32 body piercings and counting

Ras Kiiza
            Ras Kiiza. Every piercing of  has a reason

When and why did you start piercing your body?

I started in 2000 by having my ear lobes and nose pierced. Every hole has its own story and represents both good and bad memories. Whenever something happens in my life, I get a piercing to mark that particular event. For example, the piercing on my left eyebrow reminds me of the time I broke up with my girlfriend, after six years and 10 months.

Why did you pick on body piercings to mark those moments?

The piercings are not just about the moments but also about celebrating my independence from my strict family that brought us up on a strict Islamic foundation.  In addition, I also decided to grow my hair into dreadlocks.

How old are your dreadlocks?

I have been growing them for seven years and a hair stylist of Congolese origin called Crocodile works on them. I visit his Kabalagala salon on a regular basis to keep my hair fresh and clean.

Where do you get your outfits?

Ras Kasozi (Ras Wear) is my favourite designer and I buy some of my outfits from him. I also have clothes from friends returning from countries like Ethiopia and UK, although my biggest collection is from Owino, where I buy mostly jeans and T-shirts. I [also]have a guy who supplies me with bracelets. They represent different countries and each costs Shs 30,000.

What do people think of your look?

The biggest percentage of people don’t like the way I look. It’s the smaller percentage that understands that I have a right to look the way I want. And for the women, they like my looks but I guess it’s out of curiosity to know the man behind the look. My family stopped complaining though they still urge me to change.

Any plans of changing the way you look?

I have no plans of changing my trademark, but you never know what tomorrow may bring.


Meet Samson Baranga aka BigSam. He is a passionate photographer, writer, blogger, biker and his passion for fashion knows no boundaries. He is also a fashion columnist in The Observer newspaper.