On a random night, as we lay in the comfort of our homes, Shiela is sizzling with energy on Television, dancing vigorously.
The emcee and host has curated a name synonymous with entertainment. When not at it, she likes to sleep (like all of us), Netflix, cook delicious meals, and spend time with her son. Sheila Salta talks to ASFA News about her journey through life and how she has progressed from one level to another despite the criticism and backlash.
Born in Denmark, 1992 at Hividore Hospital to Mrs Sophear Matovu, a Ugandan and Mr Peter Saltoft, a Danish. Sheila’s early days are painted with happy memories of an active child who danced and sang. It is no wonder that 3 years after moving to Uganda, at 13 years, she booked her first show with WBS, a Teen programme that aired on weekends. Although the gig did not pay a lot, “I was happy to do it, I was there for the fun of it, and the fame too, it was exciting”, she says in a vlog with Crystal Newman.
Consistently, Shiela has managed to creatively morph into the character befitting the platform on which she stands. The once-young star turns 30 this year and plans to further cement her position in the industry from which she has churned a lot of money. And claimed a position that has established her at the top of Ugandan entertainment. You will hardly keep seated when watching her. Be it on television or live at a live event, her ability to connect with any audience comes easily. She tells me that this is because she is passionate about what she does, “I do what I love, and live in the moment. Although many people think it is easy, it takes hard work to do these events and shows. But I make it work”.
“I am worthy just as I am. I am centred and at peace. I have enough, I do enough, I am enough. I will achieve great things through small steps.” Says Sheila. As someone who is open about her questioning relationship with religion, she easily believes in proclaiming words that elevate the highest self.
Although it is easy for us to forget that the diva is also a mother, for her, this is the very reason she pushes even harder. “My son is my first priority,” she says, adding “I spend most of my free time with him when I am not working. We cook, eat and watch television together.”
Being a mother, kindness means extending love first to those in her household, “my son being my first priority” she says. She also leans on a support system of friends and strong family support. “Get yourself some friends that are not in the industry to support, love and keep you grounded,” she says.
After watching her numerous times on TV, I don’t disagree when she confesses her love for boots. I have seen her in all kinds of boots, from high-heeled to jungle and thigh-high boots. Deep down, I am convinced she has a pair of cowboy boots, but I am scared to ask. She lets me in on her most expensive fashion purchase, Louis Vuitton boots worth 1000 dollars.
Despite always looking put together on TV, Sheila admits that fashion comes both hard and easy for her. “I really love dressing up, but I feel tested at the game. Deep down, I feel like I could be a badass at this, yet also I have no clue what to wear most of the time. But I end up pulling it off, I think” she says.
Other than boots, she loves accessories and fine-cut dresses. “I generally think I am in my world of style,” she says, and that is true. You will hardly find her wearing trends but if she does, it will be personalised. “I just love taking risks” she adds. When she wants to go all extra, Sheila plays with accessories. Rings, earrings, necklaces, and maybe a tattoo.
A life of transitions
“Your life has been marked by transitions, and your story is filled with intent and awareness with transitioning to the next. How does that work?” I ask.
She starts by using the phrase “Do what you love” and goes on to explain how we should all live in the present moment because this is great motivation to achieve your goals. Other than living in the moment, She explains how we should all work hard, “Consistency, growth, hard work and executing. It is not easy but if you have to, fake it till you make it.” She also preaches kindness, “be humble, be creative, socialize, be kind and listen to your instincts more than anybody else’s. Get yourself some friends that are not in the industry to support and love you and keep you grounded,” she says.
Sometimes, she will be working day and night, and this busy schedule makes it hard to find personal time, but to take care of her mental health, Sheila steals a few hours from her busy schedule to enjoy the things that she loves. Things like karaoke nights, and girls’ nights with friends to watch movies, drink wine, and go on trips.
Finally, I ask her about her relationship status, and even though she shuns the details, Sheila clears the air with one line “I am not in a relationship.”