Socialite, actress and model Betty Nassali, better known as Bettinah Tianah, is a presenter at NTV Uganda, who made 25 years last Saturday.
For her age, fame and the limelight found Bettina rather early, shooting in Paris, hosting a a red-carpet event for UNAA in Washington DC and other feats. She tells Quick Talk about her love for fashion and travel and why she is putting relationships on a backburner.
How would you define yourself, personal style, Bettinah?
My personal style evolves every minute; so, I thank God but the constant factor in my lifestyle is God, fashion, uplifting those who need help and empowering women.
Describe your wardrobe for Quick Talk?
My wardrobe according to my friends and cousins who have seen it, is like a boutique. It’s my shoe room that usually gets people speechless, because according to them, I have too many shoes and that is because I am a shoe addict.
How many pairs are in that shoe room?
I don’t like putting numbers to things, but yes I have many and I keep giving them away. That way it helps me buy new ones. [Well, better be Bettinah’s friend then, seeing as the media once quoted her as saying she had bought a pair at Shs 2.8m.]
In the last five years, what has been your best buy?
Hmmmmm, that’s a good one. Let’s see; I won’t lie. I can’t seem to be able to pick just one, but with a gun to my head, I would say all the shoes, clothes I bought in the last five years. [Really? You love everything you buy!?]
Does your profession have a dress code?
I won’t say it has a specific dress code since I am a fashion host. The code of conduct of the company guides our choices. And as a journalist, I have to look good and appealing to my audience.
What inspired you to start doing charity work? [Bettinah started the Smart Girl Foundation which aims at empowering and mentoring girls in health and education.]
I have always wanted to do something that uplifts women, to empower them and I was inspired by all the people that have supported me with passion and talent over the years and this is one of the ways I can give back to them.
How do you find the balance?
Well, I embrace it as part and parcel of who I am. I do not hide the fact that I am a young lady and of course when I’m home, I’m just me.
Do you think looks contribute a lot in broadcasting? [If you haven’t met Bettinah, then Quick Talk can assure you, she is quite the looker!]
[Laughs] No chance! My friends always ask me [whether I’m on TV because of my looks]. I believe it is all about hard work and consistency. Being beautiful or handsome does not make a good presenter. It just helps you if you want to be a billboard model. [Quick Talk has always wondered why there are no ‘hard-to-look-at’ TV presenters…]
In your purse, what can’t you do without?
My blazer. I love it so much that I have it on shoulders every time; my phone, wallet and my handkerchief plus tissue.
No makeup in there? What are your favourite accessories?
My earrings and the blazer. It is a perfect accessory. It works with everything.
If you could bring back a retro look, which one would it be?
Almost everything, because in one way or the other, it comes back.
What current trend can’t you see yourself dressed in?
The gray-colored hair!
Where do you shop from, Bettinah?
Everywhere, but currently I love supporting Ugandan designers and tailors a lot. Otherwise, if it is nice and I like it, I will buy it.
Are you in a relationship?
No. I was once in a serious relationship, but he messed up all things; so, I am single and just focused on my projects more.
What has been your most memorable destination, so far?
Zanzibar – Tanzania. I love being around the Indian ocean and taking pictures.
Is the dream destination also somewhere in the Indian ocean?
My dream destination is Iceland [mmm…someone dreams about seeing the northern lights!] Just to take pictures. And it will happen because I love to work hard to make my dreams come true. And next year, I will be there.
If you were to be marooned on a desert island, Bettinah…
Wow…I would take my oil, because I love my skin and it has to look nice, plus my phone because I love taking photos. [Hmm, good luck keeping it charged. Hope you take a truckload of power banks as well!]
- Bettinah is an alumna of St Mary’s SS Kitende and Cavendish University, where she studied journalism.
- She starred as Rhona in NTV’s hit series The Hostel and had replaced Anita Fabiola as the Be My Date presenter.
- She is a Coca-Cola brand ambassador and last year started hosting a fashion show on NTV.
- She refuses to discuss her parents’ identities.