INTERVIEW: you must humble yourself if you must succeed as a make up artist- Expert


Adebayo Yusuf is a make up guru who has done professional makeup for a number of gospel films in Nigeria. Recently he did a make up that looks exactly like the one of Avatar which gained alot of accolades on social media. 
In an exclusive interview with Gospel Film News Publisher, Oluwafemi Dosu, Adebayo reveals that anyone who must succeed as a make up artist must allow God to lead him and humble himself before his boss. He also disclosed his background and how he get inspiration among other. Excerpt:

Can we meet you?

My name is Adebayo Samuel Yusuf.

Could you please lead us into your background as a make up artist?

Background, as a make up artist? sometimes ago when I was still a muslim, any time I watch a film, I used to see different kind of things, special effect. Ever since then I’ve been  I will like to be doing those things. When I gave my life to Christ, I went to Mount Zion Institute of Christian Drama, it was there that I saw Abayomi Ojo. Mount Zion students wanted to have a film shoot then, I now call him and told him sir, I have interest in this your make up stuff. He said I’m going to pay a certain amount that he will know if I’m serious or not.

Since then, we started the make up together, I paid the little I can afford and he has been calling me for location since then. We go to location together even till now. After his training, I came home again, searched online and saw alot of special effect. I have been training myself since then and God has been helping me. That was how I started the make up.

How about your educational background?

My primary school was Temidire Primary school at Ota Ona in Ikorodu. My secondary school was Oriwu College Ikorodu. The higher institution I attended was Yabatech where I studied Business Administration. That’s my educational background.

The kind of make up you do are different and real, how do you get ideas for this?

(Sigh).. It is not me, it is God. Some make up artist copy some people’s work but I don’t copy because my boss do not copy from anybody, he prays to God and ask Holy spirit to lead him. That’s what I do also. If I want to do any make up, before I start I will pray to God that God come and lead me. In anything that I want to do I will ask God to lead me and at the end if I do it I will have cause to say father I thank you. I don’t copy anybody’s work, it is Holy spirit that leads me to do anything I want to do in my life.

Apart from copying people’s work, do you surf the internet to get idea for make up design?

No! Truly I search the internet, sometimes I will want to use a lot of special effect, the way it is done but unfortunately we don’t have those materials here in Nigeria. We just use what we have to achieve what we want to get. When you see those make up on internet and you ask for the materials in Nigeria you will not be able to get it except they import those materials, but what we have here we use it to achiveve what we want to achieve.
Sometimes they will do some special effect there (Abroad) that we cannot achieve here, you just have an idea that ok, if these poeple can use this material to get this, it means I can also use this material to achieve this. I don’t copy them but I just have an idea of how to make different kind of make up.

What inspires you as a make up artist?

(Sighs)… It is training. Sometimes if I’m at home and don’t have anything to do, I will go out there get materials, I will be doing it constantly and I will achieve something. My boss also inspire me because when he’s at home he do alot of things. When some people see me they will say why are you wasting money on all these unecessary things or those things you are doing. I will tell them I’m not wasting money, I’m training myslf to achieve what I want to achieve. That’s what inspires me.

Recently, you did a make up that looks exactly like the one in the foreign film, Avatar, how did you achieve this?

When we were called for that location, that is sister Opeyemi Akintunde, she said we are going to do something like that in the movie, that she want to see Avatar. I now asked if it is the real Avatar, she said Yes! I was a bit scared. My boss, Abayomi Ojo was there with Sean Paul. My boss now told me that Bayo this is what you are going to do, to get real material is very expensive in the market and I told him I have some materials we can use also. I told him we are going to get some paints and some other things, he said okay and he sent some money to me to get those materials.

After getting those materials I was looking at the picture day and night asking God to lead me and when we were doing it, in fact, it was God. Atimes when you want to do such things just be asking for the wisdom of the Holy spirit. You will allow God to lead you on what you want to do. When we are done with the Avatar make up i was just looking at the person, looking at the picture comparing both and at the end we give glory to God. It is God sir, it is God.

Who is your role model profesionally?

It is Abayomi Ojo and there is another guy, the guy is in secular, that is “Akeem effect”. Akeem doesn’t use Nigeria material. He travelled down there, get those materials and come back home. Sometimes if I see some special effect that the guy did, I will just be marvelled but being that we are still in Nigeria, yet we use the materials we have. Abayomi Ojo is my role Model, also Akeem because I follow him on Instagram and facebook.

How do you charge for job?

Hmmm, You know as a christian sometimes if you charge peopel will say you like money but what i do most is that i tell whoever owns the job to do me well, except if you have special effect. If you don’t have special effect on your work i will not charge you. I will just say at the end of the location just make sure you make me okay and good but if I see some special effect like cutting, accident, demon, and so on I will charge because I’m going to get special material for me to achieve those things.

Do you make up for event as well or you only make up for film?

I make up for event and film. Special bridal make up, make over, film and special effect.

Do you train people on make up, how many apprentice do you have and how much do you charge to train people?

I train people. I have trained three people, one is not serious, the other one has graduated and one is serving now. those are the people I have trained so far and they are doing good.

Presently you don’t have anyone you are training?


Okay, how much do you charge if you want to train people?

You know we have special effect, we have straight make up. If you come to me now that you want to learn make up, I will ask you what kind of make up you want to learn, is it bridal make up, straight make up or you are going to learn everything both straight make up, bridal make up and special effect.
I will charge you based on your seriousness not based on the money, the seriousness I see in you will determine. I may charge you fifty thousand naira and if you give me ten thousand naira that you want to start, i will tell you to start coming, if I have location I will call you. If I see your seriousness I may not collect the balance. I even train some people without collecting a dime from them because I’m not the owner of the wisdom, it is God. What I think most times is if I die who will take after me.

That’s what I always think that Jesus can come at any time. In fact, till now I’m still looking for someone who will take after me, that people will say, Ah, this person is Bayo and I believe God will help us.

But if you train someone, you realise the person is serious and you decided not to collect the balance. If you are going on location, who will be responsible for the transportation fare of the apprentice?

It is well. My own life…. Even my boys can testify. Your t.fare, your feeding, I believe God will take over, that’s my life generally. Even though I don’t know you I can take care of you so far God is blessing me. That is me.

As a film make up artist based in Ikorodu which is an outskirt of Lagos, how do you get contract?

Hmmmm. Firstly, through the internet. If I do some work I post it on net atimes, put my phone number there. People that know me also call me for location. My boss as well, that’s the person of Abayomi Ojo always call me for location. Maybe he has like two or three locations, he will call and ask Bayo where are you, we have so and so location on a particular day at Ile Ife or Ibadan.
It is a six days location and before you know the script will be sent to me and at the end I will go to the location. From that location I may see another person that want to shoot film, if they like my work they will call me personally for another location. That’s how I get contract.

If your boss call you for location and you go on his behalf, do you get the pay directly or he will get the pay and just give you some share or you don’t get paid atall?

My boss doesn’t do that. Abayomi Ojo is a wonderful man, I respect him so much. Sometimes if he give us work, the only thing he does is to ask us to send something to him for recharge card. Those things are not money becasue we have some boss that will tell you that take ten thousand naira out of the thirthy thousand given to you and forward to me, and you don’t have any other option than to do that if you must get another work from him, but this our boss don’t do that.
Atimes he will just tell you not to bother about the money and he will still give you another work. If he has special work to do, he’s going to call all of us, myself, Sean Paul, himself and we will be doing all the work together. That’s the way he does his things.

How can you rate yourself among make up artist in the gospel film industry?

Ah… It is well, it is just God. I don’t even know what to say because in this line most of us are not ready to learn neither are we ready to pay the sacrifice for this person so that we can achieve what we want to achieve. Some people will say because this person is doing make up, they also want to do it so that they will be called for location. If you humble yourself and you allow God to lead you, you will not rate yourself, it is people around you, seeing your work that will rate you. Today now I can say yes, I’m a make up artist. Are you getting me, because sometimes my boss will call me Bayo go and do this work and there is no location I’ve been to that they will not say the person that train this person is Abayomi Ojo.

Most people will always say ‘this is Abayomi Ojo’s work’ because the three of us love each other and we do almost perfect work on locations and we don’t manage material. That’s why people always call us for location and at the end of the day if they see the work they will be able to say this is a perfect work, it is real.

There is a rumor that you are getting married next month, how true is that?

Ah…. Holy spirit (laughs). It is not next month, I am planning to have my introduction this year and having the wedding early next year. That’s my plan.

What is your advice for upcoming make up artist and those who have interest in film make up?

My advice to them is that if you want to be a make up artist, you need to be focused, allow God to lead you. Those things you have, surrender everything to God. Sometimes ago I was telling a sister that I want to meet ‘Akeem effcet’ and the sister told me she was not going to give me his number. I said why and she said I should go and ask for the Holy spirit to reveal the secret of this make up to me. I was shocked when I heard such from the sister. The sister now said I can still give you his number if you still need it but I refused. I have to go on three days fasting and prayer and God revealed most of the materials I use today to me from the dream and these are the things I’ve been doing. If you desire to become a make up artist, you need to allow God to lead you, surrender all to God and humble yourself before your boss. If your boss ask you to do this or do that, it’s not for today, its because of tommorrow so that if you are on your own you will be able to know what you are doing. These are the things I do and today my boss is always proud of me.

You studied business administration at Yabatech, why didn’t you go into business. why did you divert into film making?

Yoruba will say “Riro ni teniyan sise ni t’olorun” (man propose God dispose). You know, atimes you go and study law in school and at the end of the day you find yourself working in a bank. It is God’s will. I’m still a business man, I do the two together and God is helping me because God’s will is the most important thing in life. That is why.

Lastly, what can you say about Nigeria film industry, the kind of movies being produced now and the kind of make up we see in them?

Let me talk on the yoruba movies generally in Nigeria. Some make up like gun shot in film. In most yoruba films, they will shoot gun you won’t see blood, atimes the gun will be shot in the left hand and the person will be holding the tommy. These are the things that are not real. If you give me a scipt now that okay there is gun shot in this movie, i will make sure I achieve what I want to achieve so that  people will see blood. Everything will look real because you can’t watch American film and they shoot gun and you will not see blood.
Those things make those films look fake but most christian movies especially if you see someone like me, Sean Paul or Abayomi Ojo we usually tell the producer or director that we want to do our work real, not that they shoot gun you won’t see blood or they stab someone you won’t see blood. We make them real.
Most yoruba films are fake. I don’t know what happened because I don’t work for secular, I only work for christian movies. If they call me I will go, I will go and make up for them. Even now some secular producers are calling me that they have been seeing my work on facebook and instagram that they want to call me that they want me to come and do some special effect that they want those effect to look real and I will tell them ok, no problem. If you allow me I will make sure I do it and Holy spirit will help me. That’s what I see about that.

Thank you so much for your time.

Thank you sir.

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