Metropole Magazine

 
 
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12 May

Venussbay interviews Makeup artist Omoloa Faleye

The beauty and make up industry has become a craze, with so many makeup artists in the country who claim to be professionals, albeit 'half baked'. While there are some who do perfect jobs, there are several shoddy ones who still call themselves professionals thereby causing a dent in the industry.

This is what bothers Omolola Faleye, YouWin winner and CEO of Pops Concepts, the woman behind The Makeup Fair and The Makeup and Beauty Connect Series. A professional makeup artist herself, she believes that everything that is worth doing is worth doing well and after close observation and research into the industry, she identified so many gaps including insufficient training, rivalry and the lack of an orderly forum where standards are set for the makeup industry. She established the Makeup and Beauty Connect Series to address this issues.

The series was launched last year and aims to provide networking and mentoring within the Nigerian make up industry and the promotion of the professional side of makeup artistry.

Venussbay attended the latest the second edition of the Connect Series, which was held at Hatlab Plaza, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja on 13th October 2013. Here are some tips Faleye shared on how makeup artists can promote their business on the social media:

1. Get adequate training
2. Take the art of makeup seriously
3. Don't be afraid of criticism
4. Treat your business with the formality and professionalism that it deserves
5. If you are not a professional, don't call yourself one; you can be a makeup artist without being a professional makeup artist
6. Aim to be a consultant. Makeup artists are not drop-outs
7. Be extraordinarily creative and innovative
8. Do a lot of research, have a mentor and study the people whose work you admire 
9.  Be passionate about your work in the industry

Below are pictures from the event.

Our guest blogger this week is: 'ekka for venussbay.blogspot.com.

Follow her on: Facebook: www.facebook.com/venussbay;
Twitter: www.twitter.com/venussbay
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12 May

Metropole speaks to the man behind the Twitter handle

With over 12, 000 followers and growing, @Abuja_Facts has made a name for itself as a fountain of quirky information about the capital. Kimberly Ward meets the brain behind the brand.

Some stars shine brighter than others in the Twitter Universe, drawing followers into their orbit and becoming powerful forces in the Nigerian social media sphere where, according to TechSuplex.com, 1.8 million ‘Twitterers’ jostle for space.

One such star is @Abuja_Facts, an information-based handle tweeting uncommon facts about the FCT to a growing followership of over 12, 300 fans, gained after just 14 months in existence. But this star is unique, because in an environment where personalities, famous brands and celebrities get the most attention (Singer Wizkid is the most followed Nigerian with 815, 500 fans), the entity behind Abuja Facts is unknown and unconnected to any establishment. Its faithful followers are attracted simply by the relevance of its content, the consistency of its output, and the commitment to its purpose.

 So who is behind Abuja Facts? Like the majority of his fans and 60% of the Nigerian Twitter population, he is technology-savvy and under 25. Now in his final year studying Biological Sciences at the University of Abuja, Isa Ozo, 21, is a knowledge and Twitter addict who has successfully combined his two passions into a worthwhile venture that is opening more doors than he ever imagined was possible.

“When I started Abuja Facts I just wanted to broadcast rare things, not the usual topics that are being talked about but those things that people rarely know about Abuja,” says the unassuming student, who moved to the capital five years ago with his family from Kogi, their home state. He is slim, below average height and initially timid with hesitant eyes, which immediately brighten up when he starts talking vividly and with authority about his area of expertise: Twitter.

“At first I was addicted to Facebook,” he reveals. “The fun and information I was getting there was just unlimited and I didn’t want to leave. Then came Twitter and I was using my personal handle (@ozo1naija) until I noticed Naija Facts tweeting about Nigerian history, and they would twist the whole thing to be funny to get traffic. This inspired me to start a Twitter page for my state called Kogi Facts in February 2012, because I know so much about Kogi and the three (major) tribes; I’m Igbira, I schooled in Igala land for six years and I also know a lot about the Okuns.”

But Ozo’s initial foray into fact-based tweeting had limited success. The reason: “I noticed that Kogi Facts wasn’t getting much traffic because people from Kogi State were not very involved in social media, and people from other states won’t follow because they’re not from there and may not be interested in knowing what is happening in Kogi.”

It wasn’t until he heard Japheth Omojuwa – an influential Twitter personality, social media advocate and Metropole columnist – speaking at a seminar that July about relevance and disseminating useful information on Twitter that Ozo had his eureka moment.

 “Omojuwa’s speech really got to me,” he states. “I wrote down everything he said and when I got home I thought: what can I do with my immediate environment in Abuja? I’d been to so many places and knew so much about what was happening in Abuja so I decided to come up with the Abuja Facts, since I already had Kogi Facts.”

Here Ozo starts reeling off facts off the top of his head: did you know that Kafanchan, Okenne and Ile Ife were proposed sites for the FCT before Abuja was chosen? Did you know that Abuja was deemed a better capital than Lagos because of the climate, as it was always raining in Lagos? Did you know that Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda visits Abuja more than any other governor in Nigeria?

His encyclopaedic ability to recall information about the FCT is remarkable, especially when you consider his age and limited means. He funds his expeditions to archive and history centres, events and seminars, government offices and rural communities around the FCT to gather information himself. At first his determination alone gained him entry, but as Abuja Facts grew in popularity, so did his profile and soon celebrities and politicians started noticing him.

Hear him: “I have met people I never thought I could meet like former FCT Minister Mallam Nasir El Rufai who saw my tweets and invited me to his house. I’ve also met the FCT Commissioner for Public Complaints and directors at the FCDA. And in the entertainment scene I can say that there is no music artist or well known comedian coming into Abuja that I haven’t met.

"I met Charly Boy, who helped me to secure a contract with Consumers Protection Council so that I managed their Twitter handle for some time. I met Iyanya at Charly Boy’s house, Oceans 11 in Wuse and Abata Lounge all in two days, and he gave me a ticket to his album launch, but Charly Boy wanted me to be on his entourage for the same event so I gave the ticket Iyanya gave me out in a competition on @Abuja_Facts because I knew that with Charly Boy I get to sit comfortably at his table.

“Presently MI, Jesse Jagz, Jae Won and Dare Art Alade follow me on Twitter and I have met all of them, and at May D’s show at This Day Dome I got to meet him too. Every weekend there are parties going on in Abuja, and the organisers always inform me and when I go I meet artists there.

“So Abuja Facts has really opened lots of doors for me. Now if there are programmes in Abuja related to government offices or private organisations I can attend with ease. Even if they didn’t invite me and I feel like going I can because there’s always someone who knows about Abuja Facts at the door, so all I have to do is tell them who I am.”

Quite impressive for an undergraduate who has no office to wield so much influence in the capital city of Nigeria. Although his income is not enough to pay his rent yet, he has already employed a strategist and an administrator and is planning on launching a website for Abuja Facts next year. But is he surprised by the popularity of the Twitter handle he started in August 2012?

 “No I’m not surprised,” he replies. “I set a target to gain 1, 000 followers every month and I was doing that until my Blackberry was stolen, and I didn’t have money to buy another phone so I couldn’t tweet for about two months. That was between March and April 2013, and when I came back on I was seeing in my mentions ‘where is Abuja Facts?’ and I was very happy that my followership didn’t decrease, instead they increased but not at the rate it would have if I was posting. I think that’s why I didn’t reach my target, because this is the fourteenth month and I should be on 14,000 followers but I’m still going close to 13, 000.”

 So what is the secret to his success?

 “I’ve carved a niche for myself,” he says, after a short pause.  “Abuja Facts also promotes small businesses, because with social media you can make a small business look big. We’re also very interactive; I found out that Abuja girls love Shawarma and Cup Cakes, and when I tweet about Shawarma and Cup Cakes that’s when I get my highest retweets. So in as much as we’re trying to say things that are very serious, we’re also keeping it casual. People feel closer. When I talk about Wuse Zone 2, people living in that area will be interested in retweeting. When people ask us for information, I respond. Abuja Facts has become like a Google for Twitter users in Abuja.”

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*Look out for our new series “Did You Know?” powered by  @Abuja _Facts

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