Back to Africa Check

Photo of special effects makeup, not real injuries

A Facebook post shared over 2,000 times in Nigeria asks people to pray for the woman pictured. She looks disfigured, with half her face appearing burnt and bleeding and her right eye hanging out of its socket. 

“Please don’t ignore. She need prayers. Please help share to 5groups on Facebook. Don’t ignore her without a share. Only heartless and racist will ignore,” the post says.

Many commenters have said the injuries aren’t real, but makeup. We investigated.

Special effects makeup

A reverse image search leads to the original photo, which was posted on Twitter by a makeup artist based in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

The top tweet on her timeline, from 27 October 2019, includes the photo shared on Facebook. The tweet reads: “Hey guys, I'm a make up artist and I do SFX makeup. Please help me retweet.  My customer might be on your timeline.”

SFX stands for special effects. The injuries in the photo aren’t real, but created by makeup. – Jennifer Ojugbeli


Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.