Fruits of Smarts: Profiling Sandra Mwhiihangele

Sandra Mwhiihangele

Sandra Mwiihangele holds a National Diploma in Analytical Chemistry from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in South Africa. A qualified cosmetic chemist, she is the Managing Director and founder of Kiyomisandz, a young Namibian company specialising in body products.

The products incorporate the use of local natural ingredients such as shea butter, marula oil, and real fruit extracts with balms, sugars and salves for the face and body. Sandra attributes the uniqueness of her product range to its all organic formulation, 100 percent rich and uses real fruit extracts from Namibia.

She first started dabbling in the world of cosmetics at the age of 12 when she decided to create her own range of lipsticks: “My friend and I entered into a young scientist competition, and I came up with the idea to make lipstick.  […] We ended up winning the competition and later got sent to Pretoria because people were surprised that two young girls had made actual functioning lipstick from natural ingredients.”

Her products are formulated with only the best organic products and are not diluted with water and they do not cause harm to the environment. In addition to making skin care products, Sandra’s company is a contract manufacturing company for other people also wanting to venture into the world of cosmetics. The company helps with the formulation of other people’s products.

She attributes her success to being discovered by the National Commission on Research Science and Technology (NCRST) that funded her business: “During the Namibia Business Innovation Institute festival a couple of years back a representative from NCRST informed me, at my exhibition stand, about applications for funding. NCRST was handing out grants and I applied. It was a vigorous application process; we also went through interviews with judges – but in the end my company was given a N$500,000 grant.”

To promote such innovations, SANBio and NCRST have just concluded a joint call for innovations in nutrition.