Hairdressers, barbers fall on hard times

Barbers and hairdressers have fallen on hard times following the COVID-19-induced lockdown, which saw the government shutting all salons in the city as part of the measures to contain the spread of the deadly pandemic.

The virus has infected over 3,7 million people and claimed over 264, 000 lives globally.

Zimbabwe has so far recorded 34 cases of the pandemic including four deaths and five recoveries.

When Zimbabwe went into lockdown on March 30 non-essential businesses including hair salons were ordered to shut-down while entry into town remained largely restricted to providers of essential services.

Lockdown restrictions meant an end to the incomes of many people working in the salons dotted around the city centre of Bulawayo, most of whom are self-employed.

Despite President Emmerson Mnangagwa having said he was alive to the challenges facing the informal sector, he did not open the sector when he extended the lockdown twice by 14 days on April 19 and May 1 respectively.

A number of barbers who spoke to CITE this week, said not all was well, adding they were struggling to feed their families.

Themba Nkomo, a barber who worked at a salon along George Silundika Street in the CBD said they were now looking for alternatives for survival.

“Things are tight my brother,” said Nkomo.

“This lockdown has cost us; we are now looking for something else to do because we do not know how far this thing is going to take us.”

Jabulani Dube, another barber, said he had since resorted to work from home to avert a catastrophe.

“I have lost a significant number of my clients because of this lockdown,” he said.

“Working from home has however helped as some of the clients are coming although numbers have since gone down.”

Hairdressers are also in the similar predicament as barbers and their situation is likely to remain for quite some time.

Many people in need of salon services are now doing their hair at home as well.

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