Meet Kilo Francis Abiola, One of Nigeria’s Leading Celebrity Makeup Artists
He makes Nollywood’s leading ladies look beautiful, literarily painting their faces for a living! That’s Kilo Francis Abiola, one of Nigeria’s leading celebrity makeup artists. It’s been almost a decade since the Ibadan-born entrepreneur decided to become his own boss instead of wallow in unemployment. Needless to say that he has significantly accomplished his dream of conquering the Lagos makeup scene.
I had a chat with him recently, first to hear his success story and to better understand the workings of the makeup industry In Nigeria and the fashion and beauty industry at large. I can only hope that you enjoy this and be inspired to also turn your own passion into an enterprise especially during these difficult economic times.
Q: Nice to connect with you again, Francis. Do tell, how did you get started in the makeup business?
A: Nice to meet you too, Emmanuel. The thing is I never really planned to become a makeup artist. But fashion and beauty are two things I’ve always been very much interested in right from early on in my life. So, after I finished school and found myself looking for what to do with myself, I kind of suddenly found myself in this business. And then I thought to myself – why not make the best of this opportunity?! So I did. And as the days went by, it gradually became bigger and better.
Q: What has been your experience been like so far?
A: It’s been a ride with humps and freeway…just like any other occupation. It’s been majorly fulfilling for me and I’m not regretting making this choice. It’s even more beautiful and fulfilling being successful as a male makeup artist in the beauty industry.
Q: What does it feel like being male in a female-dominated industry like this? Do you ever face special privileges or certain obstacles?
A: Obstacles? Yes. One of these obstacles has to do with trying to break into the beauty industry in the first place. Initially, nobody will take you seriously. The mockery starts when question like “do you have a girlfriend?” is asked constantly. Remarks tend to make the experience uncomfortable for starters. But as times goes by, one gets used to it…
EDITOR’S NOTE: Read the rest of this interview on page 36 of our latest magazine edition- 15 Entrepreneurs Disrupting Africa’s Fashion and Beauty Industry. Click here to read now.
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