Steps of the African Gypsy

The people who will make your artificial eye are known as “Ocularists” (pronounced: “Ock-You-Lair-Ists”) and are engaged in the practice of “Ocularistry”.An Ocularist, a profession little known, and extremely rare.

An ocularist is a professional who specializes in the creation and manufacture of an artificial eye made of polymethyl methacrylate resin, to give each patient a new look.

I started my journey to become an ocularist while I was about 14 years old when I read a Readers Digest book my mum come with from a foreign trip. It had a story of a kid who lost an eye, and he got one painted and custom made for him. The dream went to ‘sleep’ for some years. When I finished my medical school, I had thoughts of majoring in ophthalmology surgery (eye surgery) in the US. During my electives in ophthalmology surgery in Chicago, I met an ocularist who ‘woke up’ this dream.

When I visited his workshop, he made a fatal mistake that woke up this dream forever not to sleep again. He gave me two prosthetic eyes, that I looked at, touched and felt like a kid who has just got a new toy, every other day on my work desk.

A few years down the road after tasting the ‘medical water’ of Ugandan healthcare system. I looked for some specialty that is lacking in the medical fraternity. I packed my bags and went back to the USA to get this skill in ocularistry. Flying through in so many US states learning different techniques. My whole world was in Just two bags. I must say it felt good being be a modern-day Gypsy and at the same time a minimalist.


From Rome, NY, down to Chesapeake, Virginia, escaping hurricane Michael to Hamburg, upstate New York and now back to Uganda to bring this rare to skill to the people that need it. Many have lost an eye and just need a boost in self-esteem with this custom paintwork and where artistry meets medicine, ironically all done by a doctor.

Being taught by an Ocularist who had initially majored in painting. She was so passionate about painting