Kenyan biochemist tackles gender inequality through skin care line

Robert Hundley

CBC is highlighting stories of Black Canadian immigrants to share the joys and road blocks on their paths to Black excellence. From their to start with techniques in Canada to the moments that shaped their life. These are their journeys below.

In advance of turning out to be a productive biochemist, Evelyne Nyairo, who arrived in Edmonton from Kenya in 1996, experienced to prevail over a lot of issues.

Nyairo was the only Black student in her college program, which she claims “was not effortless.” 

“I suggest, those days you will not see Black people today,” said Nyairo. “I remember, you know, you would acquire the bus and you go months and months of not seeing anyone Black.”

She dropped out throughout her very first 12 months for the reason that of “cultural variances,” but in the long run concluded her degree in biology and chemistry, proper around the identical time she observed out she was expecting with her daughter.  

Nyairo, who said starting to be a “wonderful scientist” was her childhood desire, went on to pursue a job as a biochemist in Alberta’s oil and gas sector. 

Just after that business took a downturn in 2008, she started off imagining of strategies to go back to Africa.

Look at | Biochemist and skin care entrepreneur Evelyne Nyairo shares her goal of tackling gender inequality:

Biochemist tackles gender inequality by means of pores and skin treatment line

Kenyan-born Evelyne Nyairo was the only Black pupil in her university plan in Edmonton, which she says ‘wasn’t quick.’ She went on to turn out to be a productive biochemist and afterwards established a skin care line run by gals with the target of igniting ‘meaningful dialogue all-around gender equality.’ 5:21

It was on a operate-linked discipline trip to Chad in 2011 that Nyairo recognized she preferred to make a big job modify to focus on gender equality.

When in the region, she skilled and witnessed rigorous gender inequality, and it introduced back again memories of her possess experiences with discrimination.

“That second introduced me back again to the boardrooms in Calgary, in Houston, in Paris and all these destinations that I had been,” explained Nyairo. “Most of the time I was the only Black lady in the boardroom.”

“And I said, ‘You know, I are unable to just carry on to be in the teams of gals in science, women in engineering. I’m likely to start out some thing to ignite significant conversation close to gender equality.’ “

Although in Chad, Nyairo was struck by the “beautiful skin” of the women there and decided to channel her practical experience into generating a pores and skin treatment line operate by women.

Evelyne Nyairo is pictured with her daughter Ellie, soon after which the skincare line Ellie Bianca is named. (Submitted by Evelyne Nyairo)

The line, named Ellie Bianca following her daughter, generates organic and sustainable attractiveness solutions ranging from lip balms to bathtub salts.

“We didn’t just want to create any pores and skin treatment line,” stated Nyairo. “We just desired something that truly leaves a legacy. Our company is all girls-owned, girls-run … kind to the Earth … and kind to women of all ages.”

Her solutions have now produced their way onto the shelves of some of Canada’s most significant shops, like Whole Food items and Hudson’s Bay.

Remaining Black in Canada: My Journey Below is a particular collection wherever Black Canadian immigrants share the joys and hurdles on their paths to Black excellence. From their first techniques in Canada to the times that formed their life.

Becoming Back again in Canada highlights stories about Black Canadians. (CBC)

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