The First Lady of Namibia has constantly been flattered for her modish fashion sense.
But as we all know, style doesn’t end at outfits, which is why Madam Monica Geingos has set herself apart with flawless hairdos that are mutually sleek and classy. Excitedly I had the chance to sit down with the women behind the First Lady’s sophisticated hairstyles, Selma Gaweses. You might have seen how the First Lady was styled up at her wedding or perhaps at the Presidential Inauguration or at many other occasions, well, now you know who is behind that.
Gawases is an experienced hairstylist with a studio based in the city centre. She is considered a pioneer in Namibia’s hairdressing industry. During her long career Gaweses won numerous national and international competition awards as a hairstylist. When I first met up with Gaweses, she appeared to have that intense friendliness, which is probably why one of her biggest clients is the First Lady. Interestingly, Gaweses was Mrs Geingos hairstylist even before she knew she was going to be the First Lady.
“Who could have known that the business women, who I style, would be the First Lady one day? That’s a dream come true. I’ve been doing her hair for a while, when I got introduced to her by her sister but when her titled changed it became challenging compared to before but I’m used to it now,” says Gaweses.
She describes the First Lady as a very calm and humbled person, elegant but simple. “I’ve learned to control my mind in terms of what she wants. Namibians expect more from her because of what she is in terms of hairdo but she always know what she wants,” the stylist says.
Gaweses always dreamed of working to mould and shape beautiful faces. That inspired her ambition to become a plastic surgeon. She could not realise her dream largely due to a lack of funding. She somehow fell in love with hairdressing, which led to the establishment of an Academy called Dermashaft. “Sometimes it’s not about the person but about healthy hair. Maintaining healthy hair is very important because it brings out the confident in many women.” she says. Through her passion for art and design, Gaweses established her own professional hairdressing Salon in 2001, called Salon Lee and Training. Salon Lee is an Award Winning enterprise of the Sam Nujoma Innovative Entrepreneur Awards 2004.
With hopes of empowering young hairdressers, she is in search of two ambassadors who will be the face of the academy. “This is an opportunity for those who would like to rebrand themselves. There are two categories for persons from the age of 16 to 22 and the other from 25 upwards. We want aspiring stylist to know that hairdressing is also a career and not to give up on their dreams and should rather make use of this opportunity.”