When I approached Kampala based Tracy Kyasiimire for an interview, I thought it would be a major hurdle, not because she’s just so beautiful, but because some fast-rising models have bloated ego.
However, in her case, she was kind and down-to-earth. I sought to find out how she became an Instagram sensation, with many ‘shout-out’ pages tagging her, and blogs from as far as Ghana trailing her.
She’s popularly known to be a model with Nalu Boutique — @glitzbynalu — in Kampala.
The first thing she tells me is that she’s not as tall as she looks in pictures; her estimate is a 5”4’. She’s also quite shy around people she doesn’t know. Despite not having the requirements that most models think they need to succeed, she’s quite a force to reckon with.
Tracy has two genes that blend to create the perfect cocktail of a proudly black and beautiful girl. She describes herself as “half Rwandese, half Ugandan”.
“I was born in Rwanda but grew up and studied in Uganda. My mum is Rwandese and my dad is Ugandan,” she reveals over our chat.
Her childhood was not as easy. But it shaped her to be the strong woman she is today.
“Growing up, I was raised by a single mother. I saw my dad occasionally on visitation days at school. We are two girls in our family,” she adds.
Her modeling journey is quite interesting.
“Funny enough, growing up, I loved modeling but I was a bit shy and got held back by people’s opinions about modeling…everybody told me I had a model’s body though. They wanted me to join Miss Uganda…but I was so reluctant,” she said.
Her turning point came a few months in 2018 when she decide to give it a shot.
“It wasn’t until this year in march when my friend, a photographer asked me to take him to see his boss who owns a fashion line in town. That’s how I started modeling. The boss wanted someone curvy to showcase her clothes. She asked me to do a trial shoot, then tested my pictures on social media and whooosh, it was overwhelming. The feedback was amazing. Haha!,” she excitedly adds.
Tracy is not the new kid on the block in Kampala. She hopes to make waves worldwide someday.
“Pages are featuring my pictures. Big international pages on Instagram. It happened just like that,” the beauty says. A lot has since changed since people are noticing her wherever she goes.
“They’re like, oh my God! You’re the one!”
However, the newly earned fame doesn’t come without its downside.
“The other day someone posted my picture and claimed I was from South Sudan. It’s crazy. People are using my pictures for funny things. Bar posters on Facebook in funny groups…that’s kind of annoying,” she says, albeit non remorseful.
Another challenge has been being rejected because of her dark skin.
“The only time I ever got rejected was a hair advert thing. And I was rejected because of my skin color. They use light skinned models.”
Tracy has had extreme cases, too. A man was conned of his 28,000 dollars by a social media account that was using Tracy’s pictures.
“He thought he was sending the money to me. He was supposed to send his mum 60,000 dollars the day he found out.”
So how does she maintain her fine body?
“Now for this one, you won’t believe it. I don’t even work out. I am not selective on my food. I don’t know really. But once in a while I walk, haha!,” she says.
And for those who doubt if her big bum is natural, here’s what she has to say:
“Yes it is…well, I have Rwandese blood in me so you should expect that. I wasn’t always like this though. But I have peace in mind that I grow in the right places,” she addresses rumors.
One day, she hopes to visit places like Paris, Maldives, London and work with brands like Adidas, Nike, Coca Cola, Victoria’s Secret and Calvin Klein. It’s pure work in progress for her.
Speaking of her fashion sense, Tracy dresses “according to her mood, really. But I love dressing up. I can switch to almost everything. I am a heels person and at the same time I a sneakers person, fancy dresses and sweatpants.
Well, Tracy is headed for greater heights. Watch this space. Follow her on Instagram to keep up with what she’ll be doing in the coming months — and possibly years!