not really the type to dress over sexy or flaunt my assets.
Q. Any particular fashion trend you’re excited about this month?
I don’t know if it’s a fashion trend but I’m really into my African head wraps and throwback 1950s/1960s sunglasses.
Q. What are your top five fashion or beauty essentials?
Lip gloss, Foundation, Concealer, Sunglasses and perfume
Q. What’s the best piece of style advice anyone’s ever given you?
“If you don’t love it the minute you try it on then you weren’t meant to wear it”
Q. Nice one! Are there any style blogs or publications that you read for inspiration?
Not really. But I will flip through a magazine every now and again. But generally I’m a bit too busy between the music and being a mother.
Q. I’m interested to hear what your answer to this last question is. Who is your style icon and what do you love about their signature fashion look?
Kerry Washington is definitely a major style icon. I love her look both in real life and on her show “Scandal”. It’s sexy, classy, practical, elegant, mature, refined and sometimes edgy as well. But I also love the way her clothes exude a confidence and a certain power and yet she still retains her feminine touch.
You can keep up with Lilian by liking her Facebook page.

Inspirations interviews

Interview with Fashion writer- Gloria Haguma

Interview with Fashion Writer Gloria Haguma
 - January 1, 2015

Gloria Haguma was born on 12th June 1990, to Mr. Ezrah Hagum Imana and the late Marie-Sera Kampire. She is the first born from a family of seven. Her siblings are Brian Haguma who is at UCU, Inshuti Martha Haguma who just completed her O’level at St. Mary’s Kitende, Desire, Denise, Destiny and Peace.
She attended St. Stephen Primary School, Seeta High School and Mpoma girl’s school.
She later joined Uganda Christian University where she graduated with a bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication.
Gloria did her internship at the Razor Newspaper before moving to the Daily monitor where she works to date. She has also worked for BigEye.ug, a popular online website and she also currently work at Paramour cosmetics ltd as the operations manager.
Aside from fashion writing, Gloria also provides personal shopping services to different people.  So If you want to buy an item, or clothing and have no idea where to find it, then she is just the person you need.

 [pullquote]”Every  Girl’s closet must have  a little black dress, a pair of fitting blue jeans and a pair of low heel pumps”[/pullquote]





Gloria Haguma’s insight into what inspires her, what she loves most about being a fashion writer and a typical day in the life of a fashion writer.
Q: What does fashion mean to you?
It’s the one thing that I can do and derive full pleasure from. It’s having the ability to create a lasting impression on the readers and the followers of my columns. I don’t view this as a short term goal, it is probably what I want to be doing when I retire.
Q: When did you realize you wanted to become a fashion writer?
Well, that must have been when I was offered the internship placement at Daily Monitor back in 2012. I have always had a keen interest in clothes, and what people are wearing. When I was at Campus, I used to do verdicts on my classmates when they walked into the door during lectures.
Together with a friend of mine called Angella, we would critic everyone’s outfits and of course have a good laugh at the really hilarious ones, especially the hair styles.
So when I got into the Daily Monitor, I knew fashion was what I wanted to get involved in.
Q: We noticed that you work for a Newspaper company. How does online content differ from print?
It’s not any different. The only difference would probably be in the readership. The online content has a bigger readership. Almost every adult in this country has a smart phone, or a laptop and people are on line 24/7. So the readership is broad is broad when using online content.
Q: How do you decide what topics to write about?
Many times, the topics are determined by the trends. The readers want to know what is trending so that’s what I have to provide them with. However, for the other magazines like Full woman and Sunday life, we discuss a topic with the editor and then get it done. These are usually focusing on different topics, not particularly on the current trends. It could be a year ender, or maybe addressing a fashion mistake I see around.
Q: What do you believe makes a quality article of clothing / a great look?
The thought put into a look is what makes it tick for me. For instance we could both wear little black dresses and heels.  But if the other person went the extra mile to add a little belt to my dress, or maybe add a fux jacket, then that is a better look to me. Having a good look doesn’t come easy. You need to work hard at it.
Q: Who are some of your favorite fashion designers now?
There are many. Internationally, I love Elie Saab. I hope that one day; I can have enough money to buy one of those gorgeous gowns. Locally, I love PSJ Couture and Martin Kadinda from Tanzania when it comes to men’s wear.
When it comes to shoes, I would kill for a pair of Manolo Blahnik heels any day, any time.
I love  Suzan Mutesi, Brenda Maraka, Sylvia Owori, Gloria Wavamunno, Santa Anzo and Ras Kasozi. I like the new breed of designers that we have in Kampala like Martha Jabo, Brenda Maraka, Anita Beryl, and Juliana Okori. I need to have a piece of each one of these in my closet.
And then there is the new breed of designers, the collectors. Of course Abryanz Collection takes the lead when it comes to men’s wear. I am also a huge fan of Tinah’s Boutique, Ansell’s dresses, LK collections  and House of Lukoma.
Q: What is your favorite Fashion Event memory this year?
Lets make that favorites. To begin with I was very excited about Kampala reviving its fashion week, all thanks to Gloria Wavamunno and I was also honoured to have been in attendance. Everything from the organization to the fashions showcases was amazing.
Then I also got a chance to attend the Swahili fashion week in Tanzania, which for me was epic. I was a nominee in the category for the best East African fashion journalist. And even though I didn’t win, I was happy to be a nominee.
Well, I saved the best for last. My biggest fashion memory this year was winning the award for the best fashion writer at the Abryanz Style & Fashion Awards 2014. When I started out as a fashion writer, I never thought the day would come when I would be actually awarded for it. And that is why I am truly grateful for the organizers of the ASFAs, for the great honour.
Q: What did it take for you to win the Abryanz Fashion and Style Awards 2014? And how did you feel about that?
Well, I believe I have grown over the years as a writer all thanks to my editors Eunice Rukundo(Full woman), Henry Ssali (Sqoop), Justine Juliet Rukundo(Life), Grace, Mike Carol and Flora . Each of these individuals has had a great influence in the person that I have become, career wise. My mentor Brenda Banura has also been a great help. There is no giving up in this girl’s world.
Being nominated for the Abryanz Style & Fashion Awards was a great honour, because it was my first local nomination and winning the award was very humbling. I can’t thank Brian Ahumuza enough for endeavouring to create a platform that recognizes talent like mine. 
Q: What advice do you have for aspiring fashion writers?
I don’t think I would be the right person to give advice being that I am still growing as well.
But all I can say is that you need to work hard at it if you are to make it as a fashion writer. The good thing with coming out as a fashion writer in Uganda is that there’s room for growth. We don’t have so many writers so breaking out will be easy, as long as you are good at what you do.
Then you need to be up to date with everything going on in the fashion world. How else are you going to be advising people on what to wear, when you have no idea of what the skort is!
Q: What do you like best and dislike most about fashion?
The best part about being involved in the fashion industry is the influence that I create on the readers. I normally get people texting asking me where they can buy the item that I could have written about, or commending me on a story I have done.
Well the worst part is having to keep up. You have to lead by example, so if you are criticizing what people are wearing, you need to be setting the proper example. That means i need to be conscious of how I set out, especially at events.
Normally I am the jeans and t-shirt kind of girl but because of my job, I have had to adjust a bit.
Q: How would you define your personal style?
I like to move with the flow. If I wake up in the morning and i feel like being comfortable, I will throw on my jeans and t-shirt. If I am attending an event, then I will dress up, even wear make up. To me, it’s all about the comfort.
Q: What are some of your fashion goals? Life goals?
I want to get to a point where people have complete trust in me and the information that I am sending out in the fashion stories. I want to become an authority on fashion, in all aspects.
Q: Where do you get your inspiration?
From making my father proud of me. I am the first born in a family of seven. So every day when I wake up, I want to be a good example to the young ones and also make my father proud of who I will have become. My father has been my everything. He has struggled to bring me through school, and so the least I can do is make a decent person out of myself.
Q: What do you consider to be your biggest satisfactions and dissatisfaction with your occupation?
Well, seeing my by line up on a story every time the papers come out is the greatest joy of my profession. To think that people take their time and read the stories that I have written is truly amazing for me.  And of course with my job, you get to go to all these places, many times; all expenses paid, and also get invites to most of the shows in town.
I can’t think of any dissatisfaction as per now.
Q: Style advice: Three must haves for every girl’s closet are…
A little black dress, a pair of fitting blue jeans and a pair of low heel pumps.
Q: When you’re not writing, we’re most likely to find you:
You will find me at Paramour Cosmetics Ltd where I work as an operations manager Or maybe at any fashion event in town with my Close Friend Christine Wanjala. I will be somewhere in the corner doing what I do best; analyzing the outfits.

Contact Gloria Haguma 

interviews makeup Artist

Interview with Celebrity Makeup Artist Sylvia Kawalya

Interview with Celebrity Makeup Artist Sylvia Kawalya – November 13, 2014

Sylvia Kawalya Born and raised in Mukono, moved to Kampala at the age of 8. For her Secondary School, she went to Mary Reparatrix & Kitante Hill School and further acquired a B.A. in Drama from Makerere University in 2009. She acquired Makeup skills through her Drama Course while doing makeup for stage.  
Started volunteering on movie sets in 2005 where she met Klear Kut, a hip hop group comprising of; Navio, The Mith, JB and Papito. From there, her Makeup services for celebrities kicked off through the impact of her artistic work plus introductions & referrals by the group members. At the same time, she did all the Klear Kut styling & makeup in the videos, appearances and stage performances, and was NAVIO’s personal stylist and Makeup artist. Since then, Sylvia never looked back but has been going higher and higher working with Local musicians; Cindy, Keko, Sheebah, Radio & Weasle, Desire Luzinda, Rabadaba, Swangz Avenue, etc. and international musicians like NYANDA from the Jamaican Duo BRICK & LACE, Wiz Kid from Nigeria, Barbara Kanam from DRC, and working for the High end Face Studio, Bugolobi. She has also done makeup for The Queen of Buganda Her Highness Sylvia Naginda, & The first family; Mrs. Janat Museveni & her daughters.

Sylvia is also very popular in the fashion industry working as a makeup artist for prominent designers like Gloria Wavamunno, Sylvia Owori, Adele Dejak, Arapapa and she is also the Head MakeUp Artist for the first ever Kampala Fashion Week happening on November 15, 2014. She is also the Head Makeup Artist for the Makeup Line PARAMOUR COSMETICS LTD., which creates Makeup designed specifically to cater to the beauty needs of African Women.


 It’s not about the perfect product or how great people say a makeup artist is, it’s about how well people trust you with their faces and images in general.


Sylvia Kawalya’s insight into what inspires her, what she loves most about makeup and a typical day in the life of a makeup artist.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
First of all, my artistic inspirations are from my background as an artist. I am very skilled in that and passionate about it too. Apart from that, I read a lot especially about Makeup theories and doing research. This helps me to advance further and also be at the same level as fellow international artists. You have to be well-informed to work on big professional sets like in South Africa, USA etc. I also get inspired by my fellow makeup artists, looking at their works because we are all special in our own way.
Who are some people that have inspired you throughout your career?
I have been inspired greatly by Navio (and the whole Klear Kut crew) as an artist, a business person and as friend. The way he handles his NavCorp empire, employees and his artistic and business sense and support. I would not be here if he did not show me the way into the entire celebrity world. I have also been inspired by his mother, Doctor Maggie Kigozi. I think she is the true definition of “Super Woman”. She is an epitome of knowledge. Her guidance, love and support has inspired me to become better each day.
My other inspiration is Fashion designer Gloria Wavamunno, such an amazing person, friend and also very successful business woman. She always tells me that us Women can actually compete with men both intellectually and business-wise if we realize how strong we can be. We can all share the same platform despite the difference in physical strengths.
How long have you been a makeup artist and how did you get your start in the industry?
I have been in the industry for 9 Years now. I am the longest-experienced makeup artist IN UGANDA”

I started in 2005 experimenting with makeup for my own pleasure and in 2006 I joined Makerere and continued to experiment more with makeup for stage as a Bachelors student for Drama. I used to do makeup for actors and actresses for plays. I was an evening student so I could volunteer as a makeup artist for Local Ugandan movies by Osman Matovu. In 2008 volunteered for PAKMAN, a writer and director during one of his movies, I met Navio and the Klear Kut Crew who were guest Actors in one of the scenes. I was approached by The Mith after appreciating my work at the end of their scene and he asked if I was interested in working with them for their videos.
I started working with Klear Kut in December 2008 my first work on video set for a song by Unique called “Sexy Mamas.” From there on, I joined the crew full time working on video sets, appearances & music shows. At the same time, I was doing my freelance work on the side for musicians that I met through the crew and producers like Steve Jean, Swangz Avenue, Just Jose, Talent Africa etc. Through Fenon Records by Steve Jean, I broke my ground in the advertising world working on shoots for Warid, Airtel, MTN, etc and The Face Studio Bugolobi.
I am still working with the different Production houses freelancing, Fashion Photographers like Reinout Djaurdin, Giulio Molfese, The Face Studio, but I have settled down spending most of my time as Head Makeup Artist for PARAMOUR COSMETICS LTD, a makeup line designing makeup products specifically for African Women using my skills helping to grow the brand, mentor other makeup artists and also educate Ugandan Women on how to wear makeup and all beauty awareness.
What do you love most about make up?
I love the fact that I can express who I am as an artist through makeup. This is who I am and I love it.
I also love the transformations that I help to bring into ladies’ lives by showing them the little things about themselves that simply make them feel beautiful in their own way. It’s that spark that makeup gives and makes a lady feel like they are shining. That confidence in them or the smile on their faces that makes me love makeup.
If you weren’t a makeup artist, what else would you do?
Well, just guess…. haha. I would be definitely an artist. Drawing or Painting. Art conceals that mystery can only be understood by the heart. Communication without words. It’s beautiful.
I could also be an architect. There is something about putting a house or building together that appeals to me. The art in arranging everything is exciting!
How would you describe your signature look and what is it about your style that sets you apart from other makeup artists?
Um my signature look! When it comes to makeup, I am a Jack-of-all-trades. I must say that I do not think that I have a signature look but my clients say that I have an ability to give every lady/client the specific look they are looking for.
What is the most important beauty advice that you can give to women?
My best advice is that as long as you understand that beauty comes from inside, Its very important for ladies to understand the unique beauty quality that sets you apart from everyone else. It could be your eyebrows, that perfect skin, beautiful eyes or the perfect facial bone structure. If one understands & embraces that, then you will know how perfectly makeup can work for you. Makeup is for enhancement, you will still be you, with or without makeup. Even if you wish to have what another lady has, she is also wishing to have what another lady has.
What are some common beauty mistakes that women make?
The most common mistake is thinking that what works for another lady will work for you. So some ladies spend a lot of time and money wanting to be someone else. For example, forcing yourself to wear that orange-red lipstick that Kim Kardashian always wears or wanting to look light-skinned, etc.
What products do you think should be a staple in every woman’s purse?
Well, a nice foundation should be compulsory. It conceals those blemishes or dark circles. Foundation also protects the skin from the sun. The sun enlarges pores in the face which pores when clogged with bacteria brings pimples and other skin problems. A nice skin makes all other features stand out even makes your lipstick color to pop!
A nice Sponge to touch up your face, lipstick and eyeliner too.
What’s your favorite makeup brush?
My favorite Makeup Brush is a double-sided angled small brush with an eyebrow brush on the other end. This little fella can help to highlight the eyebrows, correct eyeliner, and touch up all the areas where a big brush cannot work well. It can also work as a lipstick brush and the eyebrow brush combs out the eyebrows perfectly.
What’s your favorite MAKE UP product?
My favorite MAKEUP product is The PARAMOUR FOUNDATION CREME-TO-POWDER QUAD, comes with 4 shades to Highlight, Conceal, Blend and Cover all those blemishes and if you have different shades in the face like me, just mix and match however you need to, without looking Cakey. It also has a dry finish which does not stain white clothes and stays on the face all day. Best of all I love the glow I get from using it. So ladies, I actually do not have a perfect skin, I just have the Paramour Foundation Quad by my side all the time. haha.
What does it take to be a makeup artist?
First, you need to have the skill. Then the ability to understand each client’s needs and what they would like to achieve. It’s not about the perfect product or how great people say a makeup artist is, it’s about how well people trust you with their face and image in general.
Being a makeup artist takes perseverance, patience & determination. We work with different kinds of people and everyone has a different expectation. Most of all, the ability to be flexible and adherence to certain situations. We sometimes work longer hours out of our comfort zone and you are expected to work efficiently. Most of all, great time-keeping, and self-discipline and being able to be creative.
We all have a special way we contribute to the art. We are great in our own way. So competition is good, we can learn from each other. It is an Art; it varies from one individual to another.


About Author


Kelvin Ngabo is a fashion writer, entrepreneur, IT expert and model manager based in Kampala, Uganda. He is also a professional web designer and online marketing consultant . The urge to be successful is what keeps him motivated.