Bellesa Africa is YouTube channel based in Nairobi which has had a major growing curve given that
the founder is an astute, hardworking lady. Kangai Mwiti (the channel’s founder and lead makeup
artist) was one of the finalists of the 2014 Google Connected competition which profiled successful
people who have used Google products and applications in Africa for their businesses. She was also
Sigma Beauty Rising Star- July – August 2014.
Some of the local celebrities she’s worked with include Neyomie Ng’ang’a, singer Kaz, style blogger
Sharon Mundia, and fashion blogger Joy Kendi. She’s also worked with major corporate clients such as
Nike, Equity Bank, Coca Cola and many others. Currently, she shoots, edits and uploads video
tutorials, writes beauty articles, provides local makeup training and support, supplies makeup services
locally and internationally, and consults for various local and international beauty brands.
The beautiful Kangai was schooled in Kenya but moved to the United States when she was 13 – just
after finishing primary school. She was there for 8 to 9 years and moved back to Kenya in 2006. Her
YouTube Channel Bellesa Africa has accrued a huge following of 66,975 subscribers and has had
3,315,456 views having joined in May 4, 2012.
She identified a gap in the content that can be found online, where there’s a lack of beauty content
focusing solely on women of color. She also noted that quite a number of Kenyans couldn’t find quick
tips and tricks about applying make up, and sought to offer what they had been missing. She’s since
established her roots and still going strong.
I talked to Kangai about her company and here is what she had to say:
About growing her brand:
I actually have quite a number of goals for the brand, many of which are still in the works. Currently,
I’m focusing on growing my talent and on expanding the type of content that can be found on my
channel. As I recently resigned from my full-time role, my immediate focus is to also establish Bellesa
Africa as the go-to brand when it comes to makeup services for all women of color.
The public reception of her brand:
I’m also working on this. Bellesa Africa is still at the stage where it’s not yet widely known and/or
understood locally. However, that’s what always happens with any brand. To get it going, a lot of hard
work is required and that’s what I’m prepared to do. I have a strong belief that it will be a success, God-willing.
The future of Bellesa Africa:
There are so many directions that Bellesa Africa can go. For the immediate future, we’ll focus on
consistency especially in uploading tutorials. Thereafter, the sky is the limit!
The challenges she’s faced:
The main challenges that I’ve faced so far is in getting the correct equipment into the country. I still
need adequate lighting, sound, camera equipment and editing software. I have amazing friends who
have supported the dream thus far, for which I’m grateful. And another challenge, of course, is in
getting makeup products that are of good quality into the country, and affordably at that.
Take a look at some of Kangai’s make-up projects below: