In our bid to support the growth of the Nigerian and African economies, we are always on the lookout for creative talents who are contributing their fair share as entrepreneurs and excelling in their respective fields of interest. In this exclusive interview, we chat with Mmeka Ronald Chinedu of RONALDTHE7TH, a top Abuja-based makeup artist as he shares his passions, motivations, the journey so far, tips and his future goals.
Meet Mmeka Ronald Chinedu, also known as RONALDTHE7TH, as he shares his journey into the world of makeup artistry…
SR: Hello Ronald, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into the world of makeup
MRC: I’m Mmeka Ronald Chinedu, also known as RONALDTHE7TH. I’m a professional makeup artist with a forté for bridal makeup and I am based in the heart of Abuja, Nigeria. I delved into makeup in 2010 when I started getting obsessed with Kim Kardashian and her show Keeping up with the Kardashians. So I would Google her and what would usually pop up was makeup, fashion and who she was dating at the time. But most especially makeup, and I’d click on the link to see how her makeup artist Mario came up with the look, how they created a look and 90% of the time it took me to YouTube and I’d end up watching a full tutorial on ‘How-Tos.’
I started getting really interested in the world of makeup and literally couldn’t stop. I would help my sister and friends and would even tease that they weren’t doing their makeup the right way.
SR: As a child were you always drawn to makeup?
MRC: As a child? NO. I always wanted to be a doctor then an economist, then a social worker with the UN but being a makeup artist never crossed my mind.
SR: Your makeup work speaks for itself and we believe part of what makes your work stand out is how clean your lines and finishing are. How did you master the art of “flawless” makeup?
MRC: Thank you very much for that compliment. I’ve really worked on my craft and it also helps that I’m sort of a perfectionist. And because I have so many people looking, I want to make it worth their while. I mastered the art of flawless makeup application by simply PRACTICING TIRELESSLY. I would practice a look 10-15 times just to get it right and I would set a limited time for myself as well. Just so anyone who sees the work would know RONALDTHE7TH did that.
SR: Impressive! So has there been a time (or times) when a client was dissatisfied with their makeup? How did you handle it?
MRC: Yes, in my early days – when I started out. Learning is a process and I’ve always been addicted to PROGRESS so I knew I would have days like that because my mentors would say “prepare for those kinda days.” So I was sorta prepared and built a mental capacity to handle that. It would hurt but that was a challenge to make the next day better and I would usually offer the client a free session so we could do that again and that led to increase in trust and helped build my clientele as well.
SR: Totally love how you handled that. So what do you do to stay current seeing how makeup trends keep evolving?
MRC: I try to be original, stick to my basics, take what I like and leave the rest. I evolve gracefully.
SR: Speaking of trends, are there makeup trends you are not feeling right now and would love to see trashed?
MRC: Bottom falsies on brides. No one has such lashes and I think they’re tacky! It’s fine for photoshoots, drag looks, editorials but NOT ON A BRIDE!
SR: The Ronald has spoken!
SR: What keeps you going in this line of business? Who are some of the people that have inspired you throughout your career?
MRC: God’s Grace, the conviction of things not yet seen. And I even get inspired by my growth, so I feel there’s more to come in the future. That alone is enough for me to keep pushing. Also, the drive for more – a better beauty industry, the need to be seen and heard like our foreign artists. But to directly answer your question, a lot of people have inspired me and still inspire me. A few of them are Mario Dedivanovic, Banke Meshida, Tara Durotoye, Jane Ogbu and Jide Okerayi.
SR: Now, we know some women don’t prioritize caring for their makeup tools. Can you share some tips on how often key makeup tools should be cleaned?
MRC: It should be cleaned after each use. I can’t overemphasize the need to have clean brushes. If you value the health of your skin, then clean your brushes, sanitize them and make sure they are germs free.
SR: During your course of work as a makeup artist has there ever been a time you wanted to throw in the towel and maybe chase a different career path? If so, can you share it with us?
MRC: I’ve never thought of that; I didn’t start to stop. I started to make an impact… to profer solutions; to make a living with the knowledge that these things don’t come easy. I’ve always known that challenges would come, so I tell myself: don’t shrink!
Also, I’ve always believed that the difference between an amateur and a champion is that a champion is able to push past the pain period. So my advice to myself and other entrepreneurs has always been: PUSH!!!! GO FOR IT AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, GET IT!
SR: There are so many upcoming makeup artists out there, what advice would you give to them?
MRC: My advice: consistency and focus will put you ahead of your peers. Ignore the noise. Know why you started. Finally, practice, practice, practice!
SR: So where do you see your brand in 5 years?
MRC: In 5 years? Definitely a global brand at the peak of the proud mountains. I see myself owning my own makeup brand and having it stocked at the likes of Sephora and Ulta Beauty. I foresee myself doing international campaigns with the world’s biggest supermodels. I hope to be a BEAUTY AUTHORITY.
I would have had several glam sessions with KKW (Kim Kardashian West) and a brand to reckon with. A brand you must mention when listing top 3 brands/beauty companies in Africa. I’d have done several really BIG COLLABS INTERNATIONALLY. AMEN.
SR: Ronald, you’re quite an ambitious young man and it’s been impressive getting into your mind. With dreams like yours and the hard work to back it up, the sky is truly your starting point. Here’s wishing that your dreams come true.
To see more of Mmeka Ronald Chinedu’s work, click here to visit his page on Instagram.
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