Rose Ntong’ondu is a successful makeup artist in Kenya. Long before success came calling, she could barely afford to eat one square meal.
Rose did odd job and would borrow money for fare to search for jobs. Read her story below:
I remember some situations of my life so clearly. Tough tough situations.
About 9 years ago I had no stable job. I was doing odd jobs to help fund my makeup career! I cant tell you how it was.
Coz its was a very difficult time in my life. I slept hungry many times but I knew since I had a sound mind and could work, I was going to make it somehow.
I lived in kahawa and most times I spent my time dreaming of how my life was going to be. And calling every salon, spa asking to work with them.
Most times I was turned down, BADLY! I wasn’t really looking to be employed, what I wanted was partnership (didn’t even know what that meant).
I had no money for lunch so would buy a queen cake and Fanta for lunch. But I was OK, because this wasn’t permanent. Right?
Things would finally change if I worked hard enoughI would borrow like 200 bob just for fare to town.
When I got to town I would go to POSTA Kenya, with my note and pen, turned the yellow pages and jotted down contacts of the Best Salons and spas in Nairobi.
The reason I went to Posta was because previously I would walk to businesses and they would look down on me, I hated being viewed like a Hawker!!
I would call these salons and say ” Hi, My names are Rose Nton’gondu. Im a professional makeup artist and would love to have a meeting with you to discuss how we can work together”.
I was so used to getting turned down when I just walked up to salons that I came up with this tactic. Lol. And it actually worked!!
Now because of all this going to town, I had a lot of debt from the fares I used to borrow, so for about one week wasn’t able to go anywhere.
I remember taking uji for almost a week( breakfast, lunch and supper). My mum had sent me the wimbi from Meru.
Wah! si things were hard??!
I pondered on what to do next, I had taken so much uji that the thought of it made me throw up!! I had no electronic to take to the shylock, nothing that I could give as security to get a loan!!
As I was digesting all this in my little bed sitter, I noticed in the corner of my room, near the stove a couple of soda bottles.
Then it hit me, I could actually sell the bottles in the shops as returns and get some money for food. They were like 20 bottles.
I took them to 3 different shops and sold each one for 15bob. Hiyo si pesa?? We I was so excited. I bought some food, bought some paraffin for my little stove and left kidogo money to hassle kesho, and life went on.
I never stopped working towards my dream. NEVER WILL!!
I urge you do the same. NEVER EVER GIVE UP, REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU ARE GOING THRU RIGHT NOW!
More photos of her below…