Have you ever wanted to venture into an uncharted route just to be different or make a difference, but were held back? Ever wondered how to go about it? Perhaps today’s story is the means to unlock your potential.
Meet Martha Chikaonda, an aesthetic practitioner, Co-founder and director of Sculpt & Glow Aesthetics Clinicin Huddersfield United kingdom.
Sculpt&Glow is a medi-spa and rejuvenation clinic based in Huddersfield United kingdom. It was opened in February this year.
Aesthetics focus on skin health and understanding how the skin functions.
Aesthetic practitioners offer treatments such as skin rejuvenation therapies, anti-aging treatments, body definition and sculpting.
Martha has always been passionate about the beauty industry, but her love grew stronger after she became a mother at 22 years old.
“I inquired about silicon breast lift and stretch mark removal aesthetic procedures at a clinic at the time and unfortunately, could not afford the procedure. This is when the dream of Sculpt&Glow was born. I wanted to help people like me access high quality, but affordable and safe aesthetic procedures,” she says.
She strives to help her clients improve on and optimise their skin and body.
Her clinic offers treatments such as tummy tuck and Brazilian Butt Lift that define the body, giving that hour glass figure.
The treatments are cultivation and radio frequency, vacuum therapy, laser liposuction and lymphatic massage which all help with body sculpting and weight loss by lymphatic drainage.
“We offer led light therapy teeth whitening and wood therapy. We also offer breast augmentation via vacuum therapy and breast fillers. We do not use silicon as we are a non surgical clinic. We also offer buttock and hips filler to give curves or enhance clients natural curves,” said the aesthetic practitioner.
Clearly, her medical field venture is not for the faint hearted or one that can easily be related to by many Malawians.
How often does one get Botulinum toxin (Botox) locally—for the wrinkles or preventing wrinkles and dermal filler to sculpt and fill the lips and facial and nose structure?
Treatments such as facials, chemical peels and micro-needling and Pofilo to improve the appearance of scars, acne, stretchmarks to revitalise and rejuvenate the treated area are what sets Martha apart.
But when she decided to pursue aesthetics, she did not look at the statistics on how many Malawians are practising in the field.
This was just something that interested her and she is passionate about.
“I am hoping that if others can read this article and see a fellow Malawian obtain a qualification in this field, then they too will be inspired to go out there and achieve the same, if not better,” she adds.
So far, she has not had any backlash from her family or anyone she knows in Malawi, but adds any new industry will always have criticism.
Martha plans to open an aesthetic clinic in Malawi after of course, checking with the legislation of the country regarding Botox and fillers.
She advises anyone to first understand whether their respective country permits and does not permit in terms of qualifications to perform certain procedures, prior to undertaking any field of study
“The UK and Poland are the only countries that allow none medical practitioners to administer injectables such as, Botulinum toxin and fillers, which we use for contouring lips, faces and some areas of the body,” says Martha.
According to her, the difference between aesthetics plastic and reconstructive plastic surgeries is; the former is performed to improve someone’s appearance while the latter helps improve both the appearance and the functions of the face and body.
Aesthetics can address inherited deformities, traumas or revisions after surgeries, including mastectomy or lumpectomy.
“At the aesthetic medical clinic that I own, we do not practise plastic surgery. It is rejuvenation and replacing of the body’s natural hyaluronic acid components, incorporating it to your body, giving you natural looking results,” she explains.
The 37-year-old says Botox and Allure are a drug prepared from botulin, used medically to treat certain muscular conditions and cosmetically to remove wrinkles by temporarily paralyzing facial muscles .
She adds that Botox injections are shots that use a toxin to prevent a muscle from moving for a limited time—often used smooth wrinkles on the face.
Martha says they are also used to treat neck spasms, sweating, overactive bladder, lazy eye and may prevent migraines.
Risks of Botox include nausea, redness, temporary facial weakness or drooping.
The single mother of two noted that in rare instances, the botulinum toxin may spread beyond the treatment area, causing botulism-like signs and symptoms such as breathing problems, trouble swallowing, muscle weakness and slurred speech.
She explains that dermal fillers, also known as injectable implants, soft tissue fillers, lip and facial fillers or wrinkle fillers are medical device implants approved by the Food and Drug Administration to create a smoother and/or fuller appearance in the face, including nasolabial folds (the lines extending from the sides of the nose to the edges of the mouth), cheeks, chin, lips and back of the hands.
Dermal fillers can be used to help reduce fine lines, wrinkles, furrows, sagging skin and other signs of aging.
Risks of fillers include bruising, redness, swelling, pain, tenderness, itching, rash, difficulty in performing activities (only observed when injected into the back of the hand).
Nonetheless, Martha adds that this is a growing industry and her clientele is growing.
“It definitely is a lucrative business. My clients reviews and commitment to our services are a testament of our future growth,” she says.
She admits that her choice of career would have been different if she were in Malawi because of the exposure and access to racecourses in the industry in Malawi as compared to the UK.
The young woman describes herself as family orientated who highly values her friendships.
Both her parents died when she was 15 years old and she was partly raised by her siblings.
Martha enjoys leisure and sporting activities such as synchronised swimming, sculpture and art exhibitions, watching open mic poetry, singing, going to church and spending time with my children.
Martha lived a nomadic lifestyle due to her father’s employment in the Malawian Embassy.
“I grew up in Kenya and South Africa from1987 to1994. I come from a family of eight children and my siblings were my best friends growing up,” she adds.
She started a kindergarten in Kenya and South Africa, attended Standard One and two in South Africa then moved to Saint Andrews Primary and International High School in Malawi.
Martha finished forms three and four at Joyce Banda Foundation High School in 2005.
She went to Bradford College and did cookery. Thereafter, she attended Shipley college and enrolled in business administration and information technology.
Later, she went to Manchester School of Aesthetics Medical Practitioner and graduated as an Aesthetic medical practitioner.
Her advice to women is to never let anyone define you because you are a female. “Claim your throne and lead. You are a queen that is young and capable of achieving anything you want to achieve. It is your attitude and behaviour that will distinguish you in society,” says Martha.