Michelle Ntalami Biography, Education, Background Career and Relationship with Makena 
Michelle Ntalami (right)with Makena (Left) Image/Courtesy

Successful people in the world see opportunities or gaps in the market and step in to fill to provide a solution. They don’t sit and wait for somebody else to do it. Michelle Ntalami is an award winning serial entrepreneur who felt Kenyans needed more authentic natural hair products and stepped in to fill the gap. She founded a hair company whose main focus was quality natural services to its​ customers. She believes we owe it to the planet to be fully committed and responsible towards the environment. 

Apart from being the CEO of Marini Naturals, she was also a judge at Safaricom’s Blaze Be Your Own Boss (BYOB) season 1 and 2. Not only did she impact the entrepreneurs but she was impacted as well. For the first time, she was able to stand and address 3,000 youths, something that was a major boost for her confidence. 

“To the young people, the best way to predict your future is to create it,” is a very valuable advice she gave the youths. 

Education

Michelle attended Consolata Primary School before going to Loreto High School, Limuru. She then proceeded to the University of Nairobi where she graduated with First Class Honors in Design and Communication in 2008.

Later, she travelled to Italy and graduated with a Master of arts in Interior Design at Florence Design Academy. 

Background

The entrepreneur grew up in a close knit Catholic family. In 2013, her father was diagnosed with cancer which proved to be a very difficult time for the family. He had to change his whole lifestyle and adopt a more natural one if he was to survive. The family walked through the journey with him and it was at this point that Michelle re-evaluated her choices and began to adopt a more healthy and natural lifestyle. 

Unfortunately, her dad passed away while she was still in Florence, Italy. She did not even get to attend the funeral, something that really hurt her. 

Career

When Michelle decided to approach a more natural lifestyle, she shaved off her hair and allowed it to grow back naturally. Finding the right products to use on her natural hair became a big deal and hence she had to import most of them. She found most of the products on the Kenyan market to be full of chemicals that were not so good on the hair. This is what sparked the idea for her to start an all natural hair products manufacturer.  

Upon returning to Kenya from Italy, she founded Marini Naturals alongside her friend Niyati Patel. The brand focuses on providing customers with quality hair care products that are free of synthetic chemicals. With the Kenyan market being flooded by so many cheap hair products full of synthetic chemicals, this decision must have been a tough one as it meant her products would be quite pricey. What has really worked to them is their marketing, determination to succeed and the fact that most African women have had a re-awakening when it comes to their natural hair. Most are embracing their natural hair and looking for natural ways to make it grow. 

The company has had its high and lows and she admitted in an earlier interview that 2017 was a very difficult year for the business. She could see the ideal for the company but the reality spoke something else. 

Today the brand has grown and supplies a lot of people in Kenya and beyond.

Michelle Ntalami Biography, Education, Background Career and Relationship with Makena 
Makena Has Denied That She Will Marry Michelle Image/Courtesy

Michelle Ntalami relationship

Her relationship with former BBC producer Catherine Njeri aka Makena sparked controversy revolving around cheating allegations. Her lover went ballistic accusing Makena of cheating her with Michelle. She vandalized the former Tahidi High actress’ car by writing unprintable words.  Michele admitted to being in a relationship in the past that broke her emotionally. Her post read in part:

“At 20yrs, I got into the worst relationship of my life. It changed me till today. It broke me emotionally, physically and psychologically. It took me 7 years to heal from it. In that my next solid relationship from that one was at 27yrs. But I healed, and came out stronger….” 

She however added that she believes in love:

Michelle Ntalami Biography, Education, Background Career and Relationship with Makena 

“………….I strongly believe he’s coming. And he is on his way. P.S; The one thing I’ll never give up on, is LOVE. If you think about it, it’s all we’ve really got here on this earth. We work so hard for the people we love, including ourselves. To you, never give up too! Your love exists, I promise. And if you’ve found yours, hold on tight and never let it go.”

In an interview on Radio Jambo, Makena stated that Michele is not her wife but only a good friend. 

 “It is a very big mistake to say that Michelle Ntalami is my wife. My relationship with Mitchelle is that we are very good friends, when you check my Instagram page, you will find I have posted very many people.

I live my life very openly. If it comes a time when I will need to introduce my wife publicly, I will,” added the Bold Network Africa founder.

Michelle denied in the past being a relationship with Makena saying that she prefers men:

”To the gentlemen out there, stop assuming things about me based on only what you see. Don’t see me and Makena and label it. I’ve got high standards. I’ve worked hard on myself and I did not come this far to be an average woman. I know what I’m looking for in a man, and if any gentleman feels he can match my effort and energy, he’s more than welcome to approach me.”