Mam' Winnie's makeup artist Ellenor Ndlovu on making her beautiful

Ellenor and Winnie
Ellenor and Winnie

Ellenor Ndlovu was too young to understand who Winnie Madikizela-Mandela - the woman behind the revolution - was in the early 1990s. But, as she grew older, she was in complete awe of the Struggle heroine. She, however, never thought it was a possibility that she would ever meet her.

"Zoleka Mandela [Winnie's granddaughter] booked me after we discovered each other on Instagram. I was then booked for my services as a make-up artist for a birthday celebration in Johannesburg and also for a photo shoot with her daughter Zindziswa and Zoleka."

Ndlovu couldn't contain her excitement when she met the great one. "I told her I was in complete awe of her and honoured to be able to do her face.

"She asked questions about me - if I was a mother, married, how long I've been working as a make-up artist, etc. We spoke about how doing make-up as a profession only recently became 'a thing'. Years ago, it was virtually unheard of and rare for a woman to be able to make a successful career out of it.

"I tried not to ask too many questions and seem intrusive. There were times when we settled into a comfortable silence as well.

"She spoke of her 80th birthday celebrations and recent travels. She expressed that she was feeling tired because of this," Ndlovu said.

"Her soft yet clear voice, her aura in general, was positive and so inviting and welcoming. The way she looked directly at me when addressing me, and how she spoke to and addressed other people there [was awesome]."

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