By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
Barbering business in Ghana is money making venture, depending on the location of the shop. Various barbering shops scattered across the country charges according to the location of the shop.
The nature and sustainability of every barbering shop depends on the location of the shop. The location will determine how much one can charge a customer for barbering his or her hair.
Checks indicate that some barbering shops located at Spintex, East Legon and Osu Oxford street charges between GHc15.00 and GHc20.00 per hair cut.
At South La Estate, it will cost a customer to pay GHc4.00 for hair cut, while one will have to pay GHc3.00 to barber his or her hair at a place like Nima, Maamobi and Mallam Gbawe.
Royal Vulture Executive Barbering Salon is one of the biggest barbering salons one can locate within Accra. One is its shops is located at Madina, near Taxi rank while one is located at Accra New Town, near the Post Office. Customers at Madina pay GHc7.00 while those at Accra New Town pay GHc6.00 to barber their hairs.
Awalu Awudu Mahma is the owner of these two extra modern barbering shops. He adopted the name Vulture after his grandmother’s name Angulu. Therefore the meaning of Angulu is Vulture for those coming from the Northern part of the Ghana.
Mahma started doing barbering with a friend while he was in Holland barely some two decades ago. ‘Over there I did a lot to sustain myself and my family. After sometimes, I decided to go for training and after the training I decided to come down and settled.’
In early 2002, Mahma decided to open his first barbering shop at Madina. The size of shop was too small, but lucky enough his grandmother provided him a space to expand the shop, which pose to be one of the biggest in Madina today.
He worked for sometimes and a few years later he closed down the shop, travelled again and finally came down to settled.
‘I chose to do barbering business because it’s my passion and I love doing it. It’s also a daily business and far better than some monthly salary workers. In a situation we found ourselves as Ghanaians, daily businesses are more important to sustain ourselves than some monthly salary workers,’ he added.
Mahma told Daily Express that since he started this business, he has not regretted doing this business.
But he stated that there are some challenges associated with this business. These include the attitude of barbers. ‘Some barbers (His workers) decide to stop working without any reason. At the end you will realize that either the barber is lazy, greedy or someone has come to convince barber. Most of them do not think further before making those decisions. They regret and return back to me.’
‘Over here I employ barbers, house them, pay them and feed them as well, as compare to other shops you cannot find all these benefits,’ he added.
He has employed five personnel who are managing his barbering shops for him. They are three barbering workers, one cashier, and one dreadlocks maker. ‘I personally pay all these people including myself at the end of every month,’ he noted.
‘I choose a cashier because I wanted someone to manage my finances for me. I know barbers very well, and if you leave them, they will do their own things. Not all of them, but some of them without the cashier they will mess me up. Even though with cashiers you cannot trust them 100%, but it’s better than not having a cashier at all,’ he stated.
He stated that barbering is a very good business that if the owners manage it well. According to him as a barber you need to protect your customers from all form of circumstances.
‘Over here we detol all our towels, we spray the teeth of the machines before using them, and all that we need to do to protect the customer,’ he added.
Awalu was born and bred in Nima, a suburb of Accra. He attended Aggrey Memorial International school at Kanda in Accra. He wrote his Common Entrance in 1982 and went to Secondary School at West Africa Secondary School (WASS). He had his O Level at WASS and went through to Lower Six at the same. He gave up school as a result of traveling during that period.
Awalu Awudu Mahma is married with two children, 3 and 6.
Before starting your own barbing salon business, it is advisable to first of all work as an apprentice under an already established salon this is because there is no school in Ghana where such education is offered.
While working as an apprentice, you will learn how to use hair barbing equipment like clippers and in the case of Ghana, comb and razor blade. Comb and razor blade is still very popular with most Ghanaian barbers as they use it along with the clippers to achieve a perfect finish. Also you will learn hair cut styles, hair treatments, health practices and beauty tips. You will also learn customer relation and the overall business management skills.