UGANDA: Keturah Lydia Kamugasa (December 8, 1967 - December 20, 2017) was a Ugandan writer and whose pioneering body-positive approach to womenswear made her a role model. She was most notable for her weekly column in The New Vision daily, called "Style with Keturah Kamugasa", and almost single-heartedly took fashion writings from the margin to the mainstream. casual wedding dresses plus size
She was also the editor of Flair, and Bride and Groom magazines. Kamugasa was also a pioneer in Uganda’s wedding industry.
As a young adult, Kamugasa left Uganda for the UK, where she attended Bible college and later gained a degree in sociology from Leicester University. On her return to Africa in the mid-Nineties, Kamugasa began work as a freelance writer for New Vision, a leading English-language newspaper in Uganda.
She launched Uganda’s first wedding magazine, Bride and Groom, and in 2006 she inaugurated the country’s first wedding expo. Her column for New Vision. “Style with Keturah Kamugasa” celebrated all Uganda’s women, including new mothers, plus-size women and professional women dressing to stand out in a sea of corporate grey.
Her writing was always warm if occasionally waspish. In 2016, Kasugama wrote, “As we celebrate Women’s Day today, let us spare a thought for parts of the female anatomy that are not yet emancipated (ahem!). Apparently, the breast and her nipple are among those parts.”
She added: “And so we are bombarded with pictures of buttock like cleavages; some tantalising and others downright ugly. We are expected to follow suit in the spirit of sisterhood. In any case, how empowering of women is breast exposure? In Uganda, most of us see breasts on a daily basis, whether we like it or not.”
Kamugasa’s own style was always colourful and sumptuous. She counted many of Uganda’s best designers as friends.
The warmth and wisdom of Kamugasa’s columns reflect the support she showed her fellow women in day-to-day life. Kamugasa held voluntary positions on the boards of several NGOs. She mentored many young women, frequently visiting schools to give talks on career advice and self-esteem. She was an enthusiastic advocate for women’s rights.
Kamugasa’s colleague Cathy Mwesigwa, deputy editor of New Vision, has said: “She stood up against the subtle forms of sexual harassment in the newsroom in the 1990s, when there were really few female journalists.”
Kamugasa never married – she broke off an engagement in 2006 to a man she claimed “wanted to tame me”. A single mother who is survived by her daughter, she advised others to “follow your heart. Don’t get married because of pressure.”
She was sustained throughout her life by a strong Christian faith. In an interview for Saturday Vision in 2011, she said, “Celebrate life when you can. Life is either a funeral or a celebration. I choose to make it a celebration.”
She died on December 20, 2017 at the age of 50.
(Credits: New Vision, The Independent, Wikipedia).