Spotlighting Creatives (Episode 2): Lulu

It rained today. As per, rain flog me; odindin pressman. 2:55 pm. I finally sit down opposite Lulu. We should have started 115 minutes ago, but ceteris did not paribus. All that is forgotten, now that we’re finally talking. She’s warm and effusive, taking care to inquire about the details of the interview before we start. Perception is reality, after all, in the words of American Political Strategist, Lee Atwater, and an ability to control the narrative is the mark of a shrewd operator. Lulu is a very intelligent person, and people who don’t know her could easily be surprised by her intellect. Baddies can’t be smart? Get your head out of your arse.


Courtesy, Instagram: @lulu_mckayy

Oluchi Uma, known as Lulu, is a 400 Level Medical Student at CoMUI. In her own words, she has several hobbies but mainly focuses on Makeup Artistry and Content Creation; for now, anyway. She’s always loved Fine Art, drawing a lot while she grew up. As a teenager, she began experimenting with colors on paper and her face. A breakthrough came in the form of a makeup class near her home where she started to learn makeup professionally. As the best student, she was retained as an apprentice in the Makeup Studio and began to take on more jobs while also gathering products to use in her practice. Eventually, her mentor moved to a new studio and she couldn’t follow him. But by then, she had gathered a clientele and crucially was more secure in her artistry. The young bird was leaving the nest, and this event kickstarted her brand: Bellissima Nigeria. As a kid, she’d already been trying to learn to do makeup on Facebook and YouTube even before her professional classes, speaking volumes about her relationship with social media from a young age. It’s a tool after all, and when properly harnessed, it can serve as a means to improve self. This principle also relates to her career as a content creator.


Courtesy, Instagram: @_bellissimaaaa One of Oluchi’s signature makeup looks done for a client


On Instagram, Oluchi has a healthy following of about 12 thousand and is no stranger to the spotlight, having gone viral over a year ago thanks to one particular reel.

Courtesy, Instagram: @lulu_mckayy

3.5 million views, 159 thousand likes, 69.5 thousand shares, and 2,852 comments later, it remains a fond memory for her. It was weird at the time for her with the video not going viral until about a week after posting. Her friends had brought it to her attention at the time; over 100 thousand views was a big deal. It got to the point where the notifications kept blowing up her phone, as popular Nigerian blogs recirculated the video, tagging her, and more netizens rushed to her page. It boosted views not just on that reel, but others as well, and critically, her followers kept increasing. Her subsequent posts also got more engagement as a result.

On role models, Lulu’s never really held one such person in high esteem. When probed further, she admits she does admire Marsai Martin. Not in the sense that she wants to be like her, Lulu is her own woman. But she admires someone so young yet able to do so much. Marsai started acting at five years old and has since gone on to become the youngest person to executive produce a Hollywood studio film: Little, in 2019, at the age of 13. She also starred in that film. Combining Clinical School with content creation is difficult for Lulu, but she hopes it becomes easier once she finds her feet. Right from Preclinicals it has always been hard, merging school, content creation, and makeup as a business, but she’s always tried hard to find a balance. Medicine remains the priority as that’s why we are all here in the first place.

Lulu still retains interests outside of makeup, content creation and medicine. She’s a talented artist, with pencil drawings and paintings acting as the precursor to her makeup career.

A simple pencil drawing by Oluchi highlighting her love for makeup


Somehow, she’s even better at music. She sings and plays the guitar, which her father taught her to play, even writing songs before she started medical school. That’s no small feat. The only reason Lulu isn’t putting more of her music out is that if she were to add it to her current commitments, it’d take too much from her, so she’d rather not do it if she was unable to go all out. Whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well. 

Oluchi likes social media because it brings people together, connecting individuals across geographical zones, cultures, and creeds. The downside though is that it can give people a false sense of reality. It’s important to note that content creators can showcase what isn’t real, or only the good parts of their lives. But in reality, everyone is going through their problems and you can’t view another person’s life as perfect. “No such thing as a life that’s better than yours.” – A Certain Corny Ni**a. 

To end the interview, I asked for advice on content creation, on behalf of every UIMSAite (myself included)  ‘wey wan blow’. For starters, you should have a solid idea of the sort of content you want to create and focus on that. Hers is beauty, but one could get involved with music, dance, motivational speaking, or whatever. And then, you have to be consistent with it. Active. In terms of posting often, engaging other people’s posts. It can feel like a full-time job. Such consistency can be demanding, especially as a medical student, but there’s no substitute for hard work. If you want people to know you, they have to see you. Content creation gives a reach and a platform, and she looks forward to more UIMSAites who are genuinely interested in it getting involved in it.



Okojie Osakwe Simeon

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