HomeNewsFootball and hairdos, an unlikely affair

Football and hairdos, an unlikely affair

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WHAT has been believed to be a female-dominated profession — hairdressing — has now been invaded by young males, who have taken the field by storm, with many female clients acknowledging that the male hairdressers, who identify themselves with their local football team colours, are a cut above the rest.

BY CHARLES LAITON

NewsDay Weekender recently visited a popular place in Glen Norah C, commonly known as PaMasimbi, where a group of young men have pitched up their stalls and are recording brisk business doing hair.

The young entrepreneurs have blended their business with local football. Several women, who enjoy football, now frequent the “hair salons” and their choices are determined by the football teams they support.

Just a kilometre away from the Mbudzi Roundabout into Glen Norah C, and right at the intersection that branches left into the high-density suburb, is a place which one can easily mistake for registry stalls for those keen to show their loyalty to Caps United, Dynamos or Barcelona.

Here, more than 40 male hairdressers converge every morning and demonstrate their expertise by attending to their respective football club clients while eking out a living for their families.

With the current high unemployment rate in the country, the male hairdressers have now come up with a different story to tell.
Francis Mapfumo, popularly known as Gwekwerere, heads a group of 14 hairdressers, who use the Caps United green and white strip, and works with his colleague, Jeremiah Chigodora, also known as Jedza.

The duo said they started the hairdressing business sometime in 2006 and had so far groomed 12 other members, as their camp seems to scale great heights.

When NewsDay Weekender visited the place, Mapfumo and his colleagues were attending to one of their regular clients, Rachel Diti, while the others were attending to another, Savannah Doukoure.

“I come here often because these male hairdressers are fast and efficient. I know that in just about two and a half hours, my head will be done, as opposed to spending the whole day at some salons run by females in town,” Diti said.

Her sentiments were echoed by Doukoure, who, at the time, sat happily under the ministration of the Caps United hairdressing team as it worked on her hair.

“The reason for coming up with team colours was to invite competition since a lot of clients started flocking to this place. We deal with dreadlocks, singles, fishtail box, crotches, beeswax, freehand, wool-lock styling, carpets and weaving among other styles we may be asked to do by our clients,” Mapfumo said.

Mapfumo, who also works with his brother, a “hair-line” technician, Fanuel, said his camp was now attracting several clients from as far as Mutare, Gweru and those visiting from England during holidays.

A few metres away from the Caps United hairdressing camp is a popular Dynamos hairdressing one, which is easily identifiable by the blue and white colours and headed by Wilfred Rwizi, aka Widzo, who started the enterprise about five years ago.

Widzo said when he started hairdressing, he did not anticipate he would take it as a career until recently when he realised he had the talent.

“I started by attending to my relatives at home and later, their friends also came to me for my services and I realised I had a talent, which I could utilise to make a living. I then found a place to develop my talent and started working together with Dzakire Mavhezha after which we then invited others and started working as a group,” he said, adding that business was growing and the group would attend to between 15 and 20 clients on a busy day.

“Our DeMbare camp comprises 14 members and we are looking forward to building a big structure since we realise about $15 per client.”

Further down the road, a few metres from the DeMbare camp, is a Barcelona hairdressing camp comprising 15 members.

The BarÇa camp, being a foreign-based club, comprises different local football teams’ club supporters.

The hairdressing camp was started by Peter Muchena almost seven years ago and has now grown in leaps and bounds.

He said the camp works as a team and on good days, attends to between 15 and 20 clients a day.

“We receive a lot of clients from all over the city and spend almost two and a half hours on a client. We are very efficient and our clients know we do not disappoint. We decided to venture into hairdressing because we felt we could do it better than our female counterparts,” Muchena said.

“We came up with the concept of team jerseys because we wanted to identify ourselves differently from others and now even the respective club supporters have now adopted the same attitude and follow us accordingly.”

Muchena said at the end of each working day, they shared whatever amount the group would have worked for equally.

“We get a minimum of $10 per day each. Competition is very high, but it all depends on how we perform our work. We attend to clients from as far as Norton, Beatrice and Marondera and even from abroad,” he said.

Muchena’s workmate, Regis Machingura, said he did not have something to do, but started his career at the age of five in Buhera.

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