Date:21 January 2022 - By: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho
Erica Mashamba (24) is a young woman who knows that to be successful in life, one must take the bull by the horns. With that determined state of mind, she had managed to secure an income for herself as an itinerant make-up artist.
Erica had fallen in love with make-up art when she was only in primary school. She would stand in front the mirror at home and experiment with different shades and colours; eyeshadows and powders; lip glosses and foundations; testing the different textures and techniques, and admiring the end results.
“Well, my mom didn’t allow me to wear make-up, so I did that secretly and didn’t actually see the impact the cheap, colourful shades had on me,” she said. “Despite that, I couldn’t afford a quality make-up kit. I only got my first foundation from my aunt when I was 18 years old. After what seemed like hours and hours to apply it on my face, I just loved the results.”
Erica comes from Itsani village but is partially based in Pretoria. She says she enjoys working on people’s faces, drawing eyebrows, and applying mascara. “I developed my make-up skills by watching YouTube tutorials, and people started flooding my home to give them a make-up ‘face-lift’.”
She said that make-up art is just as relevant today as it had been for generations. “I love the power make-up has to change a person’s personal outlook too,” she said. “Everyone has beauty, but people often forget that a touch of make-up is sometimes all it takes for someone to see their own beauty all over again.”
Erica’s services are not limited to women; she does men’s make-up too. She also does major events such as weddings, graduations, and birthdays.
“I am glad I took this route,” she said. “I am very grateful for my loyal clients; I wouldn’t be here if it were not for their support.”
Erica is a bachelor of commerce (supply chain management) graduate from the University of South Africa. While she has not registered her business yet to formalise her trade, she hopes to do it soon, so that she can employ one or two youths and help them earn a living too. “We are living in an age where jobs are scarce. By helping even just one person with a job, one must remember that you have also helped everyone else who depends on that person for their livelihood,” she said.
Local make-up artist Erica Mashamba in action. Photo supplied.
By: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho
Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho was born in 1984 in Madombidzha village, not far from Louis Trichardt in the Limpopo Province. After submitting articles for roughly a year for Limpopo Mirror's youth supplement, Makoya, he started writing for the main newspaper. He is a prolific writer who published his first book, titled A Traumatic Revenge in 2011. It focusses on life on the street and how to survive amidst poverty. His second book titled The Violent Gestures of Life was published in 2014.