Setting an outstanding record among one’s peers is usually an act greeted with pride and envy, although one may risk being called a local champion. However making an attempt at a world record is a fit that one will not take on lying down, and that is what Eronmosele Edward Ozah may just have done. In an event where yours truly was nominated as a timekeeper, by virtue of being an NFF graded referee, Eronmosele or Eronx-Shaddy, his brand name by which he is addressed, set out to ink his name in the Guinness Book of World Records by creating the record for the Longest Makeup Marathon embarked on by a single individual.
Here is a first hand and undiluted account, based on exclusively derived information from Eronmosele, members of his team and my personal eye witness account, of not just the attempt itself but the entire journey to join the likes of Kaffaya Shafau a.k.a Kaffy in gracing the pages of an extraordinary book that holds the names of extraordinary individuals.
The Artist And His Idea
Eronmosele Edward Ozah is the first son and second child of four children, three boys and a girl. Born to a commercial driver for a father, a petty trading mother and raised in the Upper Lawani area of New Benin, Benin City, Edo State. One can accurately say that the silver is not the colour or make of the spoon he was born with. Eronmosele liked to stand out, which is why at the age of eighteen he was already into manicure and pedicure as a means of livelihood to support the effort of his parents. Despite the refusal by his boss at the time to teach him makeup, and being at risk of being jeered or even called a simp by his peers Eronmosele taught himself the art of makeup for which he developed a deep passion. Taking a break from his job to prepare for his JAMB exams, yet armed with a few items he could nick from his mother’s set, his classmates became willing subjects on whom he practised his art. Erons, as he is called by his family and close friends, delved into fx makeup, the use of cosmetics and prosthetics to create special effects for camera, film, or live-action theatre. Blending elements of beauty and fx makeup he created a brand of his own. His first taste of the limelight came in 2019 when a photo of his work titled Zipper Girl that has gained over 20 million impressions on Twitter and counting. His yearning to stand out only increased and he announced that he would like to perform a makeup marathon for a whole day but the advice of a close friend helped set his sights for a much larger and official feat, the Guinness Book of World Records.
Having a go at the Guinness Book of World Records is not a dream one just wakes up to accomplish. It is a fit that requires proper and painstaking preparation. He made an application on the 30th of October, 2019 but saw it rejected. Unrelenting, he applied again and thus three more applications were turned down by Guinness within the months of November, January and February respectively. The fifth application in march 2020 yielded a nod from the Guinness records committee on the 11th of June as an official go-ahead for him, with strict guidelines on how he was to make his epic record attempt. He initially intended to make his attempt in Lagos but upon failure to secure a venue (a major guideline to the attempt was that it must be done in a public place) in Lagos, he quickly retraced his steps closer to home, Benin. Nadia Bakery and Pastries, a bakery and restaurant owned by the Alis a Lebanese family based in Nigeria lent him their venue at entirely no cost and also accepted to bear a part of the task of feeding members of his team. His plans did hit a snag a huge dispute between himself and the project manager, a neighbour of his that volunteered for the job led to the latter withdrawing from the plans. In an interview over the phone, Eronmosele said: “It wasn’t an agency thing, the guy who was project manager was my neighbour and opted to help out and he brought some persons on the project because they were his people and he has worked with them before. One happened to run an agency and said they will work as members of his management and will say they packaged it, there was no written agreement. But when money started flowing in, they started making it like they owned the project. I couldn’t control what happened in my project. He chased sponsors that were willing to provide services without cash for his own selfish interest. He doesn’t provide an account of how he spends money. Finally, he cashed a cheque a brand wrote to me for the project and didn’t release the cash. So there was rage. He even left me halfway into the project because of an argument. So since he wasn’t on the project the people he brought on the project were not doing anything for me. They were still on but they were making things difficult for me I just had to drop the load and look for help.”
And his search for help led him to the doorstep of MASHOOD BRANDING Limited, a company, barely four months old, that you patronized for your branding, photography, ushering, events, and consultancy needs, one week to the event. I was able to get a hold of the Chief Operations Officer of the company, Mr Idodo Anthony and asked how a company that young could take on such a herculean task and his response was thus;
“MASHOOD first got to know about the Guinness world record attempt by Eronx-Shaddy when he came with his former project management team to request for some sort of sponsorship from MASHOOD. From the onset, we liked the idea of a marathon makeup session. We realized that it was borne out of a passion for the makeup craft. We even offered free consultations and ideas that might help the project come to fruition.
Fast Forward To A Week Before The Event
We were again approached by Eronx-Shaddy who came alone this time. His former project managers left him for personal reasons and he was distraught as he hadn’t even gotten a brush for the makeup attempt. Seeing as we initially liked the idea, we jumped on the project nonetheless. Again going over the list of materials needed for the project to be carried out successfully. The breakdown of which was about Five Million Naira. The list included logistics, models sourcing, accommodation for social media influencers, security since the event was to last for a night or two, food or snacks as the case may be, graphics for the event, the printing of tags and shirt branding, photography and videography costs, the printing of materials for the event (logbooks and more), data, etc. Suffice to say that all Mashood did as regards the event was free of charge. Also, the Guinness World Record Board specified that there should be no monetary commitment whatsoever on the part of anyone partaking in the event. Even then, we undertook the task of working tirelessly to ensure that the project comes to fruition. Our branding team ensured that the daily countdown graphics for the event was ready on time and advertised, the events team also were on hand to ensure that the logistics needs and all other arrangements for the event were taken care of.”
And the steps that began the thousand-mile journey to the Guinness Book of World Records were taken.
Yours truly arrived at Nadia Bakery, opposite Eronmosele’s school, the University of Benin, at precisely 9 am, the time I was requested to be present for the event, and last-minute touches were underway. A workspace with a timer being displayed had been set up and the lighting was being prepped. Erons was surrounded by family, friends and well-wishers. Models were being prepped for their different makeovers.
At last, all was ready and with a final hug of affirmation from his father Erons took his position at his work table. For record purposes, he called out his full name and application reference number and at 11:07 yours truly started the timer to begin the attempt. A chat with his immediate family showed the massive support they had for him in his endeavour. We played games and cheered while a DJ kept us entertained all to create an optimum environment for Eronmosele who was concluded with his first model within thirty-four minutes. He maintained this pace for a while but the drag and the weight of his task began to slowly set in.
“At first I was having fun and thinking of what could possibly go wrong, but I lost strength at the eighteenth hour. I felt completely drained. I felt like I couldn’t continue but I knew I couldn’t give up.”
As a form of motivation a loud cheer was giving upon hitting each hour mark, this went on well into the night and even into the early hours of the morning. No one dared sleep, not to miss a single moment of a potential history-making feat. Plus I had threatened that anyone who did will fall victim to my pranks. The vigil lasted till morning and Erons, by now showing obvious signs of physical lag, was still holding up, stroking away with his brush. At the twenty-four-hour mark, the minimum time for the record to be created, Eronmosele decided to skip his provided rest period and kept on working. As the clock struck the fortieth minute of the twenty-seventh hour, fully satisfied that he had probably set his record, Erons collapsed on the floor amid cheers from family and friends. He signalled for the clock not to be stopped but to rather be allowed to observe his short rest period.
“I gained extra strength and I didn’t believe it was actually me that crowd was cheering for. I just lost words, I was in tears.”
His father was by now sceptical, more worried about his son’s well-being than the record at stake. It took a solemn promise from yours truly as the timekeeper of the attempt to stop the timer, regardless of protocol, if I felt Eronmosele’s well-being was becoming compromised for the father to let his son resume his attempt. Erons was unaware of this promise and I intended to keep it, and thus I alerted Mr Idodo about it and he equally agreed that the life of the makeup artist was more important in the circumstance. At 3:54 pm on the 31st of August, 2020, following a signal from Eronmosele himself. I stopped the timer and brought the attempt to an end amid cheers from the crowd many of whom had taken interest young man’s attempt and stayed back to watch it. The timer read 28 hours 49 minutes 43.35 seconds, the period of time in which he worked on thirty-seven models.
For now, Eronmosele has retreated homeward to consider his plans for the future with prospects of the mouth-watering deals due to arrive following his attempt. He has made it clear that verification or not from the Guinness committee, he will attempt to break his current record on a yearly basis. MASHOOD has promised to stand out as a young but stellar branding and resource company. One fact stands out, however, that no one will be quick to forget about Eronmosele Edward Ozah, the 400 level student of Agricultural Science in the University of Benin, who jousted for a place in a book of extraordinary individuals. The Guinness Book of World Records.
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