Get pampered at AfriSerenity

By by Francis Mukuzunga
June 2010
THE business of wellness, health and beauty therapy is highly misunderstood and underrated, yet more and more working people now realise that they need this therapy after a stressful day.

Mental or physical stress can come through many forms, and most affected individuals only find out when stress builds up into a condition or sickness. There are many ways to counter stress and one is by paying a visit to a wellness spa for a body massage.

AfriSerenity Group is a Namibian company founded by Mariane Akwenye to establish a Wellness Group in Namibia catering for different clientele and offering different experiences based on the preference of clients.

Mariane Akwenye is Namibia’s first black female pilot who has turned into a wellness magnate.

Leaving her flying career for entrepreneurship, Akwenye believes she is swapping for a legacy which can be able to leave for her family one day and also something that can further engrain into the culture of Namibia people.

“The business philosophy of the AfriSerenity Wellness Group is to pamper and spoil clients, making them feel revitalized from the tired mind, body and soul. The Group is committed to excellence and professionalism and takes pride in creating tranquil environments in which our clients can find balance and serenity,” says Akwenye.

In addition to this, the Group works closely with an internationally renowned spa

Consultant to ensure that all aspects of design, layout and operations of their facilities are laid down according to international standards.

The Group has six divisions which are AfriSerenity African Day Spa, Sublime Salon Spa, Futheni Beauty Products, AfriSerenity Mobile and the AfriSerenity Safari Spa. AfriSerenity African Day Spa is the flagship of the company.

It is quite different and innovative when compared to conventional spas in that it offers a day spa with special emphasis on relaxation and rejuvenation instead of individual beauty treatments.

Situated at Brakwater, a few kilometres outside Windhoek, the day spa is within one of the many natural environments of Windhoek and is within easy access of the major routes.

“The philosophy of AfriSerenity African Day Spa is to provide an experience that is unique, pampering and memorable, making clients feel revitalized after spending the day in a natural haven to revive the tired mind, body and soul. Upon arrival customers will be presented with a gown and slippers to relax in for the day.

The setting will be natural, the sounds of water, the bird life abound. It is this tranquil surround that will restore the soul.”

Apart from offering the treatments, the day spa is also engaged with the training of local beauty therapists for other companies and organisations.

Getting an opportunity to try some of the treatments was a big pleasure for this highly stressed Prime Focus journalist when invited to the Sublime Salon Spa at Furstenhof Hotel, recently.

From the first impression, one can appreciate the spotlessly clean environment that the beauty therapy is made of. Ndilimeke, the young trainee therapist who would pamper me, helped to fill in a client’s form with all possible information on my health and allergies. Fortunately, I had none of those – so the treatment begins as soon as I remove my shirt and lie on my back.

“I am going to use grape seed oil for your back and neck massage,” Ndilimeke assures with a smile. As the massaging continued, this writer was so mesmerised and lost in comfort and relief that he forgot about the interview. Half an hour later, a glass of water and of course, a final relaxation of the back and neck muscles, it was all over. I felt very relaxed and rejuvenated, and ready for action. “Have a nice day,” she said. In my 40s, I went home like a “recycled teenager.”

The back and neck massage is but, one of the many treatments that Sublime is involved in. Other treatments on offer include facials, body treatments, manicures, pedicures, waxing and men’s treatments carried out by professionally trained health and skin-care therapists.

“Sublime offers luxury beauty Spa treatments with emphasis on rejuvenation. Sublime Salon Spas are accessible to all who enjoy relaxing and invigorating treatments, performed by internationally qualified Beauty Therapists. The treatments are offered to both men and women,” says Akwenye. Asked whether the hotel offers an ideal spot for the business, Akwenye notes that “this is the best location one can ever establish such a business. There is privacy for clients and this is where tourists and other people on vacation need such services. She notes that in today’s world, no hotel establishment is complete without a wellness centre or luxury spa, therefore Sublime Salon Spas will be the perfect complement to any hotel.

“At Furstenhof, we have also created a retail area from where clients can purchase the products used for treatments. Products that are currently on offer are under the labels of Barbor and our very own Futheni range, both of which are internationally acclaimed beauty products”.
Futheni Beauty Products produces a wholly Namibian beauty range that is scientifically formulated to international standard by a reputable chemist. The package well is designed and can match any that of any produced top international brands.
“Only organic ingredients are used in the formulation and the products are free of toxic chemicals.

Our focus is on capturing the intelligence of nature in the restorative process. We do believe in responsible formulating practices, and therefore we use safe natural preservatives. We prefer to use natural plant oils for their restorative properties, and nutrients that feed and regulate its function, instead of petroleum,” Akwenye adds.

The other divisions within the group come in the form mobile as well as holiday or safari spas: “The AfriSerenity Mobile is the mobile version of the African Day Spa. Through AfriSerenity Mobile, the experience is delivered to the client’s venue of choice guests treated in groups, clothed, and experience the hand ceremony, foot ceremony and African head & neck massage.

This entity is primarily focused on call centres, at the workplace, golf days, wellness days and team building.”

According to Akwenye, the AfriSerenity Safari Spa provides an African experience at any Namibian holiday resorts dotted around the country. She says the therapists posted around the tourism resorts can offer the same services as other spas within the group.

Under the Safari Spas, therapists are rotated on a quarterly basis as part of the company’s staff development programme employee incentive scheme. Currently, the company has 45 employees within the Group and hopes to create more opportunities for local beauty therapists. PF