Black Bush Polder, Corentyne, henna artist

 Black Bush Polder, Corentyne, henna artist spent last weekend overseas becoming inter-nationally certified with the intention of returning to Guyana and commencing classes for locals who wish to learn the very popular trade of applying mehendi.

Mohanie Devi Persaud, 21, a teacher at the J C Chandisingh Secondary School, explained that while teaching is her lifelong dream, she also loves her part-time job as a henna artist. She said that although her skills have improved drastically over the years and she has received requests to host classes, she did not feel it was right to do so until she was certified.

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She learned of a Henna Pro master class in Balti-more, Maryland, offered by three of the world’s most talented henna artists and decided to enrol.

Mohanie, who can be found on Facebook at  Mona’s Henna Designs, said she invested over $400,000 to attend the class and become certified, but hopes that in the end it will all pay off. 

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After the class she told The Scene, “I am so grateful to have met my three favourite henna artists. I’ve learnt many tips, tricks and techniques to perfect henna designs which I’m so excited to try on my future brides.”

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She also added that she was given an opportunity to meet many henna artists from around the world who participated in the class. “It was an amazing experience,” she stressed. 

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According to the young woman, in 2017 she was asked to do her cousin’s mehendi for her wedding and it was the praises which followed that gave her the courage to pursue the dream of being a mehendi artist. “Every-body loved it, they were amazed,” she noted.

While for most juggling two jobs is no easy task, Mohanie said she does not find it hard since she loves both careers equally. “It went on and people saw, and people booked me, and it is easy to handle, teaching is during the week and henna appointments during the weekend or I try to put it after school.”  

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She then spoke highly of the need to enjoy and love every job you attempt. “This won’t affect my teaching, doing henna releases all the stress, I enjoy doing it and it’s not a job now for me.”

She added, “I love teaching. I love the children and they love me. I don’t think I’ll ever leave them.” 

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In terms of financial earnings, she said being a henna artist is a supporting income to her monthly teacher’s salary. “…It won’t run a home, it’s a supporting income.”   

As a young professional who is on the journey of building her life, she also spoke of the need for young persons to go after their dreams.

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She then spoke of her support system, which includes her parents and boyfriend, David Brig-bhukan, who is also a teacher. She said they have been behind her through-out her entire journey and that it is important to have a support system. She added that when she informed them of wanting to attend the master class, they put their minds and efforts together to ensure she got the opportunity to do so. 

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Meanwhile, according to Mohanie, the cost of doing bridal mehendi can go all the way to $20,000, as it depends on the intricacies of the design itself. She noted that she is also looking at venturing into natural henna, but it is something that needs to be introduced over time to the Berbice populace, since it might be a bit more pricey and time consuming. 

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The soft-spoken young woman also said that she tries to facilitate persons who have the desire to get their mehendi done but cannot afford a hefty price. She noted that she also makes an effort to work along with clients’ budgets. 

She advised upcoming henna artists to practice constantly. “You need to know your stuff. People want to see neat stuff, see the details. Practice the henna, and if you love doing it go after it.”

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