MANKWANE Chakela is passionate about beauty and has been ever since she was a skinny four-year-old running around the dusty streets of Sharpeville.
When she was young Chakela would apply ash on her face; black shoe polish on her eyebrows and red floor polish on her lips as her own brands of make-up .
She would also parade around her home in her older sister’s clothes and high heels.
Chakela says: “My mother always tells me that she knew then that I would be a beauty queen.”
Today, she is the founder and owner of Lé Looks Hair and Beauty, which has branches in Sandton City, Eastgate and Maponya Mall in Soweto.
Lé Looks had a turnover of R5.5 million last year, from just over R350000 in 2003 when the first salon opened its doors.
In the next two to three years Chakela is looking at franchising her beauty business and is working with the Industrial Development Corporation to see this goal through.
“I want to partner with my staff and give them the opportunity to own their own franchises,” she says. “When I retire, Lé Looks must stay on.”