By Kampala Sun writer
There are a million things that you probably know about Santa Anzo. It goes with the territory of being a local celebrity with an international profile. And make no mistake, Santa plays for the big time, especially now that Sylvia Owori has retired from being an active fashion designer to simply being Sylvia Owori (which is a task of its own). Her designs are showcased on regional platforms (see her recent South African trip for some fashion week or other, as an invited guest.
She has her own clothes line, Santa Anzo, and is feted as a genuine national product of our gifted country.
Arapapa, her business (currently located at Oasis Mall, Nakumatt) is a Design Studio, and a Modelling and Casting Agency. She also owns the Uganda International Fashion Week. Arapapa was officially launched in July, 2001.
She has the ear of the President (Arapapa won the 1st Prize Presidential Transformers Appreciation Award) and is a close friend to business man, retired dentist and Senior Presidential Adviser Dr. Martin Aliker.
She is often been in and out of the tabloid media over varying situations (her recent one being her court case over a couple of unpaid cheques). Some of these have hit home, provoking a rabid online response on her Facebook account when The Kampala Sun questioned her single status.
Most of the time, however, the tabloids have been in repetitive mode; the story of the split with Sylvia Owori, her former business partner for example, has been done to death. It was only recently that the idea of Santa having an untold story came up. And like everyone else, she does.
It turns out that behind that single lady status, there is a story. A whopper of a story. And it has a lot to do with an Aliker.
According to a close friend who insisted she remain anonymous, Santa was once dating Okello Aliker. Not Dr. Martin Aliker Jerome Okec but his son.
And it was serious.
“I cannot swear they were engaged” said the friend, “but they were as good as. It was that serious.”
Unrequited love? Could that be the reason behind Santa’s ‘single lady’ status?
The friend added, “It definitely hit her hard, when they broke up, I think. After all, he was quite a catch.”
That is what they call a catch. And of course, he is Dr. Aliker’s son.
How did Santa take the break up?
“Things got awkward between her and Okello’s father; after all, he had always been a benefactor to her” another source added.
It could be the reason Arapapa moved from the plush Papaya Events Gardens in Kololo, which was rumoured to be a joint venture between her and Dr. Aliker at the time when things were cosy with his son.
Many girls to whom this happens go down the good-girl-gone-bad route. Did Santa follow suite?
How they met
Santa was close to the Aliker family. She is still close to the family. As it was to be, Okello and Santa became friends. She had an eye for him, and he for her. Santa had started out with her design studio at Buganda Road, behind 1000 Cups. That was after her bitter fall out with Sylvia Owori.
When she found favour with the Alikers, she moved into the plus Papaya Events Gardens in Kololo. Everything pointed in the right direction for her. “They were close, then Okello moved away,” says a friend.
Okello has never turned back. He is now married, with four children. He married a lady that fits his profile. She is a boss with Stanchart Kenya. He is a top dentist, a fun loving one like the father. He lives large, not the showy kind of large. His love for rugby cannot be tamed. A gigantic guy who loves rugby is such an attraction.
He is highly learned. He graduated from Brown University in the US with a Bachelor of Arts in Human Biology in 1988, then he got a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Northwestern University, Chicago in 1993. He did not stop at that, but that is only a tip of his academic excellence.
Okello Aliker came back to Uganda in 1996. “In 1998, he received a commendation from the White House Communications Agency for treatment rendered to team members supporting President Clinton’s historical visit to Uganda,” according to the official page of The Dental Studio, which he set up in 2005.
He has practiced in Kenya and Uganda, among other countries. His love is however in Kenya, not in Uganda. And it is not Santa Anzo.
When we wrote about her marital status, she responded that she has chosen to live a single life now. She was so happy being with her niece and “collie” the dog. There are two things. Santa has either chosen to live life on her terms or the terms have chosen her.
She is a very friendly person. She keeps her models close. They are like family where she seeks comfort. “I have not known her to be dating, but she doesn’t like public attention. She is our good friend,” says a model at Arapapa who preferred anonymity.
Wow! I woke up to this! The Kampala Sun, a local tabloid has me gracing their cover with this bold headline. Apparently someone is pissed at my marital status continuing to read SINGLE! Two years in a row this tabloid has made my “independence” their corporate business.
The last time the headline read…”successful, beautiful BUT UNLUCKY” insinuating that we are a cursed lot! Now to this tabloid and all that have been sending me glances from the tail of their eyes, as well those inboxing sympathetic messages (btw l find these pitiful therefore not for me!) may it warm your hearts to know that l choose this! Ours is a world of choices, you decide what you want to be, and we certainly choose who we wish to marry, when we wish to marry them and how we wish to marry them! As l live my bliss, l must say that i have alot of respect for the institution of marriage BUT for now this is me, and l read WORK! WORK & WORK this is ofcourse punctuated with lots of lovey-doveyiness with the world’s bestest niece and my burly burly burly sweeeet and gentle border collie.
I choose to live this AWESOMELY BLESSED life of mine on my own terms, if you can’t respect it, you can’t get in! If you can’t fit in, you got to get out! for this is the real deal! From a place of love.