Kenya’s creative industry set for a facelift after beauty academy graduates its first cohort, Jacque Mgido, Hollywood celebrity makeup artist shows up

Jacque Mgido, Hollywood celebrity makeup artist at Kenya's Lintons Academy graduation. (courtesy)
  • Globally the creative industries contribute $2.25bn to the economy.
  • In the UK alone, the sector grew twice as fast as other sectors, contributing £91.6bn to the economy, and employing over two million people (i.e. one in 11 jobs). 
  • Developing nations such as Kenya are starting to exploit the sector by training individuals to work in the growing business.

Unemployment has been the greatest challenge facing young people across the world. Since the start of the global crisis in 2008, over 61 million jobs have been lost globally, with unemployment rates projected to increase until the end of the decade, according to British Council Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF), 2019 report.

Developing nations such as Kenya with a fast rising population of working age people have it even harder and continually face the challenge of creating and sustaining hundreds of millions of decent jobs.

One industry which can be tapped to provide jobs is the creative economy. The sector has the potential to grow employment and entrepreneurialism across the UK and much of the world. Globally the creative industries contribute $2.25bn to the economy, 3% of global GDP, and employ 1% of the world’s active population.

In the UK alone, the sector grew twice as fast as other sectors, contributing £91.6bn to the economy, and employing over two million people (i.e. one in 11 jobs).

Tapping into the creative and beauty industry in Sub-Saharan Africa

On Friday, Lintons Academy, a subsidiary of Lintons Beauty world a leading retail beauty company founded by Dr Joyce Gikunda, a pharmacist and entrepreneur, held its first graduation ceremony at Kenrail Towers Westlands.

The guest of honour of the event was Jacque Mgido, Hollywood celebrity makeup artist who has worked with Hollywood A-listers such as John Legend, Morris Chestnut, Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx and Sylvester Stallone among others.

“This college was started by the growing need for properly trained individuals to work for our business. We spent about 100 hours to train each staff that we got from colleges in Kenya on make-up artistry and skin care which form the core of our business. We needed professionals who understood the business to run some operations such as retail management, specialised counter experience as per the various brands requirement, individuals who understand the formulation of product for different skin types. This formed a need for an internationally recognised beauty college to cater for the growing beauty industry,” said Dr Joyce at the graduation ceremony.

In Kenya, the beauty and cosmetics industry has become the new hub of investment that is pulling in both foreign and local entrepreneurs to establish new lines of beauty products.

As of 2017, Kenya’s color cosmetics market was estimated to be worth Sh5.4 billion and was expected to hit upwards of Sh 6.6 billion by the end of 2018.

Lintons Beauty world business started as a pharmacy in downtown Nairobi in 1984. In 2011 Lintons became a full-fledged beauty company with over 22 shops across East Africa.

Started in 2017, the college has since grown to accommodate over 100 students in one and half years and trains in make-up artistry, skin care, entrepreneurship and Retail management.

With the growing multichannel retail business housing over 15 Luxury Beauty brands from across the world e.g Chanel, Dior, Lancome, Mac, Este Lauder, Clinique, Clarins,Jacque Mgido, Black Opal, Nimue, Bio Balance, Kalahari and Luxury fragrances.

Lintons Beauty World has since absorbed 20% of the graduates from the first cohort while others have been seconded to partner organisations like Carrefour, Shoprite, Naivas, Goodlife, super cosmetics among others, something which has demystified stereotypes that beauty is for academically challenged and failures.


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