Unemployed in Alex train as barbers


Fourteen unemployed Alex and Ivory Park residents were given life-changing boxes containing essential items to kick-start businesses in the hair care industry.

Lamla Lonwana, Jason Knight, facilitator of Wahl barber clipper’s course, and Thobile Mthetwa after the Wahl barber clipper’s course. Photo: Leseho Manala

Eight of them from Alex and six from Ivory Park received the boxes at a graduation ceremony at Blessed Is The Hand That Giveth Church on 10th Avenue. This after completing a free 16-week Wahl barber clipper’s course conducted by the South African subsidiary of American grooming company Wahl.

Graduates of Wahl barber clipper’s course. Photo: Leseho Manala

The jovial participants said they were prepared for the challenge in the industry and any criticism would not deter them but instead, strengthen their resolve to make it and also train further to be fully accredited professional barbers. “We were hopeless, wasting away and though challenged by the course which stretched us to the limit, we persevered and are motivated,” said one of the participants Mthimande Ngwenya. “These days, no manna falls from heaven and the boxes are our future. We will love our trade and also share the skills with others.”

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Colleague Themba Maseko commended the opportunity saying it would help them fulfil their dream goal to be future successful business operators.

The subsidiary’s Pat Night said each of the lockable boxes contained an apron, a cap, kitbag with multi-cut clippers, spray bottle, oil bottle, battery and an inverter all worth R4 000. “We will monitor the beneficiaries work and support them including with advanced accredited training for those who will show exceptional zeal to change their circumstances through the trade as a business.”

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Jason Knight, also of the subsidiary, said they intended expanding the initiative to other locations where there would be a similar need. “It’s an opportunity to give the unemployed a purpose in life regardless of their background,” he said.”They shouldn’t be overawed by criticism but learn from their mistakes and improve to be professionals in the trade by attending further accredited courses and testing.”

Themba Maseko receive a graduation certificate from Pat Knight after a Wahl Barber Clipper’s course. Looking on is Jason Knight. Photo: Leseho Manala

Another participant Lamla Lolwana from Ivory Park said, “We are excited. The opportunity will empower us and is an omen of better things to come. I will rent a safe place to safeguard the box, operate professionally and make a name for myself.”

Fellow beneficiary and dreadlocked Thobile Mthetwa who stays at Nobuhle Hostel said, “There will be no more boredom for me anymore. I am guaranteed success as I will be the only barber in the hostel.”

Details: Philemon Matume 063 005 1940.

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