The subject of today’s Man Like is Enioluwa “Lip Gloss Boy” Adeoluwa, a 21-year-old social media influencer and TV host. He talks about growing up in Akure, accidentally becoming popular from making videos while wearing makeup and how he handles being an unorthodox man in Nigeria.
What does it mean to be a man? Surely, it’s not one thing. It’s a series of little moments that add up. Man Like is a weekly Zikoko series documenting these moments to see how it adds up. It’s a series for men by men, talking about men’s issues. We try to understand what it means to “be a man” from the perspective of the subject of the week.
What’s your relationship with your dad like?
He’s my boo but that man likes trying me sometimes. I’m very comfortable with him and can tell him stuff. He’s the kind of father I’ll say, “Love you” and won’t let him rest until he says it back. We have a fun and interesting relationship.
That’s nice. What was growing up like?
I grew up in Akure. My family was pretty comfortable. There was food on the table and we had fun growing up. I went to a British secondary school in Akure with students from all over the country. I was a church boy growing up and used to sing in the choir. I wasn’t a bad singer — if I say so myself. I was a quiet and obedient child. I was the Sunday school teacher, room leader and class captain, that kind of kid. I really enjoyed it there because it wasn’t the average Nigerian school and there was no bullying.
Then I went on to the University of Ado Ekiti. That’s where I learned to speak Yoruba properly and started making funny Instagram videos.
How did that start?
In school, someone was texting me all the time and not saying anything tangible, just saying, “Hello. How are you?” and other questions. I got annoyed and went on IG live to rant about it. I mean, if you want to toast me, toast me, which one is “Hello, how are you?” all the time. A bunch of people found it hilarious and convinced me to post the video on my page but I wasn’t good enough.
The next morning, November 20, 2020 (I can’t forget it because that’s the day my life changed) I re-recorded the video, this time looking good and wearing lip gloss and posted it. For some reason, everybody loved it. They found it funny and relatable. The video somehow blew up and was all over Instagram. I made another video and it was even more popular. I’ve continued making videos since then.
When was the first time you wore makeup?
The first time I remember wearing makeup was in 2015 when I was in 200-level. I’ve always found beauty interesting and I just acted on that interest. There weren’t a lot of men wearing makeup so it was a niche interest. Being a man that’s different in Nigeria is dangerous. It was scary but I didn’t let that deter me from making it my thing. I used to make beauty content on YouTube, even before I became the “lip gloss boy.”
What’s the general reaction to you, a man, wearing makeup?
Not as bad as you’d think. Nigeria is a very classist country, so if you have some money, people can’t chat shit to your face. It’s how people can talk shit to Bobrisky online but when they see her in real life, they can’t say anything. People can say, “This is rubbish, utter nonsense” in the comment section but see you in real life and not say a thing. I was very confident about it. In school, I’d bring out my powder and lip gloss and use them in public. I didn’t send anybody’s father. You can’t be successful if you care what people think about you.
What happened after school?
I knew I wanted to get into the entertainment industry and all of it was pretty much in Lagos. I finished my exams on a Friday and on the following Sunday, I told my parents I wanted to move to Lagos. They were sceptical at first but I was very stubborn about it so they didn’t have a choice. I remember my parents dropping me off at the park, waving as my bus pulled out. That was my first time entering public transport and also my first time going to Lagos on my own. It was a bit scary
I got a 9 – 5 in Lagos. It was crazy. At some point, I was working two jobs. I picked up an internship with a media company that started right after my normal 9 – 5 ended for the day. I’d close by 11 pm and head home, only to get up early to go to work again the next morning. It was insane.
What are some of your dreams and aspirations?
Plenty. I have plans of starting my own beauty line. I have a lip gloss line coming out in November. I’m also working with a beauty brand for a very exciting partnership. I also have my own TV show starting soon. I’m very excited about it.
How’s your romantic life?
I’m an ashewo. Once an ashewo, always an ashewo.
What was your worst heartbreak like?
God forbid. I don’t get heartbroken. I’m the breaker of hearts. Seriously though, I’ve had relationships that ended unexpectedly, but it’s only heartbreak if you give in to it. If you move on like a bad bitch, then there’s no heartbreak. Bad bitches don’t fall in love.
Seriously though, I might be giving up on this love thing. I’ve not found anyone I want to date. I like to keep it simple, talk to a few people.
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