In a world brimming with possibilities, it’s time to challenge the status quo and embrace the innovative potential of youth.
Welcome! In this episode, we delve into the inspiring journey of a young professional whose artistry in aesthetics is indeed a masterful dance. Guiding young people through darkness with her ennobling light, she has carved a niche in redefining beauty and wellness.
Dr. Wedu Somolekae
Dr Wedu Somolekae has become a guardian of transformative beauty in the landscape of medicine and aesthetics in Botswana. She was born and raised in Gaborone, where she kindled her dream of becoming a doctor. Dr. Somolekae’s path to becoming an aesthetician began with rigorous academic pursuits. Through years of study, she honed her craft at the University of Botswana, obtaining a bachelor of medicine and surgery degree. Dr. Somolekae worked as a medical officer for three years in a humble village called Masunga. Driven by an indigenous desire to help others feel confident and beautiful, she pursued a career in aesthetic medicine while working as a medical officer. She registered and saved up for several courses with the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine and Medskills Academy in Pretoria, South Africa.
Dr. Wedu Somolekae
What sets Dr. Somolekae apart is her reviving spirit; she took a marked leap of faith by resigning from her job as a medical officer after her training in aesthetic medicine. She applied for many positions in medical practices, however, aesthetic service had not gained prominence in clinics. With a determined heart, she was unfazed by the situation. She told herself if she could not realize her dream in her own country, she was determined to relocate to a country where she could pursue her career in aesthetic medicine. From the halls of academia to the hospital doors, she started her own practice depending largely on her severance pay; truly, she is a keeper of dreams. She capitalized on the power of social media to propel her clinic, Medi-Glow Aesthetics, to greater heights. Dr. Somolekae does not only view her work as a medical procedure but also as a form of art.
When she was a youngster, she was swamped with low self-esteem because she battled severe acne and bad teeth. This inspired her journey of not just transforming appearances but also empowering individuals to embrace their natural beauty. Dr. Somolekae is a stickler for the belief that health is not merely the absence of diseases but a complete state of mental, physical and social well-being. She founded Medi-Glow Aesthetics, in Gaborone, Botswana, a clinic that seeks to encourage and promote wellness. Her dedication to learning and staying updated with the latest advancements is one of her cornerstones to success. She believes that the right blend of passion, commitment, mentorship and support will be a solid foundation for excellence in the beauty industry.
Dr. Somolekae has proven resilient in her own right, even in the face of challenges confronting her field of work. It is undisputed that introducing a new concept to the market can be unnerving, but through patience and consistency, Wedu is now her own boss and provides employment opportunities to young Batswana. Her craft has featured her in the 2023 Forbes Africa 30 Under 30, and she has been listed as one of the newest self-made young innovators and leaders scripting a new vision for Africa.
Her dedication and tireless devotion are evident in her commitment to uplifting others by promoting self-confidence that extends beyond her clinic walls. She urges young people to find their purpose, seek training, and become confident in what they do by practising and staying focused without being dismayed.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. For example: (Your name, your educational background, your business, your achievements, basically everything that makes you who you are today.
My name is Dr. Wedu Somolekae, I am a medical doctor with a special interest in aesthetic medicine. This means I’m a general practitioner with post-graduate training in aesthetic medicine. I was born in the year 1993 to hardworking Kalanga parents; my father, who is an information systems analyst and my mother who is a lawyer. I am the youngest of two, my older sister who is also now an attorney. I grew up in Gaborone, Botswana where I eventually attended my tertiary studies at the University of Botswana and obtained a bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery degree. Thereafter, I did my internship and then worked for the government of Botswana as a medical officer in a Northern village called Masunga for about 3 years. It was during this time that I decided to pursue a career in aesthetic medicine. I then registered and saved up for several different training courses with the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine and Medskills Academy based in Pretoria, South Africa.
After training, I made a very difficult and courageous decision to resign from my government job and proceeded to apply for positions with different medical practices but unfortunately, nobody was interested in introducing aesthetic services to their clinics. Although it was a lot earlier than I thought I would, I decided to start my own practice. I used my severance pay from my work in the government to rent a small room to work from and buy a little bit of stock. I then used the power of social media to consistently post about the services we offer on various platforms from Facebook to Instagram and even TikTok. Being a relatively new industry in Botswana, the success of the practice, despite multiple challenges led to both national and international recognition. We were featured in multiple newspaper and magazine articles and even appeared on a news segment on national television. I was also included in the 2023 Forbes Africa 30 under 30 list as one of the newest self-made young innovators and leaders scripting a new vision for Africa.
2. Now, tell us more about Medi-Glow Aesthetics.
Medi Glow Aesthetics is a 100% citizen-owned aesthetic clinic based in Gaborone, Botswana. We offer non-surgical cosmetic solutions that enhance your physical appearance. These include face and body treatments including;
Skin analysis and consultation
Botulinum Toxin (Botox) and Fillers
Chemical Peels, Microneedling, Dermaplaning and Facials
PRP procedures – Vampire Facial, O-shot and Hairline Restoration
Medical weight loss, Lipolytic Injections, Ultrasound Cavitation
Laser Hair Removal
We also recently introduced health-promoting services including; general consultation, pap smears, blood sugar and blood pressure checks, blood collection and referrals to specialist doctors. We currently have a staff complement of 4 full-time workers and 2 part-time employees. Our clientele consists of mostly women with a small percentage being men. The aim of the clinic is to encourage and promote wellness by assisting our clients to achieve their best and highest selves. We believe that health is not merely the absence of disease but a complete state of mental, physical and social well-being (WHO definition of health). We contribute to this by helping clients feel more confident which boosts their self-esteem and mental health and also allows them to flourish socially while feeling their absolute best!
3. What inspired you to venture into the beauty industry?
Growing up, I struggled a lot with my self-confidence due to severe acne and having bad teeth. This had a negative impact on my self-esteem. Fortunately, my parents took me to see a dentist as well as a dermatologist, where I got braces (for most of primary school) and was on acne medication in high school. Despite these struggles, I was always interested in girly-girl things like hair, skin and make-up. So when I was first introduced to aesthetic medicine, I thought it was the perfect blend of my training in medicine, as well as my interest in beauty.
4. What are the misconceptions about the beauty industry especially in Africa?
Aesthetic procedures such as filler and toxin (botox) change your appearance drastically – which they don’t it’s about subtle enhancements that battle signs of ageing and enhance beauty.
Aesthetic treatments are only done by people in the West.
Some aesthetic procedures are only placebo and have no scientific basis.
5. In your opinion, what are the resources needed to start a business in your field of work?
Training, it’s important to get enough training to confidently diagnose, treat, prescribe and perform treatments on clients.
Capital is very important, I needed it to get things going and I’m in constant need of it to fund any developments and expansion of the business. My initial investment not only funded the day-to-day needs like rent and stock but also funded my training, which I needed to provide the services that we do today.
A mentor is someone who has gone before you, and who can advise you on what you need and point you in the right direction when you are stuck.
Support, whether from family or friends to keep going through the tough times.
6. What have been the challenges and benefits of establishing a business?
* Introducing a new concept to the market requires patience, resilience and consistency. The public doesn’t initially embrace it, and you have to be constantly explaining what you do and try to back it up with results.
* Funding for small businesses is limited especially in the private health care/beauty industry.
* Finding local suppliers of products – oftentimes I have to outsource from other countries which is costly.
* Being your own boss
* Fulfilment from providing a service to satisfied clients
* Providing employment to young, enthusiastic Batswana
7. As an entrepreneur, what would you say drives you to always want to achieve more in life? What is your source of motivation?
I’m a highly driven person naturally, even throughout primary and high school I was always determined to excel at the things that I did from academia to sports. I’m currently expecting my first child so that has also brought on a renewed sense of purpose. My dream for Med-Glow Aesthetics is to become so much bigger than it is now and I have committed myself to work tirelessly until it becomes a reality.
8. How do you measure success?
Compare myself to who I was yesterday, I consider myself successful if I notice growth and progress, always considering the challenges that I have overcome and my ability to bounce back after failure or setback.
9. How important is it to you to do what you love and be successful at it?
It means everything to me, though I don’t define myself by what I do, I’m determined to live a life on my own terms where I strive to live the life I pictured and not have it dictated by somebody else. When I embarked on my journey to work in aesthetics I told myself that if it didn’t work out in my own country, I was willing to relocate to a country where aesthetic medicine is widely known and practised rather than give up and go back to general medicine.
10. What advice would you give any individual trying to establish a business in your field of work?
Seek training and become confident in what you do by practising. Don’t pay attention to those who don’t understand your vision because oftentimes times new things are met with a whole range of responses from the public and even those close to you. Go for it! It never hurts to try. It is a very fulfilling and fabulous space to work in.
11. Are you on any social media platforms?
Yes! We are on Facebook and Instagram: Medi Glow Aesthetics BW, and on TikTok @DrSoms. You can reach us via our website at www.mediglowaesthetics.com.
The team at YEWGlobal wishes Dr. Wedu Somolekae all the best in her next endeavours. We can't wait to have an update on your success journey.
We hope you enjoyed this week's edition of the YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE WEEK.
See you all soon!