At a time when the country is grappling with high numbers of unemployed graduates and a mismatch of qualifications to industry demands, some young people are fighting to with everything at hand to earn an honest living.
Belle Seabo (23) is one of a kind. While she followed the usual route of going to University, getting a degree and even going a step further to get a post graduate degree too, she then took a complete turn and pursued a newly discovered passion for a career.
Seabo is a makeup artist cum beautician. She currently runs Belle Seabo Beauty specialising in all things make up. She does make up for bridal sessions, photo shoots, Television, proms and even walk-in’s.
But not any one would have thought that this young woman who grew up a tomboy would later discover her artistic side and get hooked to it. “Growing up I was a complete nerd,” she declares.
At 20, she got her law degree and instead of practicing, she pursued a post graduate degree in International Development.
Mamaslay as she is affectionately called by her legions of fans and followers, explains that she too didn’t realise that she would end up committing fully to the beauty industry especially soon after she graduated. She had feared letting her family down as she thought they expected her to go the corporate route.
“My mothers (her mother and her mother’s twin sister), however, surprised me. They called me and said to me; ‘we see you have interest in what you do; why don’t you give it a shot,” she recalls. The rest as they says is history.
The young trailblazer, however, points out that make-up has not always been her biggest interest in life. Having grown as a tomboy nerd, her perspective changed when she met her boyfriend.
“I wanted to impress him,” she said, reflecting on how at first she thought she looked hideous but then with time she got used to it. Her motivation, she says, came when people especially at school started to notice and began asking her to do their make up during special occasions sometimes even offering to pay her for her services. She realized then that her interest in makeup and beauty could be more than just passion.
She is currently a full makeup artist and runs a beauty studio from home in Broadhurst in Gaborone and so far can’t complain especially that she is following her heart and doing what she is passionate about.
It doesn’t however end there. According to Seabo, one of the more reason why she didn’t want to venture into the beauty industry part time was so she can build and mold the business into exactly what she wants and envisions it to be.
Her vision to have a product line is now past conceptualisation stage. Rosa-Gem as the product is called is a line of double-ended make up brushes, which she says has been conveniently designed to suit the average working woman on the go.
“The brushes are designed to enable the average woman to have a full face make-up conveniently without having to use too many brushes,” she says. According to Seabo, she is currently at a stage where she is now trying to find a way in which she will sell the product on the retail market.
How she has almost perfectly carved a perfect spot in an industry which has far failed to attract the respect that it deserves and was considered a profession for the less gifted intellectually proves that perhaps Seabo is on to something big. She too acknowledges that her business acumen and the general technicalities she exercises when running her business are to a certain extend influenced by her qualifications.
“It wasn’t a matter of I got these certificates and I put them aside. My law background assists whenever I have to make some business decisions. I have for example also used what I learnt in my post grad recently when doing a task for UNICEF,” she says.
She also hope that her bold decision to venture into the beauty industry will assist in combating wrong perceptions about it, especially from those who look down on it.
“One of the reasons I got into the industry is because it never runs out; women forever want to look beautiful and look good,” she declares.
Mamaslay, however, says she has noticed that Batswana tends to be laid back and in no offensive terms ‘lazy’ yet yearning to have the great things in life. She urges locals to work hard for what they want.
“If you keep on putting on some effort and doing a little bit of work, people will eventually notice, and reward you,” she says.
In case you are wondering whether she has totally given up on pursuing a career in either in law or international development the talented beautician says – everything has a timing.