If you have been choosing your hairstyle while in Cameroon based on posters produced in the USA and other countries, just know that it will no longer be the case.
That is because barbers in Cameroon are now bent on revamping the sector and showcasing to the world what they have got.
Aside from just only cutting people’s hair, they want to make it a business venture whereby they could like their peers in the western world make millions why not billions from barbing.
But they cannot do this without knowing the economies part of it.
That is why on September 30, 2021, established, upcoming barbers, and makeup artists among others gathered in Buea, Regional Capital of Cameroon’s South West Region.
That was during the first edition of the “Battle of the barbers Africa” dubbed Barbers shutdown Buea.
The barbers came from the different towns and regions in Cameroon.
The aim of the gathering according to the organiser, Walters Ngalle was to promote barbing and the beauty industry as a whole in Cameroon.
That is because he believes that the sector is still underexploited.
Walters Ngalle is a barber by profession and also Chief Executive Officer of Glam Factor, a barbing salon in Molyko, a popular area in Buea.
Referring to the gathering, he said “the initiative will help the barbers to work hard and improve their haircuts quality, hygiene and sanitation of their shops”
“The goal is to expose the business part of the barbing industry”. He added.
The event started with the training of the barbers by some experts in the sector on how to treat customers and also ways to cut without contaminating or spreading any disease.
They were urged to always disinfect their machines, wear gloves, facemasks and equally make sure that the salon is clean.
“Be a humanitarian to employ and teach, persevere, have a kind heart and be understanding with your workers and be patient” said Bertrand Besong, Manager of Ultimate Beauty Salon in Douala.
“If you want to work with others, work on yourself first, be punctual, set examples and be innovative because your workers depend on you to do new things”. Betrand Besong added as he drilled them on possible ways to make barbing a serious business.
Aside from bringing experts in the field to train the barbers, Walters Ngalle knew that the only way for him to make the barbers have the recognition is by partnering with the Government.
On that, he succeeded to bring on board a representative of the government.
Jules Rogers Theodore Nlend is the South West Regional Delegate for Vocational Training and Employment.
Marvelled by what he saw, he encouraged and appreciated the barbers for creating jobs and not seek jobs.
Without Barbers, he said, they “will look like animals.”
“Be a master of your own, for image building comes from within and not without and you are the one to make people know that you are there?” he said adding that they should “move with time and be very smart, be assertive and be the best Barbers, set norms, values and quality assurance”.
In the second phase of the event, the barbers ensued for a competition that saw some best barbers awarded with cash prizes ranging from 40,000FCFA to 150,000FCFA.
They equally went home with other awards aside from the money.
Walters described the event as ‘huge’ revealing that the next edition has been planned for Douala, the littoral region.
He equally added that he will be partnering with other barbers in the USA and elsewhere in the world to attend the second edition and equally help boost the Cameroon beauty industry.
“I promise that next year we are going to have Jassica, Herb the Barber and Carlos Pagan from the United States of America to compete with our talented barbers and support such initiative. Something huge is coming next year that will make the world know that Cameroon has talent”. Walters Ngalle said they “are going to have a Cameroon Beauty Exco which will bring together models, Barbers and hairdressers together because we need to make sure he beauty industry skyrocket”.