I was a tomboy before I became a model – Sissi

Sissi at a past fashion runway in Kigali.
As a child, Laetitia Uwera’s dream was far from modelling. Her mother being a nurse, inspired her to be a doctor and she was doing mathematics, physics and chemistry in high school when she ended up into modelling.
Today, Uwera, known to many as Sissi Ngamije, has embraced modelling and she has featured in most fashion magazines and runways in the country. She describes herself as very passionate professional model who will stop at nothing to get what she wants.
“Being a tomboy and very focused with my studies, I didn’t know anything to do with entertainment. While in high school, my life turned around when a friend asked me to join her for a model casting,”
“I didn’t even know what model casting meant but when celebrated designer Daddy De Maximo saw me, he exclaimed ‘wow I can’t wait to see you cat walking’, from that moment on wards, I have been obsessed with modelling,” she says.
She recounts the first time on stage doing the catwalk in high heels was the best feeling she has ever had.
Sissi Ngamije is arguably one of the top models in the country. Courtesy..
“I could feel the connection with what I was doing on stage and from that time onwards, I started doing photo shoots and have been getting opportunities to feature on the runway.”
“I am always afraid and shaking before I get on the runway because it’s not something one can get used to but once I am there I feel like a queen. I immediately connect with the audience that is watching because I need to do my job very well if I am to get other gigs,” she says.
She reveals that in the beginning it was really hard to make a living out of modelling but luckily for her, her mother was always there to support her.
At the time it was even hard to get transport back home but the industry has improved with some agencies, more designers, models, many shows in a year which enable her and others to make money from their work, which is different from the past years.
She also says that through modelling, she has been able to venture beyond Rwanda and get the much needed exposure.
Even then, Ngamije says modelling alone is not a sustainable form of employment in Rwanda, meaning that she has to get other jobs or gigs to make ends meet.
Besides modelling, Ngamije works in a local company as a field coordinator and has plans to sign as a model with an agency in Nigeria called Star Model.
“I think that big things are coming my way and all the time that I have worked, this is the time to get some pay back. I have opportunities because I had exposure outside Rwanda,”
“My dream is to make it big as a model, get experience and learn from the people who have been in the industry before me. Then I will be able to bring my own contribution in the industry to help other models do better and be exposed because we have beautiful models but they need someone to push them,” she says.

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