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"My childhood dream has come true, now I'm a make-up artist"

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"My childhood dream has come true, now I'm a make-up artist"

My name is Cecilia, I am 42 years old and I come from the Central Region of Ghana. I trained and worked as a hairdresser until the COVID-19 pandemic struck. The pandemic meant that I could no longer earn money as a hairdresser, and I had to resort to being a street vendor, getting up at 4:30 a.m. every day to sell sweets, handkerchiefs and face masks.

My life changed abruptly in 2021 when an advisor from the Ghanaian-European Centre for Jobs, Migration and Development* (GEC) spoke with me about new job opportunities. I told her about my dream of becoming a makeup artist as a supplement to my work as a hairdresser.

At another meeting, I told her about my desire to add makeup artistry to my hairdressing job.

The art of applying makeup.

Professional development in cosmetics

The advisor from GEC told me about the opportunity to take advanced training. She explained to me that the training lasts 3 months and is targeted at persons who wanted to become make-up artists. Makeup artists are people who make others up professionally and make them pretty for a public appearance, for example. I immediately signed up for the training.

Before the training, I took part in a psychosocial counselling session, which was also arranged for me by the GEC. This gave me new courage for my new beginning. GEC not only covered the cost of the training, but also gave me a monthly stipend to pay for my travel to school.

Basic knowledge about finances

During these months, I learned a lot and made contacts. I learned how to apply professional makeup for different occasions, for example, for an appearance in front of the video camera or for a photo shoot. I have always been fascinated by the question of what makes people turn to makeup artists. My answer: with the right makeup, you don't just beautify your eyes, lips or skin. You can change your whole appearance with it. That's art!

On the training course, we not only learned everything we needed to know about makeup and practical makeup, but also important basic knowledge about finances and building a customer base. These topics are also important if you want to be successful in the long term.

To get started as an entrepreneur, I received from the GEC a makeup bag that contained all the products needed to start a serious makeup business. In addition, all participants received a makeup chair and makeup light.

Own beauty salon and new plans

My days on the road are over. Today, I am the proud owner of a beauty and makeup salon in Taifa, a suburb in Accra. I sell cosmetic products in a separate shop. The industry is evolving at breakneck speed with new trends emerging every day. Most people today recognize the business aspect of makeup. They know it enhances beauty, boosts confidence and makes you feel good about yourself. In the past, there was a widespread idea that makeup was deceitful because you were changing your appearance. Fortunately, those days are over. Today, the feel-good aspect is paramount. In my eyes, anyway, it's a fulfilling job! I’m happy to pass on my passion and skills to other people: at the moment I’m training five young women. And I demonstrate make-up techniques or hairdressing to other hairdressers at monthly meetings.

Enjoyable work – Cecilia with a customer.

Financing the children's education

As in other fields, though, you have to be focused, determined and hardworking if you want to succeed. Through my beauty salon, I was able to help my two sons and daughter go to school. And my first-born is now studying at university.

Thanks to the support of GEC, I had the chance to turn my life around. I still have new ideas for my business. I want to open new makeup shops in new locations in the near future.

*At the time when Cecilia learned about the centre it was still called the Ghanaian-German Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration (Ghanaian-German Centre, GGC). Since March 2023, it is now called the Ghanaian-European Centre for Jobs, Migration and Development (GEC).


As of: 03/2023

This text is written in simple language to ensure that it’s easy for everyone to understand.

My days on the street are over. Today I am the proud owner of a beauty and makeup salon.

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