Briefly tell us about yourself. My name is Ronald Mugisha, born and raised at Mulago Upper Hostels. I’m 36 years old and was brought up by my mother after the death of my father in 1996.
How did you enter the design world?
I used to do Fine Art well.
After school, I started designing dragons on jeans that would be sold at Shs15,000 in Owino Market. Mark you, I used to buy jeans at Shs2,000. I started this business after being inspired by Michael Jackson’s dragon design but soon some people started duplicating my stuff and I ran out of market.
What is your fondest memory?
One afternoon, as I rested in my house after a night music gig, a thief was beaten outside my house but I had no clue. The next day, as I returned from my gigs, police arrested me saying I had been among the mob. After some time, I was taken to Luzira prison.
How long were you there?
For 10 years. It is not a venture I pride in but I made a fortune while there. With the zillions of hours I had, I got time to paint, do pictures and soon I got lucrative deals from fellow inmates. I also used this time to develop and grow my design skills.
The only thing I requested for from my sister was a drawing book and pencils that would occupy my free time. I knew God had sent me there to learn something and drawing would propel my talent.
Your breakthrough was when...
I met Chris Rwakasisi, former vice president in prison. Because there were no cameras allowed in the wards, a fellow inmate saw my work and tipped him that I could do for him something. He asked me to draw a picture of him which he would send to his people so that they could see what was happening in the prison. He paid me
Shs200, 000. At this point, I had realised my dream. I knew fashion and design were the way to go. After I was found innocent in 2013, I went to pursue my passion.
Who is your target audience?
I mainly design artistes. They pay me and tell me what kind of design they want. I have designed the likes of Jose Chameleone, Bebe Cool, and Remah. I designed Chameleone’s show called Hit by Hit. His manager showed up five days to the show and it took me a day to make his preferred design. I have had good designs in videos of Bebe Cool’s Ndisa buti video in 2012, Nyonyo Nkeeze, Battle of the champions, Sheeba’s Kisasi Kimu, Remah’s fire tonight and Mesach Ssemakula.
So how much do you charge them?
From Shs500, 000 to Shs1.5m depending on the kind of outfit you need using fabrics from within. I buy my material from Kiyembe.
Challenges... people who do not pay or take long to pay for the services.