The comfort of a good and paying job almost derailed her vision. But fate had it and sooner than later, she found herself fired and dejectedly packing from her desk. After kissing goodbye a job she had grown very fond of, she found her destiny and could never ask for more. Narrating her own rags to riches tale, meet none other than Lienne Shonhiwa, the lustrous beauty and hair products creator. Her love for hair is indeed making a difference in the haircare industry so read on and get enormous inspiration on how to self-love your hair!
It all started as a passion to impart hair knowledge and with that conviction in mind, Lienne generated a Facebook Page Manetain Organics in 2015, a platform where she would share her personal hair maintenance tips. She soon realised that people were following in their masses and decided to delve round-the-clock into what she loved, knew so well and understood: HAIR! Her product range was received with open arms and Lienne almost forgot that she had been afore fired and now formally unemployed! Hair products were indeed the lifeline God had presented to her and Leanne grabbed it hook, line and sinker.
Lienne Shonhiwa’s own natural hair disaster led her to seeking for permanent answers to the ‘hair problem.’ Lienne confesses, “I suffered from post-partum shedding, hair falling out in chunks due to hormonal changes and decided to go on an Operation Repair hair journey. I started making concoctions and products to regrow my hair.” She then formulated her own portions during the operation and considering that Zimbabwe has a limited variety of natural hair care products, Lienne saw this gap as fruitful and a progressive abstraction from the petroleum based products available on local shelves.
Starting off with Shea butter in her Manetain Organics range, Lienne quickly appreciated why women from East Africa have adorable hair. Its sheer softness and nourishing effects made it uniquely suitable for the hair so, she made it one of the nuggets in her range. Avocado butter, another variety, became her new offering and bearing in mind that most Zimbabwean or African women in general have ‘hard maShona, kinky hair,’ this product was one which would meet the needs of many women with thick hair.
Mafura butter, another extension to her products, is a curling butter suitable for twists or braids. By making this product, Lienne acknowledged how women with natural or relaxed hair also need to treat their hair varieties in order to keep it healthy and glowing. Her love for the skin also fortified her into making a 2-in-1 body/hair butter which contains cocoa butter and shea butter. This product is amazing for the skin as it contains 100% organic, real coco butter and is very luxurious and creamy. Its mild nature also makes it good for babies and is also good for individuals with eczema and other skin rashes.
Speaking of social responsibility and giving back to the community, Lienne views her business as not only about generating the dollar bills so presently, she has embarked on a community development project with women from Kariba. She assists them in benefiting from the mafura which they harvest. It is here where she also gets the products in their 100% natural state for use in making her butters.
Lienne is a mother of a beautiful child and sees the sky and beyond as her limit. In the future, she sees her brand being ranked high on the international pedestal. She dreams of hosting hair awareness campaigns and workshops for little girls and mothers. “I want to leave an imprint on the world” are the words that propel her every new dawn to create hair and beauty products which transform African hair and skin.
Photography: OC Media Studios
Make Up: Musa MUA Beat
By Miriam C.R Mushaikwa