‘It is not a DIY project’

Milumbe Katowa, owner and founder of the Chen Organics cosmetic start-up and one of the 15-Miss Namibia finalists earlier in the year, shares her aspirations and what she is all about.
Mariselle Stofberg
Jeanette Diergaardt

Milumbe Katowa, founder of Chen Organics, created a skincare range to help people feel confident and comfortable in their skin. “I am grateful that we are able to see results with our current product on the market, the hibiscus anti-aging glow mask,” she says.

Katowa is a trained pharmacist who also has a diploma in natural and organic skincare formulation. She does research in her field of interest to provide the optimum product to the user.

The pastel pink mask adds a luxury aesthetic to the applicator, slowly gaining attention on Instagram with various adolescents that are seen posting their self-care pictures after applying the hibiscus mask.

According to Katowa, her products are a natural embodiment of natural beauty. “We want to promote sustainable and healthy skincare through our 100% organic products,” she says.

Katowa says the product improves the texture of the skin and it has nourishing abilities that enhances the skin to look healthier. For Katowa, bad skin was not a problem growing up. However, the people around her inspired her to pursue solutions for their skin problems.

It has always been Katowa’s dream to have multiple streams of income and Chen Organics became a part of making the dream a reality. “I love cosmetics, and I grew a passion for formulating them,” says Katowa.

The upcoming businesswoman is planning to expand her business to offer a complete skincare range. According to Katowa, Namibian cosmetic products are largely under-represented on the shelves of local retailers and the market is dominated by international cosmetic products.

In her efforts to take her business to the next level, Katowa was chosen to attend the Innovative Business Bootcamp hosted by the Patience Masua Foundation in partnership with the Village Africa Bootcamp in Johannesburg in September 2021.

The young Katowa also graced the Miss Namibia catwalk as one of the 15 finalists in the Miss Namibia pageant in July 2021.

What keeps the young Katowa going? She says when she feels like giving up, she goes back to the drawing board, reminding herself why she started in the first place. In addition to that, she wants to make her younger self proud, the little girl that dreamt of greatness.

Advice to young entrepreneurs

“Don’t go in with the mindset of overnight success. As a new business owner, focus on building the brand to a level where your brand can sell itself,” Katowa advises.