On-set makeup artists and the precautionary measures they’re taking during lockdown

Sizakele Amahle Mbonani (PHOTO: Supplied)
Sizakele Amahle Mbonani (PHOTO: Supplied)

The world of entertainment is slowly but surely going back to ‘normal’ as some shows are filming again, and presenters are allowed in studio.

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This is good news for everyone, including those who are working behind-the-scenes. However, being outside and working with people is still a high risk. Covid-19 hasn’t stopped spreading despite the recovery numbers. What exactly does it mean for those whose jobs require them to be in close contact with others?

DRUM spoke to a makeup artist on Mzansi Magic’s hit show Gomora about how the lockdown has been treating her and the precautionary measures she is taking during this time.

Lockdown has been a very hard pill to swallow. I am currently working full time, as a freelancer for the production that is currently playing on Mzansi Magic called Gomora. I also have a side business where I do makeup for commercials and celebrity events. I am the breadwinner of my family and all of my side business bookings were cancelled because of Covid-19. Lucky because of the contract I signed with Gomora, it has helped lighten the burden of unemployment and cancelations.

Our production company started shooting from the 18th May 2020. It is strictly a skeleton crew, being unwavering in adherence to the rules and regulations set by the South African government, under Level 4 requirements. “, Sizakele Mbonani said.

The government announced level 4 in April, allowing for more industries to open. However, with the coronavirus cases rising by the day, certain jobs put people at a higher risk of contracting the virus. How exactly does the makeup artist do her work while adhering to social distancing rules?

“I wear a mask and protection shield during and after the application of makeup to an artist. Our production company has set up medics on set. Additionally, no one is allowed to come on set without temperatures being taken. No crew and cast member are allowed to walk around on set without a mask. There are sanitizing stations in all departments including makeup. We are not allowed to gather in crowds and need to apply social distancing during lunch. The company has organised for all crew members to be picked up at a point and to NOT take public transport”, the 29-year-old said.

The Sowetan born artist has been in the film industry for some time; working on shows such as Isibaya and Isithembiso. Having worked with many people in the industry, Sizakele stills feels that the pandemic has changed her relationship with her clients.

“I think the most difficult thing about doing makeup now in comparison to before the virus is the physical contact you had with your client. Now it’s no longer about being worried about smudging eyeliner but about the safety of both you and your client.”

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