When makeup artist Mathapelo Mafa started her business Nchadi Beauty, she was confident that her business would immediately take off because of support from her friends. But this was not the case and she learned the hard way that strangers were more likely to support her business. But this strengthened her resolve not to give up and stand on her own two feet.
Mafa, who is from Acorn Park in Vereeniging, Gauteng, told Vutivi News that she has always been fond of cosmetics and making people feel beautiful. “When I was in high school, I did not like going to the salon and letting someone do my hair, so I decided to try braiding my own hair,” she said.
“The first hairstyle I did on my own hair looked horrible, to say the least, but I pushed on anyway!” However, Mafa soon found that she had a knack for braiding, and then started experimenting with tweezing her friends’ eyebrows and doing their makeup. “After I matriculated in 2015, I did not know what to study, so my mother recommended that I study beauty and that is what I did,” she said. “My mother believed in me and believed that it fitted me perfectly because I love beautifying people and I really enjoy it.”
Mafa studied at Face to Face Beauty & Make-up Design School in Johannesburg in 2016, and during that very same year, she started working as a freelance makeup artist. She launched her company in 2019 and officially registered it as Nchadi Beauty earlier this year. Nchadi Beauty is named after Mafa’s late grandmother. “When I grew up, I wasn’t really close with my grandmother as she, along with my extended family, lived in Limpopo and I could only see them during holidays,” she said.
“I wasn’t happy that I wasn’t close with her, so naming the company after her gives me the feeling that I am honouring her memory,” Mafa told Vutivi News that her creativity especially shimmered when she did makeup, however, she offered services like hair installations, braids, microblading and individual eyelashes. “When I get a booking for makeup, I become really excited because I love the art and creativity that goes with it,” she said.
“I enjoy experimenting with techniques like using orange on eyebrows and eyelashes to see how it looks on a dark person, or doing body painting or even putting a rainbow on a face, making it look like the person’s undertone is a rainbow.” She believes that her work is more appreciated by strangers, and the feedback encourages her to experiment more.
“I learned that it is usually the people that don’t know me that are prepared to support me and pay me the full amount of my work’s value,” she said. “This also taught me to be more courageous and learn not to depend on anyone except myself for my own success.” Mafa has a range of clients for her makeup expertise, including brides, bridesmaids and pupils attending matric dances. She also works on video and photo shoots.