Michelle Ntalami has been in the headlines for the right and wrong reasons – depending on how you look at it. To some, she is the epitome of freedom but to others, she espouses beliefs that promote same-sex or gay unions. But to Ntalami, who is also the CEO of Marini Naturals, it is all in a day’s work.
Last year, she was a trending topic on social media after she broke up with her girlfriend.
The fact that in Kenya same-sex marriages and homosexual acts are criminal offences made her the talk of the town.
“So many people have been wondering if I am a lesbian, the answer is I am not. I am androsexual. This is a person who is strictly attracted to masculine energy irrespective of gender. And because of this, I am part of the LGBTQ community as a supporter and someone who has a member of the community,” Ntalami said.
She posted photos online documenting their vacation together.
“With all due respect to that relationship, it was a very healthy and positive one from the start despite how it ended and the reasons why it ended. It was not a toxic relationship. And since then the question I have been asked a lot is if I date men. And the answer is yes, I also date men,” she said.
“A lot of people have wanted to know why the relationship did not work out and all I can say is that for me deceit, infidelity, or breach of trust is not something that I take lightly and that is what that person did to me,” she added.
If you follow her online then you would not have missed a sensual video Ntalami recently posted that captures her with a mystery man. The video she says showed a new beginning after the breakup.
“I was coming from a very dark time in my life. I had gone through so much in my personal life and I finally found my light again, the essence of me of what makes Michelle, who is very soft, feminine, sensual, in touch with her feelings, very expressive and not shy of that,” Ntalami said.
She noted that she has very low tolerance for anything negative especially when it comes to broken trust or deceit.
On social media, she is unapologetic about herself wearing miniskirts and body-fitting dresses that accentuate her figure, while out with friends or on vacation at an exotic destination.
“About my Instagram photos, I do not know what people think about me and frankly I don’t care. I mean, I can’t control what people would want to think about me, what I can do is just be authentically me,” she says.
Being a CEO, she says was never going to box her to start presenting herself in some type of way.
“I was never going to be the usual stereotype CEO wearing those chocking suits. I can’t change it even if I try even when I become a mother, I think I would still want to be sexy,” Ntalami said.
Ntalami founded Marini seven years ago together with her partner.
“We had dreams of one day sitting in our factory.. But there were always those doubts about who will we be able to make it. Marini was meant to be a side business but it started to become so popular that we focused on it full-time,” she explained.
“Initially, there was lack of trust because the beauty market at the time was all about chemically relaxed hair and not natural one, or the other question would be why we were even thinking of building a factory instead of selling products from China. But this was not the vision for Marini because we wanted the Kenyan touch when we say made in Kenya,” Ntalami said.
Her late father, she says, is the reason behind Marini Naturals. Her mother is also one of her biggest inspirations because she is very hardworking, tough and fierce.
“I come from a family of four kids. I am the last born; I am very spirited and energetic. I love the finer things in life. I love the good life. I think I am the only extrovert in my family my brothers sometimes ask me how I am able to do everything,” she said.