Can we meet you please?

I am SOIBIFAA DIMINAS, from Abonnema Rivers State. A make-up effect artist. I was the first President of the Creative Designers Guild of Nigeria (CDGN) in 2002. A Business Administration graduate from Federal Polytechnic Ede. Osun State. A renowned Nollywood movie practitioner with over 25 years’ experience. I am also a furniture maker/interior designer. CEO Just-So Design Enterprise; an interior design and consultancy firm. My credits, recognitions and awards Include: “THEMA (The Movie Awards) 2000 Best Make Up Artist with the movie ‘Igodo’, Reel Award for Best Make-up 2001 with the movie “Hit back” In 2005 I decided to open and branch into interior designs and manufacturing of furniture. I have worked for so many celebrities and personalities’ home and offices like. 2face Idibia, Julius Agwu, Hon. Desmond Elliot, DJ Jimmy Jatt, Basket Mouth, Ini Edo, Okey Bakassi, Jim Iyke, Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen and Rivers State Liaison office Lagos.

How did you become a member of the Nollywood sector of the creative industry?

From the get-go. I was there in the formative stage, I was voted as the president over DIKE NWACHUKWU by a gathering of practitioners present, consisting of makeup/effect department, wardrobe (costume) department, set design and property (props) department. Which made DIKE NWACHUKWU the vice. TOBECHUKWU MACDONALD SUNDAY Secretary. Financial Secretary/treasurer was IKECHUKWU ONYEKA and KINGSLEY OKEREKE was the provost. The initial name for the guild was (PRODUCTION DESIGNERS GUILD) which was opposed by directors and producers guild. before the name was changed to CREATIVE DESIGNER’S GUILD OF NIGERIA (CDGN) (EXODUS, 2000. Onyi Michael -Makeup Asst-and Uncle Olu Jacobs)\

Why was the original name not agreed to and how long did you serve?

The reason given was that the name Production Design is an office in movie production so we can’t adopt the name. My duration I cannot be precise now

When did you join the CDGN?

It was DAGOGO DIMINAS the CEO of 13Fatman, Bros-boss as I fondly call him (my elder brother my boss) who brought me into the industry to understudy him. In 1996 he had already made a name for himself in the industry when he created a block that fell from up a building, on an ongoing construction site, that landed on a child’s head and killed him. in a then blockbuster home video titled “ONOME” by OPA WILLIAMS. But this time, I assisted him in a production titled “Bitter Encounter” starring KESSE JABARI AKAMUNE, IYABO LAWANI, OLA DAVIS OFOR daughter to late David Ofor (Clarus of New Masquerade). She was also the producer on the film as directed by MATHIAS OBAHIAGBON.

CONGA (Coalition of Nollywood Guilds and Associations) was an umbrella body for all the guilds in Nollywood back then. Did you feel the impact of CONGA?

Yes, CONGA was a unifying body. It made us have a sense of belonging and responsibility. As a practitioner, you must belong to a Guild and abide by the rules governing the Guild. On a larger scale the guilds will conform to the guidelines set for the industry by the Nigerian National Film and Video Censors Board. There was discipline, mutual respect and most importantly, hunger for professionalism.

CONGA worked and then stopped working!

Stopped working due to conflict of personal interest

Has anything changed between then and now?

Progress is impossible without change; change makes us grow but it depends on your drive and perspective. Obviously, there is a great change between then and now, First is growth. Not just the increase in size but the individual quality of transformation. What do you want to be identified with? Professionalism or mediocrity? The choice is 100% yours and no one else.

How can the Guild move on to greater heights?

This is simple, for CDGN to be global, it is in our hands. We have got what it takes. We have content that can attract the world to us, we have got the numbers. All we need to do is make sure every post on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook ,Tik-Tok of our jobs or location pictures, social gatherings, workshops and even meetings be hash tagged(#CDGN) You can’t imagine the awareness we will be creating in the globe. We have to take pride in our guild. Be proud of who we are and what we do. Nobody will celebrate us more than us and most importantly we should have the drive to improve our act individually (CONTRACTOR 1998, with Gabazzini as Makeup Asst.)

Can you give us the gist of an unforgettable experience you had on a set.? What did it mean to you.? How did it influence your professional practise?

Sure, will be glad to share with us. This was my very second production in 1996 as an assistant BOTTLE NECK after BITTER ENCOUNTER. The production company then JBM production contracted the two giants make department can boast of DIKE NWACHUKWU and DAGOGO DIMINAS to handle the project because it was huge then. I was there as Dagogo’s assistant. The intriguing part was, Dagogo and Dike were never on set together they both had other productions running so that made me the continuity makeup Artist on set. I technically and practically worked with both of them. I learnt from the two masters of the game then. When Dagogo does an effect makeup that requires continuity on Dike’s day I will replicate the makeup effect same applicable to Dike on Dagogo’s day. I remember Dike telling me, “ If Dagogo wasn’t your brother I will ask you to be working with me”. I took it as a compliment and that was very encouraging to me. It meant a lot to me, because it was on that same set somebody, an artist one “Chuks” I can’t remember his surname told me that I will win awards with makeup if I continue. Four years later I won my first award in the makeup category as best makeup artist, Thema awards.2000. How did it influence my professional practice you asked? Very well, it built my self confidence that same production which was my very second Bottle Neck I did an effect unguided, parcel explosion on an artist KUNLE COKER (Dele Giwa’s story) I was on set alone Dagogo and Dike wasn’t around and we needed to shoot that particular scene which was one of the high point in the story since Dele Giwa’s death was making news then, The director (PHILLIP TRIMNEL) came to me and asked if I could do it. I said without doubts in my mind “Yes” but you will give me 30minutes with the artists alone, when I am done I will call you. He had no choice than to agree to my terms because he was desperate. When I was done and called everyone inn, I was overwhelmed by the ovation I got.

What do you currently do?

I am the CEO of Just-so Design. we are into manufacturing of furniture, building renovation, interior design, showroom, and consultancy. You can follow us via our Instagram handle @justsodesign attached is picture of our job gone, will post some more (BOTTLENECK 1996. First Makeup Effect)

What was your best paying fee (with year) and lowest fee (what year)?

I will start with my lowest and that was my first independent production, Prodigal early 1999 By Coruma International. Directed by Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen. I was paid N20,000. (in today’s money 150k) While my best paying fee, till date, the producer is still looking for money to afford my services. A producer came to me in year 2000 for a production as the makeup artist… After going through the script. I billed him N180,000 (N1.3m todays money) His offer was N90k, I rejected it. He said to me, “My director insisted that you do the job but the amount you are requesting is too high. Don’t worry my next job when I have made money, I will come to you.” I replied and said to him, “If you can’t afford me now, you will never be able to afford me.” He asked why I said so and I told him, “You want to grow and make money, you think I will remain on this level waiting for you to grow? As you are climbing, I am also climbing” and heaven heard me! It has remained like that till date. KNOW YOUR WORTH. The real measure of your wealth is how much you would be worth if you lost all your money. Improve on your craft, develop yourself and place a value. People accepted less because they thought “A little is better than nothing” What they don’t know is, WHEN YOU SETTLE FOR LESS THEY DON’T VALUE YOU.