Kenyan Beauty Gurus Decry Sidelining At Fenty Beauty Launch

Fridah Wangechi | 2 years ago
Some of the celebrities who were at the Fenty Beauty launch on Thursday, May 26 COURTESY

When the news broke out that Rihanna would be launching her multibillion cosmetic brand Fenty Beauty in the country, the beauty industry was taken by storm, as Kenya joined the exclusive club of other 8 countries in Africa that the brand now officially retails.

The brand was officially launched in Nairobi Kenya on Thursday, May 26, with a grand reveal at the invite-only event at the Social House in Lavington where Nairobi’s influencers, media, and celebrities in attendance were dressed to the nines, ready to kill it on the carpet.

In attendance were some of the biggest names in the Kenyan media circles including Janet Mbugua, Shiksha Arora, Makena Njeri, Kendi Christine, Noni Muchiri, and Annette Gitau. Other notable names included reality and documentary TV producer Eugene Mbugua as well as online content creators Crazy Kennar and Esther Kazungu.

A host of Instagram stars including Stephu Mulinge, Maureen Bandari, Yasmeen Saiedi, Joy Kendi, June Wamboi, and Lornzie Gatabaki also shared the carpet with the celebrities.

However, it was after the event that many took note of the absentia of a significant cog in the wheel of the industry, and that was the makeup artists and beauty gurus whose proficiency in the field is greatly depended on by the majority of prospective consumers of the products, which gave off a tone of favouritism that went into the organization of the event.

The artists took to their social media accounts, addressing the organizers of the event questioning why they were not on the invite list, or even why they missed out on the PR packages which were accorded to influencers drawn from different cadres such as culinary arts, comedy, lifestyle among others, all who appeal to an audience who differed greatly from the brand's target market.

Among the disgruntled makeup artists was Rosina Sharon, who has amassed more than 600,000 subscribers on Youtube, who complained of sidelining by the organizers and the misplaced notion that the influencers at the event would sway Kenyan consumers to purchase the brand's products as they too were beneficiaries of their artists' services.

"You did not invite the people who have the influence to sell the Fenty Brand, you did not invite the only people who know what makeup product should work best to suit the needs of the user," she stated on her Instagram account.

Another professional makeup artist Stephanie Cherono echoed her sentiments, disappointed at the guest list as it failed to portray the inclusivity that the brand has always championed in its marketing campaigns.

"People who don’t even wear makeup let alone Fenty were at that event," she lamented.

Other big players in the industry who missed their invite include Dennis Karuri, Creative Phil, Michelle Ngoje, Wachuka Thimba, and Mwaju Chaks among others who have shaken the industry with their talent in the field.

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