The Make-Up Business

Gore, Blood and Shivers: The Special Effects Side to Make-up Artistry II

In Africa, the SFX make-up art is only just gaining traction in the film and TV industry. Unlike its glam counterpart which is vibrant and overcrowded with practitioners. Concluding an article started last week are the few individuals around Africa who are boldly venturing into the sector and pioneering Hollywood-type illusions in the African film and TV space.


Alex Islam

While studying fine arts, Alex discovered the field of special effects make-up, and it turned out to be the perfect path; for it combined everything he looked for in a profession – artistic, unpredictable, varied materials, etc.

He began as an assistant to SFX artist, Tarek Mostafa, the pioneer of the field in Egypt. With this team, Alex worked on La Taragoa Wala Esteslam and the series, Abwab El Khof, which decided this career path for him. Others include El Kabeer Awy, Al Fil Al Azraq 1, Welad Rizq 1, El Harb El A’lameya El Talta, and Cima Ali Baba. Over ten years in the industry, he has also done 122, Ma Waraa el Tabiaa (Paranormal), and B Meet Wesh (Multifaceted), El Aref, El Ens W El Nems, and Reesh (Feathers).

Donia Sedky

Donia Sedky

She is a self-trained, special effects make-up artist, watching videos, taking online course, learning from artists and practicing over and again to hone her craft. One of her beloved parts of her job is the impact makeup has on character design.

She studied in the High Cinema Institute and has thrived in the industry for more than a decade.

In that time, Donia’s has been the other half of a dynamic duo with Alex Islam on several sets – B Meet Wesh (Multifaceted), Al Nehaya (The End) as well as Netflix’s first Egyptian original series Ma Waraa el Tabiaa (Paranormal).

South Africa

Jurine Erwee

What started out as low-budget, YouTube movies with her sisters soon turned into an obsession when she used everyday items to create her very first scar wax. Jurine went researching and later obtained a diploma in make-up artistry and prosthetics. She is one of the few special effects make-up artists in South Africa.

She has worked on the short films like Banyoloyi a Bosigo and Life’s a Drag as well as a local short film about zombies which, incidentally, are her favorite pieces to create. Asides from working in the film and tv industry, she’s also involved in cosplay South Africa.

RELATED POST: Gore, Blood and Shivers: The Special Effects Side to Make-up Artistry

Mamokone Liphoto

Mamokone Liphoto

Mamokone Liphoto or Connie as she is known to friends, is a fashion and retailing graduate from the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology. She learned the basics of make-up while in school and her interest in the art grew. But it was her tendency towards the unique that led her to the art of special effects make-up which she proceeded to research and teach herself about.

She has worked on the film, Mosikong, and with 99Future heroes and Thalaboliba Productions.


Shakirah Kibirige

An actor father playing a popular character in the 80s UTV drama, Wokulira, and meeting filmmaker, Kroy Kemiskisha, inspired her to join the film industry.

She gained legitimate entry into it as an actress, and discovered the set also required a hairdresser. She assumed the role because she could plait hair and apply make-up. And when the creative director saw her potentials, he put her in charge of make-up and costume.

Kemikisha honed her costume and make-up skills, then introduced her to filmmaker/special effects artist, Michael Wawuyo.

She has worked on the following productions – Mercy of The Jungle, Imperial Blue, Bunjako, Bala Bala Sese, Bed of Thorns, 94 Terror, Hanged for Love, My Wife’s Clan, Only Son, Queen of Katwe, among others.

Esther Nakaziba

Esther Nakaziba

Initially, dance and drama school were on the cards for Esther. But while studying in the Bakayimbira School of Arts, she happened upon the cast and crew of a drama whose make-up artist was none other than Shakirah Kibirige. However, she was booked solid and needed a stand-in she could teach to replicate her work in her absence. Out of curiosity, Esther stepped up to the opportunity and watched Shakirah work her magic. Esther’s curiosity turned to awe and later meticulous duplication when Shakirah was away.

Afterwards, Shakirah took her under her wing, taught, mentored and recommended her to others. Some of her biggest projects are 27 Guns, Bed of Thorns, The Honorables and Akandoolindoli.

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