By Kye Makyeli
With nothing but dreams and ambition, she boarded a Nairobi bound bus from Kampala to fulfill a dream that she has had since she was sixteen years old. She endured a twelve hour journey all in the name of auditioning for the first ever Africa’s Next Top Model competition.
She got a casting call, and after a long and intense nine weeks, twenty-one year old Ugandan Stacie Aamito Lagum, beat eleven other hopefuls from across Africa to win the first ever cycle of Africa’s Next Top Model which took place in Cape Town, South Africa.
She took some time off her busy schedule of preps for Africa Fashion Week and photo shoots to chat with us.
1. Have you always wanted to be a model?
No, not really. The model ‘instinct’ kicked in when I was sixteen. I wanted to be a lawyer before that, but I am not complaining now. I love being a model and I enjoy what I do.
2. What was the first thing that ran through your mind when you got that casting call from Oluchi?
(laughs) Oluchi. She’s got presence. Someone with that much presence definitely intimidates you. I was intimidated by her.
3. Describe your ANTM experience?
I will simply say it was an experience that you can’t put a price tag on.
4. Social media shows that you’ve been quite busy since you won ANTM Cycle 1. Share with us how you’ve been spending some of your time.
Well most of the work I have done has not yet been published. I won’t spoil it for you. Just wait , you will be the first to know once I’m allowed to say anything.
5. $50,000 is A LOT of money. Spoiling yourself yet?
(laughs) No. Not yet. I hope to start soon, though.
6. You have been referred to as the next Alek Wek. As a Ugandan woman, what impact do you plan on making in the fashion world, and beyond?
Well, I strive to be an inspiration to many African women like me, who think that you only need to live or be born in America or Europe to make an impact. My gospel is that it doesn’t matter where you are from. As long as you believe it with all your heart, it is possible.
6. Are you single? If so, what qualities do you desire in a partner?
7. Five things you must have in your purse?
- My phone. It’s my office. Kinda.
- A little makeup bag or ‘beauty box.’
- Breath Mints
As the winner, Aamito received a one year modeling contract with New York based modeling agency- DNA, a $50,000 cash prize and product endorsement deals including deals from P&G, Snapp and telecommunications giant, Etisalat.
Aamito has made history in Uganda after other Ugandan models including Salmah Nassanga, Patricia Namayirira, Jackie Musubika, and Lucy Suubi, among others, who tried out for other international modelling competitions, but never made it through.
Africa’s Next Top Model is a franchise format of America’s Next Top Model, a television franchise that was created by American Supermodel, Tyra Banks, and is hosted by former ‘Face Of Africa’ winner and supermodel, Oluchi Onweagba.