Meet The NAMAs glam squad

By Confidente Reporter

AS the biggest local music event, while honoring artistic excellence in style, the Namibian Annual Music Awards has also evolved into a celebration of fashion. This year, the NAMA organisers have once again assembled some of the best young talents in the country to transform the NAMAs presenters into blue carpet royalty.

Armed with just their make-up brushes and sewing machines, these designers and make-up artists will play fairy godmother behind the scenes, each offering a unique touch.

One such designer is Melisa Poulton, the brains and creativity behind House of Poulton. The 30-year-old Poulton hails from Windhoek and specialises in all aspects of fashion and design: from ready-to-wear, evening wear, bridal, sportswear, and African attire.

House of Poulton already has two of Namibia’s biggest stars as brand ambassadors, songbirds Lize Ehlers and Oteya. Poulton has also dressed a number of presenters and performers for the NAMAs over the last five years.

She describes her signature style as unique with a bold and strong touch. “My designs are inspired by the motto: freedom, strength and independence,” the Cape Academy of Fashion and Design graduate explains.

Joining Poulton in the transformation room is hair stylist Emma Shilongo. She describes herself as an efficient and organised salon owner with over 10 years’ experience in the beauty industry. A graduate of the prestigious School of Cooperative Technical Education in New York, she says her goal is to help clients improve their personal appearance and self-confidence.

As a professional hairdresser, Shilongo has a fine eye for anticipating her clients’ needs and is sharp at devising solutions and offering recommendations.

“I am fully licensed and equipped to design and implement a look that is customised for you. I am a hairdresser who does not stop with adequate, but rather makes it my goal to ensure that you are thrilled with your look. Hence I’m proficient in any number of styles, whether you desire your hair down, half up, or an up-do looking elegant, couture, or simply chic.”

No look is complete without daring nails, and ensuring that happens, the NAMA organisers have roped in Samuel Shimhanda. Known as Fantastic Sam, the nail technician is the founder of Fantastic Samuel Nails Perfection Salon. Shimhanda has been in the industry for more than six years and says he wants to see everyone who sits in his chair leave happy.

Also joining the NAMAs 2019 glam squad is Lumière – The Style Avenue. Lumiere is the brain child of Vistorina Ilonga and means ‘light’ in French. Ilonga says she started fashion as a hobby, powered by a deep love for exquisite style and personal care.

This led her to register and formalise the business in 2009 and officially establish the Lumière brand in 2014. Lumière started by retailing and marketing on social media and providing a pop-up shop concept.

Further joining the team is fashion designer Nicoleen Menjono. Hailing from Swakopmund, Menjono burst onto the fashion scene when she exhibited her work at the Young Designers Fashion Show.

“I did various other shows, like Himba in the Mix, and placed second overall best designer, and at the Queen B Fashion show, I was accorded the title Show Stopper. From there the fashion industry was mine to conquer,” she says with a laugh. She has since presented her creations at the 2015, 2016, and 2017 NAMAs.

Adding a touch of experience to the mix, is veteran designer Dawn. The Mariental-born fashion aficionado, whose real name is Donald Diergaardt, is a self-taught local fashion designer, who takes great passion in making high-end clothing for ladies of all shapes and sizes.

Founder of the brand, The Break of Dawn, he has dressed former Miss Namibia contestants and winners. His list of high profile clients include former Miss Universe, Michelle McLean-Bailey.

The glam squad wouldn’t be up and running without one of Namibia’s most sought-after young fashionistas, Simeone Johannes, a graduate from the University of Namibia with a BA Honours degree in Public Relations and Fashion Studies.

He founded synEDGY in February 2018 and draws inspiration from sources outside the realm of fashion, particularly music, film, visual and performing arts, as well as streetwear. Simeone has dressed some of Namibia’s most celebrated personalities, like Miss Namibia 2018 Selma Kamanya and Lize Ehlers.

Among those ensuring that the presenters’ hair matches their look is hairstylist Merino Kandjii. A creative in her own right, Kandjii has a good eye for fashion, style and colour.

“I pursued my career in hairdressing after cutting my friend’s hair at school. I now have over 15 years’ experience under my belt. I’m a real people’s person and enjoy talking to my customers,” he explains. Kandjii says he is passionate about style techniques and starting new trends.

And then, there is award winning make-up artist Hannah Nangula-Kolokwe, who has been taking the local fashion industry by storm and establishing herself as a real trailblazer with her self-titled make up range.

With over nine years’ experience, the make-up artist who early in her career was armed only with a plastic bag of makeup, has gone on to set the benchmark for excellence in make-up. Dubbed “queen of the brush”, she is the founder of Hannah Nangula Cosmetics. When she is not turning her clients into swans, she is also empowering people through job creation and skills transfer.

Completing the incredible NAMAs glam squad is Suoma Ndapandula Katshuna, a certified make-up artist from Shadonai Beauty School who has worked with celebrity make-up artist Beez Glam in South Africa. She is from the beautiful town of Oshakati, but is now based in Windhoek. She joined the make-up industry about two years ago and has since worked on various productions, such as Miss Namibia 2017, the Windhoek Fashion Week 2017, as well as a number of NBC TV productions.

This year’s Namibian Annual Music Awards will be staged at The Dome in Swakopmund on 7 September.