By Tiffany Uwimana

He is the founder and chief executive officer of Oscar Kampala, a company that deals in off-the-rack, tailored and bespoke suits for men. Although his brand towers above his age and stature, this has not deterred him from emerging at the top, and bringing a new edge to the fashion industry in the process. 

Nyesiga created his brand in 2016 while in Senior Four and opened his first outlet in 2019 during his Senior Six (A’ Level) vacation. Thereafter, he joined Makerere University and graduated as part of the 73rd cohort in February 2023. He started by styling fellow students and gradually progressed to international acts like Jidenna, Kizz Daniel, Beenie Man, DJ Neptune and Fireboy DML among others. Thanks to his enthusiasm, he is the perfect embodiment of creativity, hard work and discipline. 

Oscar KLA

Nyesiga has achieved several milestones and enjoyed perpetual growth since 2019. In his campaign dubbed ‘300 Men in Kampala’ launched last August, Nyesiga’s target was to have 300 men in the city donning Oscar Kampala suits. For a month, social media was awash with photographs and clips of men wearing his masterpiece designs. Following this success, Nyesiga has set himself up for a bigger challenge – targeting ‘1,000 Men in Kampala’ in his next campaign, which is already in the pipeline.

While at Makerere University, Nyesiga achieved more than acquiring a degree. He built social capital that helped him make Oscar Kampala popular. He gained a lot of support from the university fraternity through various ways, from dressing students and staff, to being allowed to run his “300 Men in Kampala” campaign on campus, which included a photo-shoot at Lumumba Hall, to which he was attached. 

This support helped him grow and win numerous awards at home and on the international stage. In 2022, he was named the “Most Inspirational Youth of the Year” in Uganda, based on his brand’s success locally and globally, and his inspiration to young people. He has also been hailed for providing employment to many young people and for this, the Parliament of Uganda recognised him in February 2023 soon after his graduation, for his contribution to curbing youth unemployment in the country.

Oscar Kampala Graduation

Oscar Kampala on his graduation day.

Nyesiga has also scooped two continental awards – the Zikomo awards in Zambia for Best Young Entrepreneur of the Year (Africa) and Best Celebrity Stylist of the Year (2022). The Zikomo awards recognize individuals and celebrities, as well as organizations that are contributing positively to society in various fields, including the arts and entrepreneurship. 

Nyesiga commends Makerere for the work the university is doing, adding, however, that there is room for non-academic endeavors to give students a richer education experience. To adequately respond to the needs of the 21st century, he says, Makerere ought to have a system of identifying students’ potential, supporting them to develop other areas besides academics, and encouraging them to pursue their passions and interests.

Oscar Kampala - Zikomo awards

Oscar Kampala after being awarded as the Best Celebrity Stylist of the Year Africa at the Zikomo awards in Zambia

For the students, Nyesiga urges them to remain focused, be open-minded, choose their priorities well, strive to be the best, and place God first in all they do. He implores students to “step away from places of preference to their places of purpose” – sound advice from a young man who has demonstrated that it is possible to balance business and academics and still emerge at the top.

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