....Re-Defining Beauty against all odds

Prisca Maguranyanga-Chireka, the brains behind Anaka

PRISCA Maguranyanga Chireka is among the phenomenal women of Zimbabwe who are making waves in the beauty industry at home and abroad.
Just like her contemporaries Jackie Mugido and RubyLynn who reside in the United States of America and Australia respectively, she has not only made her presence felt in the make up industry in the United Kingdom but has gone on to manufacture her own beauty products called Anaka.
Her journey like many others who travel down this path has been marred with humps and bumps but amidst all this sheer determination and the belief in self and God won the day. In 2011, she was part of a panel of Judges made up of Godwell hairstylists Toby Andrews and Mike Vallance of Back to my roots that were invited by Canterbury College as Industry professionals at their annual hairdressing competition.
The mother of two is not only passionate about making women look beautiful but is also interested in women's' health and environmental preservation. This is not surprising especially since the 40-year-old won her battle with breast cancer a few years ago. I (TC) caught up with Prisca to discuss all things beauty and the politics of beauty like the perceived deception that makeup brings. Below are the excerpts of the interview.

T.C; Who is Prisca Maguranyanga Chireka?

P.C; Prisca is a businesswoman, mother and wife who eats breathes and lives creatively. I run Anaka House of Beauty and BeePee Boutique a hair and beauty salon located in Wincheap in the United Kingdom. I have recently started my new makeup line Anaka. I hold qualifications in nursing, a diploma in Hairdressing, and Hair Extensions Consultant as well as an Advanced Diploma in Beauty Therapy.

T.C; What made you choose the beauty industry?

P.C; I am a very creative person and art since childhood. There is no better place to showcase your ability than this ever-changing field where one needs to be seeking to maintain and improve on appearances. Each day is not the same as individuals call for varying styles and looks. Effectively, I am generating new concepts each day while working on hair and makeup, something I am also passionate about. The industry gives me a chance to network and get to know my customers well.

T.C; How did you come up with the concept of manufacturing your own products?

P.C; As I mentioned earlier, the beauty industry is constantly generating new concepts and ideas. To keep up with these trends, I realised that one must be innovative in order to keep up with the trends and what better way than to conceptualise and manufacture products which address my clients needs. I was also driven by the need to offer that special something which Anaka is all about.

T.C; Tell us more about your new baby Anaka

P.C; Anaka is my first beauty collection. Anaka is beauty redefined. It is a special project for me from both a personal and professional level as it was birthed as a result of the vulnerability and lack of confidence that women face especially those who have lost some parts of their body which define beauty. In 2013 I discovered that I had breast cancer and had surgery to remove the breast. I also went through chemotherapy and all these things can make you lose your confidence because of the changes it makes to your body and how you look. Fast forward to 2018, this is Prisca and every woman who has gone through the agony of breast cancer re-defining beauty. What is special about this brand is that it takes into consideration health issues for those who use the products. I work with a team of regulated experts in laboratories and we follow ethical procedures when making and processing our products to ensure the safety of our clients because as you are aware some products can be harmful to the users and can cause health complications.

T.C;  What safety measures have you put in place?

P.C; I work with a team of regulated experts in laboratories and we follow ethical procedures when making and processing our products to ensure the safety of our clients.

T.C; What new thing are you offering that other cosmetic companies are now offering?

P.C; As an experienced beautician and artist, I do understand my customer requirements and I have partnered with experts and reputable manufacturers to help with my products. I am aware of developments in the industry and how customers emphasise highly on buying cosmetics with a conscience. All companies that I deal with conform to ethical standards and good practices of the chemical industry such as environmental pollution, animal cruelty-free. Today's business is driven by big data. I do surveys on my client base and one thing that keeps cropping up is customers are fed up with the same old-fashioned routine and products. I am currently working with experienced data analysts to get extra insights into the cosmetic industry. I am aiming to use up to date cutting edge technologies to come up with products that do not only provide value for money for my customers but a long lasting impression while taking care of the environment. I aim to simply shop for my clients. This complicated process of selecting the right products requires one to be in sync with trends in innovation. I have that distinctive new point that sets me apart from other players in the industry.

T.C; Zimbabwean women have taken an interest in makeup and some men view make up as a tool of deception. What is your take on this assertion?

P.C; That's a very interesting question. But if you look back from our history, it's easy to notice that makeup and cosmetics have been a symbol of social identity too. In early centuries, the beauty marks often placed on the cheeks or forehead, legs and stomach, were applied during puberty so that one would be attractive and in some cultures that would symbolise womanhood and beauty. Women including wives of chiefs were considered to be “very smart” with their reddish dye from mukura, according to one 1518 historical account by the Portuguese. Gradually, we see how our preferences have been dictated by technological advances and research that made not only Zimbabweans at home but the world over to keep up with trends in the beauty industry. I know a lot of men who pamper and treat their women and children with our products and services. There are many who just take care of themselves to look and feel good. There is no deception there. We are definitely not re-inventing the wheel.

T.C; How can people access your products? 

P.C; Anaka products are sold online;  ( and in Zimbabwe our official stockist is MCare. We also do demonstrations on YouTube channel. Details are available on our website.


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