How I Went Into Make Up & Gele Business 20 Yrs Ago

Posted on April 10 2018 , at 10:20 am
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  • U.S Based Bridal & Makeup Artist, SEGUN GELE
  • What It Is For A Man To Be In A Woman’s Profession.

This is the story of a very enterprising guy called Segun Gele. He is a big player in the Beauty business in the US. He is well known for what he does for a living. He is into Makeup. He also ties the best Geles And he plans great events. His real name is Hakeem Oluwasegun Olaleye, but he is popularly known as Segun Gele. He is a US-based Bridal Consultant, Makeup Artist & Gele maestro at

He lives in Houston, Texas. He studied English language at Lagos State University (LASU) and went to St. Gregory’s College, Obalende. His wife, Morenike Funmilola Olaleye has been so supportive. He is so popular for hosting events like an event to teach how to lose weight.

He used to be a plus size but he lost weight and weaned himself off Diabetes medication. He now testifies to Keto 4 weight loss and what to eat on Keto.

He now anchors Special Keto Hangout with Segun Gele all over Europe to discuss weight loss, the Ketogenic Lifestyle, shaving the secret to how he lost 82lbs in less than 1 year and have kept it off for over 5 months. On Friday 30th March at 805 Restaurant Old Kent road, in London. Topics included weight loss secrets, staying on track, Calorie V Carb Count, What To Eat (not) on Keto and Keto Facts Vs Fiction.

Segun Gele is a self-taught creative who has been able to use his skills as a Gele designer and makeup artist to beautify women around the world,

Last week, this likeable guy spoke to City People Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE about his amazing life. Below are excerpts.

Tell us about what you do for a living?

Hakeem Oluwasegun Olaleye, popularly known as Segungele is a Bridal Consultant. I am also a Makeup Artist & Event Expert. I am a jack of all trade, who masters it all. So whatever I find my hands doing, I do well. I cook, bake, sing, dance and presently consulting as a weight-loss coach for those who want to try to lose some weight using the Ketogenic Lifestyle approach which helped me drop 82Lbs (37kg) Chaiiii that’s an overweight suitcase + Hand luggage includes!  I was able to wean myself off diabetes medication and regained my health and maintained my weight for 6 months plus.

Why Gele business? Why not something else?

Funny enough this question is being asked in 2018! But I have been a pioneer in the Wedding industry for 20 years and counting, as far back as my Lasu University days in Ojo Campus as a Salon owner and Hair Stylist. Travelling to the USA in 2001 I carved the niche for the Gele business as it was a need which I saw and tapped into. Starting was not funny because not so many people imagined a man in a woman’s profession mostly in the Nigerian community which became a huge challenge! But gradually I was able to win the hearts of the people and the rest is history.

How did it start?

I have always done hair for my mum and sister at home until I started working as a Hair Stylist starting with Alhaja’s shop where I can vividly say I gained my 1st hand experience with hair in a Salon setting. I joined Tegas Hair salon in Egbeda where I worked alongside Ebere pretty and a few others whom I further learnt from based on the experience they already had, their I learnt how to do manicure & pedicure alongside hairdressing. I later joined her Majesty Salon on 21rd in Festac town where I worked with Joyce James, Zainab and Yemi these people helped shapen my world in terms of the beauty industry. Everything I know today I learnt from these people mentioned here, they were the best people anyone could ever ask to work with and am eternally grateful to God for letting our paths cross.

I became a salon owner in 1996 as a University undergraduate in Lasu while studying for Diploma in Law after so many failed attempt with Jamb and schools closure due to ASUU Strike from 1991-93, 1993-95 wasted years academically but God had His own plan for me.

I started by helping my mum fix her gele after struggling with it to church every Sunday making us go almost late. I decided to try it out on my head and whichever way it came out my mother will rock it with pride, a passion and zeal to see my mother not struggle thru or with anything now turned into my bread & butter.

How did you end up in America?

While working as a Salon owner and a university undergraduate, I had several enticing offers to be flown abroad to operate salons or participate on hair shows which my mother refused outrightly saying before any of her children travels outside the shores of Nigeria they must at least have a 1st degree! “Thank God she insisted I had the education” because I would have just been a high school graduate without a Bachelors degree today. Mothers sure know what’s best for their kids most times only if we listen. Since o lost several offers /opportunities to go to the States I lost hope for America completely and focused on London which was where I had family and close friends if at all I would have the opportunity to ever travel again.

I graduated in 2001, applied for a visa to attend a conference in Las Vegas with my organization Junior Chambers Int’l which I got, flew to America and returned back to Nigeria after the trip hoping to get a visa to London to pose my journalism career.  I had always wanted to be a journalist hence wanted to study Journalism in London and do makeup as a part-time gig! But man proposes God disposes! Got my visa to the United States in 2001 after graduation and the rest is History.

What’s the state of the gele and make up business in Texas?

Texas I must say is just like Nigeria So I can pretty much tell you we are experiencing same over-saturation situation with Nigeria as a whole because the demand has increased tremendously and since human cloning can’t be figured out in China as of today more entrepreneurs had to be pulled into the industry.

What has kept you going all these years

Passion! Having done this for  20 years plus the passion keeps getting stronger and better and with the way the world has embraced the Art of Gele tying above any other Artisan skill is alarming and I must say it makes me happy to see the reunion invention of the various gele styles to fit the current fashion demand in Nigeria and Nigerians all across the world.

Do you travel around America to go and tie gele

Funny enough I am in London at the moment for a wedding taking place April 7th. So yes, I travel all over the world to make a beautiful bride one day at a time.

Did you go for training in gele and makeup or you taught your self?

Like I said I started this 20 years plus, counting down to as far back as 1996 when there was nothing like gele artist, if I can call myself that back then. I am self-taught but had to develop my skills from constant practice

Tell us where you were born, year and schools attended?

I was born on 2nd May 1974 a beautiful Tuesday morning, Ojo Isegun hence the name Oluwasegun, attend Command Nursery School at Bonny Camp Victoria Island and did my Primary School at St George’s Boys Falomo. Joined the prestigious St. Gregory’s College Obalende in 1984-89 and graduated from Lagos State University in 2001 with a Bachelors (Arts) English language.


Hakeem Olaleye +18322477193 Consultant Extraordinaire

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