Charity went from scrubbing floors as a domestic worker to owning beauty academy
Charity Tshuma is one of the women making a difference in other people’s lives.
Through her work at Mangako Beauty Academy, Tshuma is upskilling women from all backgrounds to be able to create their own wealth.
“I wanted to share my skill and empower women because many of them are good with their hands. Many women have been unable to get the opportunities to go to university or college. I took the skills that I have and turned them into a business to help other women.
“Through Mangako, Tshuma has empowered hundreds of women through training and helping them find work in big beauty companies like Sorbet and international work on cruise ships.
“With the beauty industry, even if you have not been through varsity training, you can still earn R10 000 and more. That is something for someone who has been unemployed. Many of these women can buy cars and homes for themselves after training from us. Not everyone is going to be academically strong so it is important to be able to give everyone a chance to hone their skills.”
The beauty academy started 10 years ago but she wasn’t promoting it as much she could because she was doing everything on her own. Once her brand started growing and the work she was doing started to get noticed, Tshuma could then do more advertising.
“People were very impressed with my work and we have since been able to promote it a lot more. We also started doing graduation ceremonies. Before we would just hand out certificates and help find them work but we saw how the ladies loved having that formal ceremony and wearing a gown, it made them all so happy.”
Tshuma said she did not just train the women, but also made sure she got the them jobs.
She started out as a domestic worker and one day asked a woman who would frequent the place she worked at about what she was learning at beauty college Hydro International School.
“I did not even know how stick-on nails worked. After domestic work I started working in funeral parlours to make money. So, when I went into this beauty industry, I saw it as an opportunity to go to school. The fees cost R2 000 and I would wash people’s clothes to finish the school payments.”
When she was done with school, she worked for three months and decided to open her own thing instead of working for someone else.
“Even though when I first enquired about this profession, I wasn’t all that interested in it, the opportunity to grow myself, my business and others presented itself. I found myself in a space where people love beauty and products to make them look and feel better.”
Tshuma is most happy knowing that she can help someone who has come from a shack to train and acquire a skill that can earn them R13 000.
“That makes me cry, really. There are youth sitting at home with degrees and Master’s but they can’t find work. With my training, I don’t just teach them (to) go and work, I teach them to go and run their own businesses as well.”
Most of Tshuma’s graduates end up at the Sorbet Group and she believes this is because of the professionalism and good ethics that comes with their training.
“I use a lot of theory with my modules. If someone is not as good with the practical, the theory is something they will be able to use. I also help my ladies with interview skills and it makes me proud to know that they will be carrying my signature wherever they go. It is my name so I work hard to make sure everything is on point.”
The academy covers nail technology and all the other systems that fall under beauty.
“For our last class in January and February we had over 60 women. We had to take less because of the pandemic, otherwise we can take about 70 to 100 trainees.
The academy holds monthly and weekly classes for those who are unable to come every day with modules that can take three months, six months or one year. The branches are in Bramley, Fourways, Soweto, Naturena and Polokwane and are looking at opening branches in Durban and Mpumalanga.
“Many of our trainee students are people who work as domestic workers trying to do more for themselves. Most people connect with us via Facebook and are encouraged by the work we do. We give them the chance to also pay in monthly instalments because not everyone can afford to pay all in one go. We accommodate them instead of shutting them out,” she said.
Tshuma stands by the values of International Women’s Day, which is celebrated today. The day is a call to action for accelerating gender parity.