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INTERVIEW: Ugandan born Model and Actor, Paddy Twijukye talks Fashion, Stereotypes, David Tlale, Advice to new Talents, and more…


INTERVIEW: Ugandan born Model and Actor, Paddy Twijukye talks Fashion, Stereotypes, David Tlale, Advice to new Talents, and more…

If you happened to have watched music videos from Uganda, you would have seen Paddy Twijukye aka Shy Paddy.

He is one of the most sort after models, who does commercial, video and fashion modelling. Shy Paddy has appeared in a couple of Ugandan music videos including Mary Bata’s “Sembera“, Diana Nalubega’s “I Do“, Lydia Jazmine’s “Tukukumbe“, to just name a few.

Check out my interview with the self-styled model and actor below:

Hey Paddy! Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?
My Name is Paddy Twijukye a professional working model signed to one of the leading Modelling agencies in East Africa – JORAM MODEL MANAGEMENT (JMM). I love, eat and breathe this thing called fashion and modeling and am as well very particular when it comes to style! I love socializing, meeting new people though sometimes am very reserved and abit more of a loner! Most of my friends call me pretty boy which I find hilarious.

Talk me through an average day in the life of you?
I usually wake up super early at 5am, say a word of prayer, work out extensively since am in a business where your body is your money maker , then head out to different castings if my agent has orgnaised some of me in day, run my errands and catch up with friends. That’s a basic day for me. But some days are riduclously super busy more so when I have shoots to do, castings, fittings or any shows lined up for me. In nut shell, I love a busy day!

What institution(s) did you attend and what did you study?
I studied Animations and Graphics at Aptech.

How were you discovered and what inspired you to go into modelling?
I was discovered by JORAM MUZIRA the President for JORAM MODEL MANAGEMENT. He is a booker, scout and creative director as well as has a special eye for discovering talents having nurtured and promoted different Uganda models that have turned out to become global fashion model icons world wide- the likes of Aamito Lagum who won the first ever cycle for Africa’s Next Top Model, Akello Patricia, Paul Mwesigwa to mention but a few. He met me at one of the fashion shows he was producing that I had gone to attend called Malengo Fashion show and he saw me when I went backstage and immediately said Paddy I see a great Model in you! Like they say the rest was history and here I am ready to take the world by storm and fight for my space!

Will you say the modelling industry in Uganda is doing well?
Modeling in Uganda is still growing! Its still a fragile young business with hopes of growth some day. The industry is still at the baby steps because mainly we have few fashion magazines, few fashion weeks and designers are still growing financially. Though the commercial side of it is quite promising since most advertising agencies here in Uganda have embraced and are learning to use proper professional models from different modeling and casting agencies which makes it more promising. There is hope someday for it to blossom!

Looking at your photos from 2014 to now there as been massive changes and improvements. What will you say motivated/inspired you to go into fitness and stay dedicated in it?
I love looking good and staying in shape because it’s the only way bookers and agents manage to book you work. Besides that, I believe a fit body creates a fit mindset which is one of the greatest inspirations as to why I decided to go fitness the whole way. My body of work was cut to more fitness bookings!

What’s your 5 Dos and Don’t when it comes to being a model?
My five dos when it comes to being a Model are:
1. Have a great Personality because it helps to push you further in this business of modeling.
2. Keep your body in great shape since it’s your business and it’s the one thing that most clients will appreciate the most besides personality.
3. Have a great Vision and know exactly where you want to be (I call it being able to look into the future.)
4. It’s very important to always drink a lot of water to ensure your skin looks great and hydrated at the same time.
5. Ensure that you have an active social media that projects yourself as a model because we now live in an error where bookings for models are done on online and besides that most clients want great social media for models they work with to promote their businesses!

My Five Donts are:
1. Avoid smoking as a Model because it’s very dangerous to your health and skin.
2. Don’t be rude to clients.
3. Don’t be late for castings, fittings and shows plus shoots.
4. Don’t be too confident because being too much confidence sometimes ends up ringing into arrogance to clients.
5. Never be rude to your bookers or agents!

What do you do to stay in shape, do you go to the gym?
I eat healthy, exercise a lot and Yes I do gym as well plus I try as much as I can to always have a piece of mind. It helps a great deal to stay in shape.

How do you balance your professional and personal life?
I try as much as I can to be professional when it comes to work and I never mix my personal life with work which should always be the biggest thing that most models should learn. DON’T mix your personal life with work because No one is interested in drama. If its work, it has to be work plus I also try not to wash my dirty linen in public since its one of the greatest lessons that my parents taught me as I was growing up and its super applicable now that am an adult.

You released some semi-nude photos recently from a photo shoot and it got everyone online taking, what inspired the shoot?
My agent JORAM organized the shoot for me and mainly it was for development for my portfolio. The images were shot by the amazingly talented Emma Bagwana from Eguana and Yes they served the purpose.

How would you describe the modelling scene in Uganda, when it comes to encouraging new faces?
Like I earlier said, the industry back here at home is still growing but its also cut throat! Only the best in the business book work! If you don’t have what it takes, don’t try it. So to all the upcoming new faces, you must know exactly where you lie and what type of modeling you want to do before you dream of venturing into a business where rejection is the order of the day!

What do you consider the most common stereotype about the modelling industry?
Most people have this stereotype that Most Male Models are not straight and that they are just good looking people who are call boys which is absolutely rubbish and very untrue! We are real people who work so hard and deserve every dollar or penny we get!

What aspect surprised you the most once you started in the industry?
The amount of rejection in this business is for Olympics! You might think you have all it takes and Yes most clients will still reject you.

Looking back to when you started modelling, is there anything you would like to change about the industry?
I would like the industry in Uganda to embrace working more with professional Models and not just every wanna bee who think they are models. There is a huge difference between a Model and a working model.

Which brands, clients, models, photographers, etc, have you worked with?
I have worked with the dynamic fashion icon from South Africa – David Tlale at the Abryanz Style and fashion Awards 2016, shot look books for the award winning Ugandan stylist Kaisdivo Collection by Kaijuka Abass, Shot with Italian- Ugandan based award winning photographer, Giulio Molfese, done a few campaigns with EMOLSAM, shot for the UNAA convention, done several music videos for Ugandan star artists to mention but a few. And yes I feel like thi is just the beginning. More is yet to come!

What do you consider your biggest professional success so far?
Walking for the iconic David Tlale from South Africa! Many models would kill for this!

Who do you want to work with that you haven’t yet?
I would love to one day book campaigns for BALENCIAGA, BALMAIN, MARC JACOBS, CALVIN KLEIN, HUGO BOSS, KENZO, BURBERRY, MAXHOSA to mention but a few plus also book top Magazine covers like GQ. This would be a dream come true for me!

What has been your biggest challenge?
I always consider challenges to be my biggest motivations in life so honestly speaking I won’t whine and cry about the challenges in this business but rather make them my biggest motivations to becoming a better model.

Tell us two things people don’t know about you?
I am a LONER and Super loud at the same time. Lol.

You are very active on social media. Do you think its important to be online and if so why?
Yes the game is changing, and social media is one of the biggest influencers that most clients now look at when booking models for jobs.

You are based in Kampala, Uganda. How is that working out for you?
I would say its working out for me pretty well though abit limiting when it comes to international bookings since am based here.

What are your must visit travel destinations?
NEW YORK, PARIS, LONDON, MILAN AND TOKYO. Mainly the global fashion markets!

Name 5 things we should take seriously about our style choices?
1. Color
2. Body size
3. Type of event you are attending
4. Comfort
5. Ability to stand out.

How would you describe your style?
Timeless | BOLD | Simple | Classy| Daring at times | Vintage.

What style genre appeals to you the most?
Vintage is everything for me! The Classics and 1880s are such a huge come back!

Name your 5 must have accessories/essentials?
1. Cuff links
2. Men’s Purse
3. A good body splash or perfume
4. A black suit is a must in everyone’s closet
5. Black pair of neat classy shoes.

What are your favorite fashion trends?
I am not a follower of trends because I love to mix everything and come up with my own trend. Lol. But yes Vintage trends rule for me if I must say my favorite trend.

What is your favorite dish?
I love lasagna and spiced chicken any day any time!

What songs are currently on your playlist?
I am a huge fan of gospel music so expect to a cocktail of different gospel songs on my play list.

Apart from modeling, what other projects are you currently working on?
I am a business man as well!

Seeing you’re doing your dreams, what advice can you give others to pursue their dreams?
They should:
1. Believe in themselves
2. Be ambitious but not desperate
3. Set out goals and have a vision plus dreams to them.
4. Ensure to look for the right agent and proper representation.
5. Be able to brand yourself as a brand.

Any specific plans for the future?
I would say watch the space for this because I love to surprise people!

Any final words?
I would like to say that Modeling is a career not a hobby but at the same time a business that is not for the faint hearted.

Where can we follow you online and on social media?
Instagram: @shy_paddy
Facebook: Shy Paddy

Asuquo Eton founded, now one of the most visited TV, music, tech and features website, in 2011. He is also a social media analyst, media and entertainment consultant.

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