The rising trend of modern day manicure in Botswana

Malebogo Ratladi-


It is evident most people think gel and acrylic extensions are a

relatively new concept, many are surprised to find out they have been around for hundreds of years. Even though the nail-care industry has been growing like never before ever since the invention of modern nail polish in 2012, the world witnessed a surging popularity of nail art across continents.

A report by The Nail Boutique blog on the history of this art says in the Far East, women grew their nails to extraordinary lengths to be seen as a symbol of social standing, the longer the nails the better you were treated. The report highlighted this was the main reason is why during the Ming Dynasty of China, noblewomen wore very long artificial nails as a status symbol to show that, unlike commoners, they did not have to do manual labour It later spread to the whole world.

The nail art may have started in the eastern countries but as it spread to Africa, Botswana also welcomed the art of modern manicure and gave young Batswana a business to sustain their livelihoods. It can be a wonder, how they learned the art of nails, a nail artist at Gaborone Main Mall Tebo Mekgwe said she learned the skill of applying nail gel by watching you tube tutorials, however for Mekgwe, art is something that cannot be simply learned, she said it is a creative human skill which she first applied before learning from the you tube videos.

Mekgwe said Batswana women are hooked on applying nail gels and acrylic to feel pretty but to her nail art is tied to the concept of femininity and self-identifying as women. “There are women who likes finer things in life and for them applying nail gel or acrylic is just part of their swag,” she added that like to feel good by adding color to their lives.” Mekgwe explained that there is something therapeutic about this art as her customers always feel good after applying the nail gel.”

Pontsho Bokole, a devoted nail polish patron shared that she paints her nails to match her moods. “I normally do my nails at the beginning of the month and I always choose the colors depending on my mood or what I feel like, I love vivid colors so I normally go with colorful designs.” While explaining this she further clarified the misconception that women glam up including applying nail polish for men, “I have said it before and I will say it again the vast majority of women’s style decisions are made for themselves, not for the benefit of the opposite sex, I apply nail gel for me and to feel good.”

A fashion blogger Hadley Freeman explained in her blog that nail art is also a way to create one’s own identity through fashion. Using colors and shapes as a disruption of childhood and entering to the female teenage adult world, also leaving the influence of their parents to create their own selves. She pointed that the nail is also part of the puzzle of mounting the gender identity, the nails for teenagers and adult women represents a piece of the symbol of what is a woman and how the woman should present herself.

Today you will find this nail artist by main mall and the bus rank creating magic through art and at the same time making women feel good with modern nail art.