The past couple of weeks has had several trending discussions in Zimbabwe. Social media is always abuzz in Zimbabwe and being an avid user of it can keep you informed. One of the trending discussions has been on Fenty Beauty coming to Zimbabwe. Fenty Beauty is a beauty brand that was created by Rihanna in 2017. She created it to ensure there is inclusion to cater to even the traditionally hard to match skin tones. Fenty Beauty seeks to provide beauty formulas that apply to any skin type. Rihanna’s full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty – that is where the name of the brand comes from.

Fenty Beauty Is Coming To Zimbabwe

On the 10th of May 2022, Rihanna tweeted, ‘I’ve been waiting for this moment!! @fentybeauty & @fentyskin are finally dropping in AFRICA!!! Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe…we coming at ya May 27th and that’s just the beginning!!!’. Fenty Beauty also announced, on the same day, that Fenty Beauty will now be available in retail outlets in the aforementioned African countries.

They indicated that they will be available starting on the 27th of May 2022. Nyasha Matonhodze, a UK-based award-winning Zimbabwean model, was picked as the face of the global launch of Fenty Beauty Africa. She said, ‘To be the face of Fenty Beauty Africa’s global launch is one thing, but as a deeply proud Zimbabwean Girl and knowing this will be launching in Zimbabwe where my family and grandma are going to see it felt particularly special.

Are Zimbabweans Excited Or Not About This Development?

Judging by sentiments posted by people on social media, they are divided on how they feel.

Good Publicity For Zimbabwe

Some are excited about Zimbabwe having been selected. They feel it brings about positive publicity for the country. For example, Zimbabwe’s inclusion speaks to the nation being preferred as an investible location. The logic is, that Rihanna would not have considered Zimbabwe if it was not worthy. Rihanna has over 106 million followers on Twitter alone; on Instagram over 128 million followers. The fact that she mentioned Zimbabwe to her followers is good for publicity. Some are labelling just that recognition as iconic. Overall, this is what some Zimbabweans think and why they are excited about the development.

We Do Have Home-Grown Beauty Brands By Zimbabweans

There is another segment of Zimbabweans who feel the hype over Fenty Beauty coming to Zimbabwe is in bad taste. Some have questioned why the same energy being given to Fenty Beauty is not given to home-grown brands. Examples of Zimbabweans with beauty product lines are:

Plaxedes Wenyika – Ini Skincare

Jackie Mgido – Vault Cosmetics

Lyinetty Janhi – Ruby Lynn Cosmetics

This is a fair point but some also feel that it is an unbalanced way of looking at things. When it comes to brand preferences it must go beyond just where the brand is from. As in, the products must be that good to draw people in. I appreciate there is a fundamental mindset issue in most Zimbabweans of not considering home-grown products. It seems most Zimbabweans are always swayed toward foreign brands in any industry. Could it be most people’s minds are still stuck in the colonialism-induced inferiority complex?

However, there is a question of whether those home-grown products are competitive enough to be considered. Buying and supporting locals is great but must be fuelled by competitive products. The other pertinent point is that of marketing and sales. Beauty products are an extremely competitive industry. A lot must go into effective product launches. Creative marketing strategies must be employed as well. Could those elements be lacking when it comes to home-grown brands?

The bottom line seems to become: let us support good brands. Then Zimbabwean home-grown brands must measure up to be considered good brands. Do you feel that is a fair bottom line? Is it really that Zimbabweans do not want to support local brands? Are most Zimbabweans’ mindsets so flawed that they always prefer foreign brands? What must be done to better position Zimbabwean brands to be competitive locally and abroad? Kindly share your comments below. Despite all the contention on this subject, there is one thing you all should learn though. Fenty Beauty is the reason why Rihanna became the billionaire she is now. I believe that is a cue for Zimbabwean celebrities to learn from; use your fame to break into the business world.