Kay Ngonyama doing a makeup tutorial at a beauty event.
Picture: Instagram
Kay Ngonyama doing a makeup tutorial at a beauty event. Picture: Instagram

#YouthDay: How Beauty Guru, Kay Ngonyama, turned her Instagram account into a business

By Sacha van Niekerk Time of article published Jun 16, 2019

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In celebration of Youth Day, IOL profiled young, successful entrepreneurs in South Africa who are making a name for themselves in their relative industries.

This Durban born Beauty Guru manages two brands, Kay Yarms which is affiliated with her work as an influencer and SaxxBeauty which is her makeup brand.

Name: Kay Ngonyama

Age: 25

From: Durban

Professional title: CEO of SaxxBeaury and Digital Content creator

Name of Business: SaxxBeauty

Ngonyama initially studied accounting at Wits but it wasn’t exactly her cup of tea. “I hated it,” she said. Instead, during that period, she became more and more fascinated with how much influence beauty had over women. “I’ve never really been a girly girl but I realised women really reacted a certain way the minute another girl changed their hairstyle or lip colour.”

This spurred the idea to experiment with those sorts of things herself. She began by changing her hair every week. “I was thriving in the excitement and my own fascination with enhancing aspects of my appearance. What I do today stems from this.” Ngonyama creates different makeup looks for women through her business SaxxBeauty, a professional makeup service where she also does one-on-one tutorials. “I’m always in a different wig, I’m always reinventing myself and others in a way that nothing else allows except beauty. I love the fact that it can give you the confidence to be so many different people,” she said.

After playing around with a variety of products and she took to Instagram to post about them. “My pictures and videos drew the attention of other people who were interested in the same things as me, they started asking me questions and we became a community. When I hit 10 000 followers in 2017, that’s when I realised this is what people are interested in.” She decided to redirect her entire Instagram page which was, at the time, merely a personal page. As a result, “Kay.yarms” became purely a business page. “I then started getting approached by brands and was able to monetise my content. I remember the first time one of them reached out and offered to fly me to Johannesburg for a shoot. When they asked, ‘How much would you like to be paid?’ I was so surprised. I couldn't believe a brand would pay me for doing what I love.”


“My goal for the future is to be a role model. There are a lot of beauty standards that are being broken currently and I want to be a part of that. I’m not your cookie-cutter ‘model’ I am a dark-skinned female who’s a bit on the chubby side. I find that a lot of my followers are able to relate to that and love the fact that I don’t let that get in the way,” said Ngonyama.

At the same time, her long-term dream is to educate women. “This links to SaxxBeauty, in the long run, I’d like to create an academy that would feed into hair/beauty salons nationwide. I would teach my beauty skills in disadvantaged areas so other young women can grow their passion into something profitable like I did for myself.”

Visit www.saxxbeauty.com for more on Ngonyama's makeup ventures.

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