24 January 2013

Uganda: Nina Challenge Ends On a High

Two months ago, Sarah Kiiza and Rita Kabugo were ordinary employees at Nina Interiors.

But it all changed when they were crowned winners of the Nina Challenge Reality TV show. The show that kicked off last November is a brainchild of Nina Interiors Managing Director Patricia Kyaze Karugaba. Twenty-four Nina staff, grouped in threes, took part in the competition and were required to make curtains for sale.

Both sets of judges, technical and external, handed Kiiza and Kabugo a Shs 10m cash prize for creativity on the weekly show that ran on NBS TV. Karugaba and Gift Nekesa, who is in charge of the store's curtain section, were the technical judges and the public was the external judges.

It was clear why these two won: Kiiza has 15 years of experience as a tailor, and Kabugo's five years as a salesperson made them a dynamic duo. Kabugo brought her outdoor customer experience while Kiiza's designs were what customers always wanted but never got to see in the store. They plan to invest the money in a curtain store.

With the first season getting good reviews from the public, management plans on a second season this year. The store, which started as a simple shop in Wandegeya in 1993 by Alice Nina Karugaba, has grown over the years to include branches in Kigali and Sudan.

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