The 40 Movers & Shakers of 2014
2014 has been a year of innovation, digitization and lots of creativity. It would be really unfair to end it without giving a pat on the back to the people who have been at the forefront of it all.
With consultation from industry experts and media people, we’ve complied this list of the 4o movers and shakers of all things fashion, lifestyle and entertainment during the year 2014. These are the mavericks and prodigies who have set the trends which many of us have religiously followed through out the year.
Fashion designers, musicians, actors, stylists and bloggers are uniting to form this power list.
1. Anne Kansiime
Before Eddy Kenzo made headlines all over the world for his 2,000,000 YouTube hits, someone else was already scoring not less than 50,000 views on over 300 videos. She’s proud to have a following of over 155,000 people on only YouTube. That makes her the most powerful Ugandan woman on the platform.
The African queen of comedy still towers higher than her pint sized self on other platforms such as twitter where she has over 22,000 followers and Facebook where she engages with over 500,000 fans. It is evident that she is the entertainer of our time. No wonder Citizen TV tapped her for a weekly comedy show called ‘Don’t Mess with Kansiime‘. The show has now catapulted her to the level an East African icon.
She has performed for audiences at sold out venues all over the world. She has been featured on BBC’s Focus on Africa. Four months ago she was in Australia to receive her AAMMA award as the African comedian of the year. She has since opened up a YouTube channel to engage with her younger fan base which is growing rapidly by the day.
Anne Kansiime is arguably the most awarded Ugandan comedian with a BEFFTA, AFRIMMA, AAMMA (Afro-Australia Music and Movie Awards) and SMA among other awards already under her belt. With all those milestones, she still humbly performs with the Fun Factory, appears on the group’s hit TV show U-Turn and also goes back home to a loving husband.
Poised on top as our inaugural #Personoftheyear, it is clear that Anne is ready to break all rules there’s to make it to the top.
2. Eddy Kenzo
In just a space of 12 months, Eddy Kenzo has built a profile many artistes only dream about. He has performed all over the world at sold out venues. His celebrity status has erected so fast in such a short while that he is now in the league of Davido, Wiz Kid and Tiwa Savage among other African acts. But where did it all start from? A raw video shot in a local neighborhood with ghetto kids dancing away to his hit song ‘Sitya Loss’!
The Dancer-cum-musician has since received an AAMMA award in Australia as the Best New act in Africa and has been nominated for the Channel O awards. he managed to hold a successful concert after speculations by the media that his fight with a journalist would make people shun it and later see his career take a nose dive. The musician also featured on BBC Africa undoubtedly the biggest platform he has ever gotten in his entire career.
3. Sylvia Owori
The fashion designer has managed to ride her way to the top as the #Mostpowerfulperson in fashion in Uganda right now. She has reinvigorated her eponymous fashion brand to the level of a global brand retailing in the US and UK. Early this year she launched a very popular t shirt line dubbed #AfricaIsMyHeritage. She later relaunched and digitized African Woman Magazine. The magazine is now one of East Africa’s most visited fashion websites. She presented her ‘Afropolitan‘ collection at the Africa Fashion Week in London. She was also one of the headline designers at the inaugural Kampala Fashion Week last month.
Sylvia is not afraid to shoot beyond where she can get, she launched a TV show on NTV dubbed ‘The Style Project‘ where she shares her vast knowledge on fashion and style with the rest of the world.
4. Bebe Cool
The celebrated singer has kept us on our toes with his music, controversial posts on social media and monster hit ‘Love you Everyday‘. The song which is arguably one of the finest from East Africa to date was evidence that we are in his world and his tunes are what we are bound to dance to.
5. Mary Luswata
The motor mouthed TV presenter has used her giddy love for pop culture to become the #mostpowerfulwoman on TV. Her TV show Scoop on Scoop is arguably the most watched and loathed show on Ugandan television. And does she care? No! She’s only unapologetic.
The singer is one of the biggest breakout stars of 2014. This is thanks to her sexy charm, seductive fashion sense and ubiquitous music videos which have ruled the charts all year long.
7. A Pass
His ability to engage hip young people in the coolest of ways has made him a formidable force of music in Uganda. His tunes are infectious, his lyrics are deep and he’s social media savvy. Everything a 2015 star should be.
8. Juliana Kanyomozi
Even with a very tough year, Juliana still managed to maintain her position as the #mostpowerfulsinger from Uganda in East Africa. A position that earned her a lucrative deal as the new face of Oriflame in Uganda. The star is ending the year as the most stylish female celebrity and a fresh new phase in her music career.
9. Brenda Nanyonjo
The power stylist and actress has steadily re-branded the Miss Uganda beauty pageant into a force of inspiration to many young people. With four pageants under her belt, there’s no doubt that she came in to shake things up. This year’s pageant was one of the most discussed topics on and off social media. The winner Leah Kalanguka later emerged the best performing Ugandan representative at Miss World in the history of the global pageant.
The notoriously press-shy singer’s ability to fuse Luganda with his native language Lusoga has earned him a place in the fiercely competitive music industry of Uganda. His successful concert organized this year also earned him the title of ‘R’nb Kyabazinga‘ meaning ‘the King of Rnb‘.
11. Gloria Wavamunno
The couturier put her business acumen to use by launching Kampala Fashion Week. The highly anticipated one day event was hugely successful having been produced by the brains behind New York Fashion week. She’s lauded for raising the bar so high for other designers in Uganda but with Kampala Fashion Week, everyone might just have to follow suit. The annual event is set to be the single most important event of fashion in Uganda.
12. Irene Ntale
The song bird has used her husky voice and guitar to make moves in the industry with one tune at a time. It is this rare talent that hoisted her to the level of getting hosted on BBC’s Focus on Africa a few months ago.
13. Dilman Dila
The film maker, writer and social activist continues to make waves in the film world thanks to his cutting edge story telling. His movie Felistas Fable won the UFF (Uganda Film Festival) 2014 top award. He was also long listed .
14. Salvado Idringi
He quit radio to focus on his first love which is comedy and the move is bearing fruit. The comedian has had a very eventful year with performances all over Africa and still making people laugh. He was tapped by DSTV Africa to feature in their ads. His event Africa Laughs which hosts top comedians from all over the continent has become one of the most popular events on Kampala’s social calendar.
The singer and performer has successfully placed herself in the big league of Ugandan singers.
16. Desire Luzinda
She is no doubt the most famous Ugandan singer right now thanks to a series of photos that leaked and broke the internet. The story took the attention of international press. She however managed to stage a successful concert before the above fiasco. The singer continues to churn out music despite the debacle that almost had her arrested.
17. Esther Kalenzi
Esther believes that youth should be changing the society just like she’s doing. Her foundation 4o Days, 40 smiles has managed to raise funds to build classroom blocks for disadvantaged children. The foundation has organised a number of youth events this year where proceeds go towards changing the lives of many disadvantaged people.
18. Flavia Tumusiime
After featuring on the hit TV show ‘Tusker Twendekazi‘, the star has been juggling between Capital FM, Channel O and event emceeing. She might be the only Ugandan MC that gets booked for events in Nigeria and South Africa. And to cement her status as a triple threat, Flavia took on the lead role on new TV series ‘Beneath The Lies’. The show premiered last week and her character received rave reviews. She’s surely made of more!
19. Lillian Kyabaki
The dress maker might be one of the least celebrated of them all but she’s one of the most in demand designers in Kampala. Now at the helm of House of Zirian/Miss Fixit, Lillian is the brain behind every single dress worn by all Miss Uganda contestants. She also dresses the winner of the crown for appearances and functions throughout her reign. She’s particularly behind the yellow dress current Miss Uganda Leah Kalanguka wore at Miss World 2014 grand finale.
Her rare design genius has made her a celebrity magnet with stars such as Flavia Tumusiime, Suzan Naava, Grace Nakimera and Jackie Chandiru preferring to have their outfits custom made by the ‘super dress-maker’.
20. Nadia Bhegani
In August this year, Nadia scooped the first ever Young Creative Entrepreneur (YCE) award Uganda at the Kampala Serena Hotel. She is the proprietor of Def.i.ni.tion Africa, a design house aimed at producing locally made products such as bags, t shirts, jewellery and interior decor. Courtesy of the British Council, Nahida won a tour of UK’s fashion and design sector during London Fashion and Design Week and an opportunity to make a wide range of business contacts through peer networking, meetings and master classes.
21. Zuena Kirema
She took over the highly popular TV show ‘Life stories‘ a move that was ridiculed by critics considering that she had no past TV experience. The wife of singer Bebe Cool has managed to build a profile of a highly respected TV host. Her moving stories and engaging demeanor which are well suited for the role have helped silence the critics.
22. Bernard Olupot
The prolific blogger and social media influencer has breathed life into our Mondays with his blog all year long. His blog which you can visit here is one of the most visited blogs on the Ugandan blogosphere.
23. Daisy Ejang
She might not be getting as much airplay as Irene Ntale or Sheeba, but the Tusker Project Fame alumni has fought ruthlessly not to bask in oblivion like everyone else that appears on the TV show. She opened the year with Teko, an infectious single that had a fair amount of airplay all over East Africa. She has had other hit singles such as Yawade which is doing well in Kenya. She’s surely set for very big things.
24. Ahumuza Brian
With the success of his men’s retail store, the 24 year old fashion enthusiast curated Uganda’s first ever fashion and style awards. His awards dubbed ‘Abryanz Style & Fashion Awards reward and recognise influencers and contributors in the realm of fashion in Uganda. The event is slowly becoming one of the biggest fashion events in Kampala.
25. Jayant Maru
His movie “The route” continues to scoop international recognition. He is also taking professionalism to the next level by featuring original Ugandan movie soundtracks in his upcoming movies. Jayant is a passionate film maker born in Kenya and raised in Uganda.
26. Giulio Molfese
The award winning photographer has lensed some of the most talked about campaigns in the region. He is arguably the most in demand fashion photographer in Kampala.
27. Mosha Danze
Before taking a hiatus from TV, the fashionista was the biggest thing on Urban Television. He was hosting Skizzy and Fashionista which are two of the most popular shows on the station. He later became the host of Coca Cola Rated Next shooting his celebrity status so high, he won the award of Teeniez TV personality at the annual Buzz Teeniez Awards.
Mosha now hosts ‘Discover Uganda’ a more sophisticated TV show about Uganda’s hidden travel treasures.
28. Milka Irene
Her role ‘Monica’ on NTV’s series ‘Deception’ has turned her into a household name. She plays Monica a troubled wife struggling to save her marriage but her struggles are curtailed by a mother-in-law who is not about to see her in peace.
29. Sheila Gashumba
She’s an ardent follower of fashion, a trait that has contributed to her enviably huge following on social media. She ended her time on teen show TNation and is now on a more mature show The Beat. However her segment on The Beat has become more popular than the TV show it is featured on.
30. Leah Kalanguka
She is the best performing beauty queen Uganda has ever sent to Miss World. News that she had won the Miss Uganda pageant broke the internet. The story made headlines all over the world. As the first ever farmer-cum-beauty queen, there’s a lot expected of her during the reign which might also end up being the shortest in history.
She was the winner of the first season of Africa’s Next Top Model, a role which entailed packing her bags and heading to Cape Town to start the life of a budding super model. She has been featured in Glamour and Elle magazines besides walking during Mercedes Benz Fashion week in South Africa. Just last month, she was the face of the inaugural Kampala Fashion week.
32. Grace Nafuna
The prolific blogger has changed the face of fashion and entertainment with her blog which you can visit here. An ardent follower of fashion trends and pop culture, Grace represents the new wave of bloggers who write about things many people find frivolous .
33. Nana Kagga Macpherson
The prolific actress came back to Uganda to share her vast film and story telling knowledge through the new TV series Beneath The Lies. This is by far the best we’ve gotten from Uganda with our own local actors. Uganda can now compete with the rest of the world thanks to Nana.
34. Stella Nantumbwe
The beauty queen did not wait to hand over her crown when she entered the Big Brother Africa house. Her stellar performance on the show kept her in the house till the second last week. Continental brand endorsements are already headed her way, 2015 might just be the year she takes it all.
35. Anita Fabiola
The former beauty queen has had a fair share of stardom hosting one of the most popular TV shows on television right now.
36. Vivian Mutesi
She’s one of the most hard working models in Uganda. She has walked during Swahili Fashion Week in Dar-es-salaam and was this year nominated in the category of Best East African model at the Swahili Fashion Week awards.
37. Joram Muzira
Often likened to Interview Russia Magazine‘s Editor-in-chief Andre Leon Talley, Joram is one of the influencers in Uganda’s fashion industry. The pageant coach behind almost all the major beauty pageants this year. He is also the talent coach behind the success of models such as Aamito.
38. Tazibone Solomon
The power stylist early this year took charge as the new Fashion Editor of African Woman Magazine. He still juggles styling gigs with sharing his vast knowledge on style and fashion on NTV’s ‘The Style Project’ with his boss Sylvia Owori.
39. Sharon Mirembe Sanya
She represents the new wave of models who are stomping their way to the level of Joan Smalls and Edie Campbell. She has walked for almost every single Ugandan designer and was recently nominated in the Best East African model category at the Swahili Fashion Week awards.
40. Adam Gashe
Dubbed the most commercial model in Kampala, Adam has been featured in ad campaigns for Orange Uganda Uganda, Orange Rwanda and most recently Vodafone Uganda. He too represents the new wave of young mavericks working towards snagging lucrative ad campaigns for brands all over the world. He recently walked away with the Best model award at this year’s Abryanz style & fashion awards.