marigold series

Elinah Mangena is truly the epitome of success and what it means to be a go getter. I started following her work online a few years ago through my wonderful friend Mbo Mahocs. I knew there was something special about her magic touch. I am a huge cheerleader of women who are successful and those who are yet to discover the lioness in themselves. So I made a promise to myself that I would book her services as soon as a glamorous opportunity showed up on my doorstep. It did. Elinah was my make up artist for the Bulawayo Arts Awards that I was privileged to host. She did a stellar job. Apart from that she is a serial networker, a solid business woman and an award nominated make up artist. She is also a self published author who uses the power of the written word to inspire any woman or man to go after their dreams and stretch themselves. I couldn’t wait to introduce you to her. Meet one of our Marigold Series woman, Elinah Success Mangena.

Who is Elinah Success Mangena?

Elinah Success Mangena is a 30 year old young woman , highly motivated and strong willed . She is an award nominated make up artist , author and image consultant.

Did you ever imagine yourself as a make up artist? What led to this career choice?

No , if there is any career I could  have pursued professionally it would have been in athletics or dancing, but a huge part of me is also academic. Being a make up artist fell into my lap by a sheer coincidence , or I as believe by God’s grace. I never had any interest or knowledge of the beauty industry. My roommate showed me the ropes . I later enjoyed beautifying myself and people took interest and asked me to do their make up. The rest is history.
You recently hosted another successful make up Masterclass. What was the experience like? 

This was special , it was the first time I did a 3 day masterclass . The planning was very overwhelming yet so rewarding in the end. When you get to see the students progress from beginner level to proficient level it’s an empowering experience for myself as well as my guests. To have some of my celebrity clients involved and being models for the day was truly humbling.

What has been your favourite milestone in your journey thus far?

I would have to say it’s having to see my clients  happy with their personal transformation for a special event or milestone in their lives.  It’s something that I cherish and seek to achieve each day. 2021 was also a monumental year for me as I was nominated for the ASEA Awards. I was blown out of my mind that my work was shortlisted for this honour. Publishing my book was a scary process that also stretched my limits but certainly a mile stone to celebrate as well.

Who would you say is the biggest artist or celebrity you have worked with and how did that shape your career further?

Basetsana Khumalo is my favourite high profiled client that I have previously worked with. I learnt a new level of poise from her.  I remember I was a bit late getting to her . I was getting lost trying to find the main gate to the venue.  When I got there I was panicking because this is “Basetsana” we are talking about , but she was calm and offered to make me tea . My highlight of the experience was for her to be happy with the finished look . It was affirming to know that I was on track.

What is the one mistake most women make when it comes to skin care or make up?

The one mistake that I have observed that women make is that they use other people’s experiences to make decisions on what to use on their skin. My advice would be , identify your skin type to know which skin products are suitable for your skin. The same applies to makeup , and also never sleep with your makeup.

What is your favourite brand for the following products?

Foundation … Kryolan
Lipstick … Hues and Tones
Eyeliner … Essence
Lashes … Esmangena
Mascara … Yardley

What is your fav holiday destination and why?

Victoria falls is a beautiful destination . It was once named as one of the 7 wonders of the world . It is such a magnificent place to refresh , enjoy the culture of our country and the people are very welcoming.

BMW or Mercedes Benz? – Both ( lol)

Ice cream or chocolate?  – Ice Cream

Vogue or Elle Magazine? – Neither

Durban or Cape Town and why? – Durban. It has friendly people , much warmer weather and their food is much nicer.

Your 5 favourite bible scriptures?

Ex 23 vs 25
Isaiah 54 vs 4
Psalms 91
Leviticus  26 vs 9-13
Proverbs 3 vs 24- 25

Your favourite bible character and why?

It would have to be Jesus. There is no one better than him. He is a teacher, healer and a patient friend.

Any future plans of expanding the Elinah brand?

Yes, certainly a beauty academy and a cosmetic line are in the pipeline.

What other initiatives are you working on that you would love our readers to support you on?

I run Elinah initiatives that focus on skills  development, providing free beauty  masterclasses (hair, nails, makeup etc )   and stationery. We also have a soup kitchen that feeds any one that needs food on special occasions.

Which M.U.A would you live to collaborate with?

Make up by Elana or James Charles … definitely
Words of inspiration to self taught creatives?
I would say just start, find your lane and stay in it as well as ensuring you find means to invest in yourself . Success requires focus so  shut your ears to the noise no matter what people say about the industry being saturated …. just GO or it.
Elinah Mangena is definitely the girl next door. Someone we all can see ourselves in. Going after all her dreams and impacting the men and women around her. Inspiration is always around us. I hope to those that follow her work and look up to her you have been inspired. Thank you for honouring us and sharing your story Elinah!!
0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail

Vitiligo is a common depigmenting skin disorder with an estimated prevalence of 0.5 to 2% of the population worldwide. It is often characterised by the selective loss of melanocytes (a cell that produces and contains the pigment melanin) which results in chalky white patches on the skin. Though often dismissed as a cosmetic problem, the psychological effects are devastating and lead to esteem issues. 

Over the years we have seen a rise in so many influential people coming out of their vitiligo shell and thriving regardless of their skin condition. This has helped usher in a generation of young people who are unapologetic about how they look and are following closely behind the footsteps of their predecessors by being activists towards the vitiligo cause. 

In Zimbabwe we have our very own Christine Tafadzwanashe Matyavira. She is a bubbly character, a gift to young women and boys alike suffering from vitiligo and self-esteem issues. Getting in touch with her and requesting for an interview for the Marigold series was the highlight of my week, like the queen she is, she was welcoming and more than delighted to take the interview and share her story. 

Cliché……..but let us give it a go, who is Christine Matyavira?

Christine Tafadzwanashe Matyavira is a short soon to be 22 year old little woman (LOL!) from Kwekwe, Mbizo. She’s a 2nd year film student at the University of Zimbabwe who is an aspiring script writer and a story teller.

Tell us who else knows you best apart from yourself and how does this person inspire you?

My baby sister knows me best more than anyone else. Evelyn inspires me in a million ways. She’s a bold woman who is firm and honest to herself. She’s the most confident being I know. A hero……my hero. She stands up for me in every aspect of life.

Please tell us about your current work in regards to vitiligo, do you feel you are making an impact, are you happy with the response, has it made a difference in the local, regional and international community?

To be honest. I’ve been going through a lot. I’ve kind of taken a step back. However, ever since I posted a picture embracing my skin, the outcome has been remarkable. People with vitiligo and different self-esteem issues in Zimbabwe are taking things positively and beginning to love themselves and feel comfortable in their skin. I hope to make an impact regionally and internationally with time.

We have seen a rise in celebrities speaking openly about vitiligo from Michael Jackson, Winnie Harlow (Americas Next Top Model) and Leleti Khumalo (South African actress) amongst many others. Which celebrity inspires you the most and what do you love about their story?

I love Winnie Harlow’s story more than anyone else because I kind of relate to it especially linking with when she started experiencing vitiligo patches. She was still a little kid like I was when she started experiencing the skin changes which were accompanied by a tough and rough childhood. She was being called names and stigmatized for having a different skin. However, she grew up to be one of the most recognized super models celebrated for her beauty.

As an Activist, what is guiding your choice of actions?

The way I grew up definitely! The gut wrenching experiences……No!…. I’d never want anyone else to go through that mental abuse and physical bullying I went through. I believe whoever starts going through the process of skin changes credited to vitiligo should at least have someone who is there as a support structure to tell them that it will all be okay. This is what guides my choice of actions as an activist.

What is your biggest fear as an activist?

My biggest fear is having bullies or people who are against everything that is for the good. Yes, as an activist or anyone who has made it at that, you will still come across cyber bullies and trolls who seek to bring you down. I do not want to break under this pressure and wind up losing my motivation to be helpful and make a difference.

Did you ever go through a phase of trying to cover yourself with make up?

With this one I’ve never, thankfully! I have just always been confident in my skin regardless. Thus, have never felt the need to hide. I recall my parents trying to protect me from the burns by advising me not to expose the spots. Am sorry mum and dad  but I never did and I’ve never really wanted to cover up.

Do you believe the world has shifted and is accommodating towards vitiligo?

The world is working towards it definitely, kudos world! However, I can’t say we are at a point where people like me feel safe and proud 100% as most of the people still don’t know what vitiligo is. Overall the numbers are growing, more are accommodating and taking time to learn about vitiligo and that is indeed comforting and assuring that we are headed in the right direction.

Kindly share with us one laughable myth you have heard about Vitiligo?

So people think vitiligo is contagious, they think if you are to come in contact with someone who has it you automatically get it (lolest).

What is your favourite holiday and why?

Africa day as it is my birthday    

What is your idea of a perfect first date outfit?

I’ve never been on a proper date before but I think a short little dress and heels.

Any new projects in the pipeline?

Yes ma’am, might pursue acting, it’s something I’m taking a keen interest in.

Acting wow, interesting, what is your favourite movie genre?

I love Crime investigation movies.

Would you want to play the part of an Iron Lady that everyone fears or the sweet girl next door?

It has to be a role similar to Annalise Keating’s in “How to get away with murder”……She was a bold, fearless, risk taker and at the same time the most caring woman there was.

When did you first realise you were making a difference and how did you feel in that moment?

8 February 2020. When I had my first shoot, the comments were overwhelming and the DMs….gosh! People were asking questions. Some were asking for help and most wondered how I was that confident to put myself out there. It was a beautiful moment for me because I celebrated my courage and realised that it had inspired somebody else to be comfortable in their skin which was “unbelievable!”

Finally, what message do you have for young girls and boys out there being bullied?

All I can say is we can’t fight everyone out there who has a foul mouth or bullies us. However, we can stand against them and not let them bring us down. Bullies are intimidated easily when they see that you’re not having anything they are dishing out. Again, the route of ignoring them is ideal if one isn’t confrontational. Silence intimidates a bully.


Doing this interview left me inspired and I hope it inspires you too. It had me somewhat nostalgic and thinking about one of my first articles with Girl Grandeur, “No Scars To your Beautiful”. I believe the message still stands true, relevant and I will repeat it…..One does not have to succumb to the worldly standards of what beauty is and isn’t. Each of us are beautiful in our own unique way, thus, we do not have to a change a thing, the world will eventually change its heart. “No scars to your beautiful, we are stars and we are beautiful!

0 comment
4 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail