In the media space in Eastern Africa, the name – Sheila Gashumba resonates, just like ’Ehiz’ or ’Toke Makinwa’ rings in an audience of West Africans, or say Nigerians. Sheila Gashumba is an elite TV show host, a beauty icon, and a lifestyle influencer. The resonance of her name is a product of a decade and a half of media practice experience – a medal usually found in the profile of practitioners who are advanced in age; some nearing retirement. Interestingly, Sheila Gashumba is young and only starting – she is 23, with plans to further impact the fields of media and beauty.

At about age 10, Sheila Gashumba first appeared on a TV show called Kid Corner on popular Ugandan TV station, Wavah Broadcasting Services (WBS). This became a start of a journey that led to her actively featuring on Teens Club on the same station as her debut – a promotion for her ace performances. She told me – “when I became a teen, I was promoted to a show called Teens Club on WBS.” The early exposure to the screens aptly put her curiousness and expressive style to use in a manner that she enjoyed while serving a similar spice of life – amusement – to others, on a mass level. “My confidence led me into journalism. I was just naturally a kid in school who always wanted to do anything they brought to the table”, she said.

Just as she was about outgrowing teen age, Sheila took a break from TV show hosting – a break that allowed her time for exploration. “I took a two year break off TV to explore spaces outside the media.” This break ended when she returned on T-Nation – an award winning television program dedicated to recognizing and appreciating the talents of young Ugandans. “I returned to the screens with the teen show, T-Nation.” Sheila’s progression has since continued without halts – from the teen show to a daily music show, and now, the NTV Style Project – a leading platform in the areas of fashion and style.

Sheila, alongside Solomon Tazibone and Bettinah Tianah, sit to discuss the shifts in the fashion culture in Uganda, and in Africa, extensively. The trio, usually, with a guest, pick topics like the highlights of the South African Sun Met Horse Race of early this year, growing fashion trends on the side of the continent to discuss. Sheila often does a review of fashion items along the lines of trends, influences, and epochs. She is a voice recognized and respected by a lot of fashion enthusiasts in Uganda and beyond. With references to her comments and her endorsements, Sheila’s voice is trusted for fashion tips and style trends.

People often wonder what she’d do with the size of her influence on the culture. Sheila knows this – the potential of exercising her influence beyond show hosting. She told me, “I am working on opening my first ever store called Gash Glam after operating it as an online business for over 3years now.” “I am hoping to expand to other countries and opening up branches in Kenya, Rwanda, and South Africa”, she added. She mentioned a body care line, cosmetic products and a lingerie line as projects for the future. “The beauty industry has a lot of money in it”, she said. However, Sheila wants self-love and appreciation for women to be at the core of her future brand’s purpose. I listened as she said,”I love it when women love their bodies more and feel sexier for themselves first and then for other reasons” ”So why not make another woman sexier.”

This article was written by Ibironke Oluwatobi. He tweets via: @ibironketweets

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