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Natural Way is the New and Right way”

By: Milka Teklom

She is a role model. She does it all and she does it well. The fact that she is young but a teacher with the knowledge of a lifetime amazes her students. People around her describe her as hard-working, always striving to be better, creative, humble, and very agreeable to work with. She has ambitions to change Eritrea’s makeup art. Here is her journey.

  • Well, let’s get to it and dive into your background?

My name is Roda Ghirmay. I am 21 years old, born and raised in Asmara. I studied at Awet Elementary and Junior School and then Semaetat Secondary School. I went to Sawa in the 31st round and got marks to go to college. I joined SMAP and studied busi­ness management. I am also attending Cambridge online classes. Besides taking business management classes I have taken several courses focus­ing on skincare and makeup to be a makeup artist.

  • Why makeup artist?

I think it developed as a pas­sion when I was a kid. As a child, I was very much influenced by my mother, Almaz. She had a beauty salon and I spent most of my time there watching the brides and other customers being beautified. So, when I was thirteen I decided to learn at Ayni Fashion School and took classes on makeup. Moreover, I have a cousin who is a professional makeup artist living in London. When she came to visit here she gave me a couple of classes and tips that led me to the make­up industry. After fin­ishing the courses, I went straight to working at my mother’s beauty salon. Then right af­ter I got back from Sawa, I was hired at Solomie Beauty Training Center as a teacher of hairstyling and makeup.

  • What are your experiences as a teacher?

So far I have taught some two hundred girls how to apply make­up, skincare, and hairstyling. The experience I have gained from teaching those classes is very valuable. It allowed me to know firsthand the attitudes of women towards makeup. Many women think of makeup as the only es­sential factor in enhancing our beauty. I don’t completely dis­agree with them but believe it’s the only means is unrealistic and not good for the skin. I decided to write a book on skincare to chal­lenge the attitude.

  • Tell us more about your book?

My book is called Mestir Xbake and will be published soon. It’s a book that describes our skin and how to take care of it in a nat­ural way. I don’t claim to know all there is to know in that area but I did research on the topic and wanted to share what I know. As I said earlier I just want to challenge the belief in cosmet­ics. I hate seeing many genera­tions of women bleaching their skin and dealing with its horrible consequences. I want them to be comfortable in their own skin and know how to glow in a natural way.

  • Aside from being a makeup artist, you are a photoshoot model. When did you start doing that?

I started right before Covid 19 hit the world. I have worked with several designers, especially with Ras collection. I also worked with different photographers as a street model wearing casual out­fits. Of all the people I worked with the one who understands me and portrays my emotions in terms of photography is Meron. I actually consider that photoshoot modeling has not developed as much as runway modeling in Er­itrea and I want to work hard to develop it.

  • We heard you are into yoga. What do you get from that kind of sport?

As we all know yoga is very important in our daily life. It’s a technique of controlling the body and mind. It enables you to meditate and be stress-free. I love yoga and I intend to practice it every day. I think that my love of yoga led me to my success in the 2021 yoga competition organized by the Indian embassy in com­memoration of international Yoga Day.

  • Future plans?

I want to upgrade myself as a makeup artist. I want to learn more as the makeup industry grows every second. I just want to know more and let other people know what I know.

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