From rags to riches for humble hairdresser

Baron Ncube (45) is living evidence of how great things can come out of a humble skill.

Baron Ncube:  I will not stop cutting people’s hair - it made me who I am
Baron Ncube: I will not stop cutting people’s hair – it made me who I am

Born to a middle-class family in dusty Nkayi, Ncube’s situation got worse when his father died while he was still at primary school. He was forced to drop out of school at Grade 7, as no-one would help him proceed with his education.

“This was a big blow to me because I had high hopes of becoming something special when I left school,” he told The Zimbabwean.

“It felt like the end of the world, but now I have realised that it was just a message that I should look at something else as a way of life. I have found out what that is.”

Ncube, now the owner of barber shops in central Johannesburg, started out as a general worker at a chrome mine in Kwekwe in 1989.

“I only worked at the mine for a year and left for Bulawayo, where I sold chickens in Nkulumane to finance my course as a tailor at a local college. After graduating, I worked for a clothes manufacturer.”

After he had outgrown the small firm, Ncube joined Monarch, where he made all kinds of bags for the giant manufacturer.

Economic problems began to bite and in 2008, he abandoned his job to go to South Africa in search of better opportunities.

He worked briefly for a tailoring firm in Johannesburg before joining hands with a few friends to rent a barber shop. He went on to rent several other premises as he grew the business.

“I was not even a barber when I first did this, but because I am naturally talented in handicraft, it was easy for me to adapt and now I am enjoying it. I think that is the reason why I cannot just take a break,” he said.

Already focused on going back home, Ncube has bought machinery that he intends to use to open a giant barber shop and clothes-making firm in Bulawayo.

“My aim is to show people that even without education, you can be something in life if you dream about it, get on the way and do it with love. Passion and determination are the main tools in life. Zimbabweans must have learnt from the situation back home that there is more money in being an entrepreneur than there is in employment,” he added.

Post published in: Africa News

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