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I want everything I touch to turn into gold

“Aren’t you the lady on the latest cover of African Woman?” asked a chef at Garden City.

Equally surprised as I was by the question, Stacey ‘Queen’ Aamito calmly answered: “Yes.”

Aamito, a freelance model, is naturally endowed with a 30-inch bust, 24-inch waist, 36-inch hips and stands at a height of five feet and 11 inches. These are measurements most models starve to attain and women hate but envy privately. To complement her feminine physique, is a flawless dark skin  and an arresting face with a pointed chin, high cheek bones and slightly tilted deep brown eyes, curtained by bristly black eyelashes. She also has shapely eyebrows. Surprisingly, with these attributes, Aamito had never thought of becoming a model.

“I have grown to love modelling after many people urged me to try because of my skin colour, full lips and height. I then joined modelling with Arapapa models at a very young age,” she says.

As some encouraged her to join the industry, some in the industry made snide comments like, “You are too fat” and “You are too dark”.

“At my first photo shoot, the photographer told me that if he were the one choosing models, he would not have picked on me because I was black,” she recalls.

Upset but determined to trudge on, Aamito grew a tough skin that has enabled her tell her success story. She signed with BOSS, a South African modelling agency, as an on-call model. She also qualified for a fashion spread in Vogue Italia, an Italian fashion magazine, last month.

More, she is booked for a June fashion spread in the South African-based Elle magazine. And she has been photographed by some renowned photographers like Dean Bradshaw. Aamito has also engaged in advertising campaigns for Adele DeJark, a typographic designer and owner of Rogo Collections, which specializes in jewellery.

Isn’t all this work too much? She answers, “I work towards turning everything I touch into gold.”

Queen’s resolve

Raised by her mother, Filda Ayaa Sidonia, Aamito is an only-child; lovingly nicknamed “Queen” by her grandmother. As a child, her father left to work in the UK, leaving her to endure a life of hard work with Sidonia. Unfortunately, Sidonia lost her job after Aamito had only completed P.1. She was thus sent to live with her grandmother in Kitgum district, where she joined Pandwong primary school.

“Before enrolling into the school, I was given a P.4 interview instead of a P.2 one because teachers thought I was old basing on my height. Nevertheless, I passed and being a village school, I always excelled especially in English,” Aamito recalls.

Her school days at Padwong P.S. came to an end after two terms, when LRA rebels attacked Kitgum, filling Aamito and her grandmother with terror. Fortunately, she joined her mother in Kampala, who had started her own business as an agri-business manager and could once again afford to take her to a good school. She, therefore, joined St Jude primary school in Naguru where she completed P.7.

Aamito then joined St Lawrence Secondary School, Namugongo and Katikamu Seventh Day Adventist Secondary School for O and A-level. She went on to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication at Uganda Christian University, Mukono. This communication background has earned her the post of a Public Relations Officer at SCD Uganda - the manufacturers of Darling hair extensions.

“I can say I was lucky to get this job because there were many people shortlisted for the job but I was picked since I had done my internship here and had written a good report,” Aamito says.

As a PRO, she is in charge of crisis management, organizing events and writing reports for the company. And away from work, Aamito enjoys aerobics, swimming and listening to audio books like the audio Bible. She is currently listening to Crush It! Why now is the time to Cash In Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk.

“I also enjoy listening to music especially that by Asa, Leslie Burrs and Micheal Kiwanuka,” she adds.

ninsiima@observer.ug

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