Anke Candaele is a professional beautician at Spa Soul- Space, situated in Nyarutarama. Several misconceptions surround massage therapists. However, Anke Candaele, who has been in the field for over a decade, throws more light on what beautification really means.
“I know people in Rwanda still under value this profession, they even think that girls who massage are immoral yet they should be respected since they are therapists,” Anke emphasizes.
The 31-year-old Anke was born in Belgium. She first came to Rwanda in 2008 and later got married to John Ndikuwera with whom she has two sons.
She attended a beauty school known as Denise Gnesiac Antwerpen in Belgium and has been practicing the profession in Rwanda for the past two years.
“It’s a beautiful profession and it’s important to get the right skills from an established school. One can even start their own business when they graduate,” Anke expresses.
She works six days at Spa Soul- Space for at least six hours daily with different shifts that start from 10:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m or 3:00 p.m to 9:00 p.m.
“My day off is Monday and my shifts keep changing so that I can balance work and get time to spend with my family,” she said.
As a child, her dream was to become a teacher but it changed with time.
“While growing up I felt that the beautician profession was fascinating. I did not hesitate to join and I love it. I like working directly with people to make them feel better and relaxed after a long day at work and forget the stress they had while there,” Anke explains.
She further adds that her work involves all the treatments offered at the spa especially facials, massages, waxing alongside pedicures and manicures.
Regarding the person, she would prefer to massage her in the instance that she goes for a treat at the spa, she said: “I would prefer a woman to work on me because I would feel more comfortable with her than if it were a man.”
Just like any kind of profession, there are some challenges of being a beautician besides the misconceptions people have towards the kind of work they do.
“Since our kind of work in most cases involves making appointments, people here are not good at keeping them and this affects our work. Daily customers have to make bookings with a therapist of their choice but for first-time clients we get them the therapist,” says Anke.
Usually people go for massage when they need relief from muscular tension, reduction of soreness and fatigue and for relaxation.
However, massage done unprofessionally could have grave side effects. Anke says clients have to be cautious.
“If a client has complications such as back problems and a masseuse does not know which muscles to work on then there could arise side effects. But if an amateur masseuse massages a healthy person such risks are minimal,” Anke explains.
She further added that clients with medical conditions are unsure of whether massage therapy would be appropriate for them, it is important to first discuss the concerns with a doctor so that a therapist can select the appropriate massage.
Anke says that people should at least visit a spa once a week.
“Although it’s not a cheap lifestyle, it’s important for one’s health,” she adds.
Saudah Nalule, owner of Spa Soul-Space, says Anke is a perfectionist.
“I have known her for about four months but something I greatly recognize about her is that she won’t do something that she is not very sure about. She is very cooperative and she really loves what she does,” Nalule said.