On a mission to take Africa’s most talented make-up artists to the world of film and television, Project FX Make-Up Show Africa, the brainchild of Rosemary Obi, is looking to supercharge the careers of a new generation of home-grown African make-up artists.
LoA had the pleasure of finding out so much more about this visionary entrepreneur, proudly promoting African makeup practitioners and brands.
What does your company do?
We launched the first ever make-up reality show in Africa in June 2016 featuring make-up artist contestants from 5 African countries - and an Ethiopian male make-up artist emerged the winner. The show is a 4 day event showcasing amazing, ‘out of the world’ make-up creations as presented by the contestants and inspired by the themes given to them daily. We are here to take African make-up artists to the Oscars by challenging the show contestants to bring out their creative best one season at a time. It is time an African makeup artist receives an Oscar for the best make-up in a movie. African stories are being told by non-Africans; it is time we told our own stories and be recognised and awarded for it. There are three (3) mentors on the show from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. We believe in the power of mentoring and we have decided to add it into the show as a means of grooming these contestants, encouraging them to believe that they can do whatever they put their minds to. We are here to unite Africa through make-up.
"We are here to unite Africa through makeup."
What inspired you to start your company?
My love for make-up and Africa as a whole inspired me to start this Project FX Makeup Show Africa journey. Africans are resilient and are ready to go the extra mile. As a make-up artist of over 10 years, it has always being a great desire to empower the next generation of make-up artists and beauticians. There are many creative African make-up artists and it is time to bring them all out for the world to see and the Oscars to acknowledge.The beautiful continent of Africa is my Inspiration and it is my aspiration to see the next generation of make-up artists, well-groomed and empowered to make the African continent even more beautiful. We are also showcasing African make-up brands on the Project FX Make-up Show Africa platform by partnering with these brands so that the contestants can use these products to develop their unique make-up creations. We are promoting proudly African make-up creations and brands.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
Project FX Make-up Show Africa provides a platform for new and upcoming make-up artists to showcase their innate creativity.
"We launched the first ever make-up reality show in Africa in June 2016 with makeup artist contestants from 5 African countries."
Tell us a little about your team
We are 6 core team members, 10 ambassadors from 10 countries across Africa, 3 mentors from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, and we are all WOMEN. This is the team to have. Our team exists to tell other African women that they can do or be whatever they want to be. We are a total of 19 African women make-up entrepreneurs ready to take the African Make-up Industry to the next Level. If lack of sponsorship in Season 1 did not deter us from actualizing the Project FX dream, nothing can because we are determined to do this. We are a team with a common vision, common passion, and love for Africa.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
My mum inspired the business woman I am today. Like I always say, I am a business woman with a major focus on make-up and beauty. I grew up seeing my mum do a lot of businesses on the side while working as a secretary. She taught me most of what I know and do today as an entrepreneur. I started out fully as a make-up artist in 2005, the years before that from 2001 onwards, was just doing it for fun and for developing the art of professional make-up application. While I was still in the university from 2001 to 2005, i was making-up for my friends when we had school functions and I was also actively involved in pageants by offering free make-up services to friends that were contesting. I remember how I used to stay up all night at the schools's cyber cafe browsing make-up and skincare sites. My first bridal make-up job was in 2004 and, as they say, the rest is history. I have grown to become the entrepreneur I am today by not giving up when it felt like what I was doing did not make sense. In 2006 I went to a make-up school, New Look Inc. in Lagos and when I got there, I was asked to apply make-up to one of the clients so as to demonstrate to what extent I could express the make-up art. So I did and then the owner of the make-up school approached me and said, I can't train you. My first thought was that I had done something wrong; then she said I can’t train you because you seem to know how to apply make-up well, so I would like to employ you as my assistant. That was how I went from wanting to be trained by this woman to becoming her assistant. At that point I knew there was no looking back.
Over the years I developed the creative art of make-up and started out in the world of character make-up due to my love for the movies. This love and flair is what has brought me to where I am today. I am God fearing, and I make sure that I feel an excitement in my belly about something before doing it, otherwise I move on to another thing. Project FX Make-up Show Africa does not only make me excited, it makes me feel good that I am doing something I told him about Project FX about 3 years ago, he said yes you can do this. I am grateful to my husband for his support and push. If he had said No, I would have felt discouraged and I would not have achieved this beautiful dream. As a pioneer of the first make-up reality show in Africa, I owe the achievement first to God, then my husband, my family, my amazing team and supporters.
"We are here to take African makeup artists to the Oscars by challenging the show contestants to bring out their creative best one season at a time."
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
We will be launching season two in Ghana come June 2017 and then the third season will be in Kenya for 2018 and so on. It is our goal to go around Africa propagating the news of all things make-up effects, one Project FX season at a time. We will be going around Africa to train and mentor upcoming make-up artists in the knowledge of character make-up.
It is our aspiration that by 2021 we would have produced the first African make-up artist Oscar winner from our Project FX contestants and winners. We dare to dream and achieve our dreams.
"It is our aspiration that by 2021 we would have produced the first African make-up artist Oscar winner from our Project FX contestants and winners."
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
As an entrepreneur, I am most satisfied when I am able to actualise my dream of changing my immediate community. It makes me feel very blessed when I dream and actually see that dream realised, despite the hurdles I must have scaled.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Start from where you are. All you need is God, Goals and Guts. Do not be scared to start small. Keep going and never look back nor listen to any pessimism. Just do it and the sky will only be but a launch pad for you.
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Why LoA loves it….
Being a woman entrepreneur in Africa takes vision, combined with sheer determination and the will to succeed, and entrepreneur Rosemary Obi has all of these traits in huge amounts. She not only thinks big, but knows how to make her vision a reality. This is one name to watch globally over the coming months and years, together with the talented and creative names that will emerge from her Project FX Makeup Show Africa pipeline. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and editor-in-chief of Lionesses of Africa