- Elizabeth Akintola, an 11-year-old apprentice barber, said she has found what she wants to do when she grows up
- The 11-year-old stated that she is often asked by her peers at school why she chose to barb instead of more feminine skills
- Elizabeth said she derives joy in seeing people transformed after giving them a haircut when they come in dishevelled
Elizabeth Akitola, an 11-year-old barber, said she has found what makes her happy and will focus on her newfound passion - barbing.
Elizabeth was discovered by Issac Omoyele, founder of Dreams from Slum, who told the BBC Pidgin that her friends cajoled her when she said she is a female barber.
According to her, people always asked her why she chose to barb instead of a more feminine skill like make-up or fashion designing instead of barbing which is a male-dominated field.
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A desire to fulfil a childhood dream
Elizabeth said she is the youngest female barber in Ajegunle, in the Apapa area of Lagos.
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She said she decided to be a barber to fulfil the dream she had as a younger kid, saying when she accompanied her father or brothers to the salon, she loved the way the barbers handled them and that sparked her passion for barbing.
The owner of the barbing salon where Elizabeth learns the skill said there was a programme which was brought to Ajegunle about the life of a female barber, one of the female barbers picked interest in Elizabeth because she was paying attention to details.
And midway into the programme, he said, Elizabeth was interviewed and asked why she was paying so much attention to barbing and she said she would love to be a barber when she grows up.
He said he was asked if he would give Elizabeth a scholarship to learn barbing in his salon.
The barbing shop owner, whose name was not mentioned said he thought it was a child’s play and that she wanted to come in and have a laugh and go back home. But along the line, he found out that she was serious.
“She is someone I can easily sit down and ask to cut my hair”
“As I have discovered barbing, my future is already set because I have a handiwork.”
Seeing people appearance transformed brings her joy
Each opportunity to cut customers’ hair makes Elizabeth happy because it affords her the chance of displaying her skills, she said.
She described barbing as easy if you’re serious about it.
She said likes it when people look neat after coming in looking dishevelled.
The 11-year-old said the job does not clash with her education because she closes from school at 2 pm and when she is done with her homework at 4 pm, she heads straight to the salon.
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“I am always looking forward to coming to the salon because it is an opportunity for me to learn and to put what I learnt into practice.”
The soft-spoken Elizabeth said she is treated with respect and that she likes the characters of customers when she attends to them.
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Recall that Legit.ng reported that a hardworking Nigerian lady identified as Precious Joseph has opened a barbershop after her family stopped her from becoming a soldier.
In an interview, precious told Legit.ng that she passed the screening to go for military training but her family kicked against it since she is the only girl in the house.
According to precious, she went into barbing because she wanted to stand out at all costs.