At only 23 years of age, she is a jack of all trades. She is a passionate fashionista and a sassy radio presenter who juggles all that with books. Yet when you spend a day with Christine Mbabazi, you get tantalized by how much she balances all these responsibilities.
The founder of Christine Creative and Fashion House and Radio 10’s Overdrive show presenter opened up to The New Times about how she manages her busy life.
Who is Christine Mbabazi?
I was born in 1990 in Uganda and spent my early child hood days in the country. However, my family moved back to Rwanda and I joined Sinai Hills Academy where I completed my primary school education. After doing my O’ Level at Gahini Secondary School, I proceeded to Lycee de Kigali for my A level studies and right now, I’m a student at Mt. Kenya University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication
What were you passionate about when growing up?
I was so much into athletics, modeling, music and drama. I was passionate about fashion from a young age and my earliest crowning moment was becoming Miss Designer at Gahini Secondary school in 2010.
When did you discover your talent in fashion?
It was in Primary five (P5) when schoolmate in P7 came to school in a beautiful Kitenge dress. But I helped her match it with appropriate accessories and she stood out from the crowd. I told my schoolmates that dressing was something natural. At Gahini School, we used to have many parties and on each occasion, I would come up with something unique.
What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion defines a smart person, classy but decent.
Who is your favourite model in the world?
Naomi Campbell. The fact that she made it as a black woman in a predominantly white women industry at that time showed her inner strength as a strong-willed woman, and she’s a person I look up to in fashion industry.
Apart from fashion, you are a radio presenter. How did you break into radio?
I was a great debater at school and people used to tell me I had a sweet voice. There was this time KFM called for auditions and we were only three girls who turned up. After the auditions, they told me casually I had emerged the winner but that was the last time I heard from them. Later on, Habba, the then presenter of Dr. Love on Radio 10 called me to be a guest on her show. I did a great show and landed myself a job on Radio 10.
Can you relive your first day as a radio presenter?
It was funny. There I was with everything in front of me but I didn’t know how to operate them. Unfortunately, I was there alone. I remember playing music and when the disc run out, going to fetch another one, meaning the show had to stop for some minutes. I was embarrassed but I slowly came to learn the ropes.
Does it excite you working on radio?
Working on radio to me means stepping into another world. When I’m sad, I forget all about it and switch into a happy mode. I forget about everything since my fans are eagerly waiting for what I have in store for them, and I have to be at my best. I receive many calls and SMS from people I don’t know and I have to be at my best mood to handle them.
How do you handle rude callers?
Rwandans are decent people and so far, I have not handled a case of a rude caller. But we are human beings and when such a case arises in future, I will take it in my stride and see this as part of my professional duty and handle it with the professionalism it deserves.
Do you feel that women are now equally represented in the creative industry?
I think many women are taking advantage of the opportunity they have been given and are trying their best to show their presence in creative industry unlike before. We now have all the support we need from all quarters and it’s the best time to unleash our potential.
What advice can you give girls intending to venture into fashion or radio?
Rwanda is an open environment now and women should step out of the shadows and join the rat race. Nothing will come on a silver platter. They shouldn’t be shy but show that inner strength of a woman to make it in the fields that suit their talents.
How do you balance your works and studies?
I’m a meticulous person and I plan whatever I want to do during the day. I make sure I achieve over 80% of what I intend to through proper balancing act.