While the vast majority of people saw Covid-19 pandemic as a disaster, others saw it as an opportunity.
One of those people is Barkat Ali Manji, a Kenyan barber who decided to take his craft mobile.
After observing the decline in walk-in clients that was witnessed by almost everyone in the beauty industry, Barkat opted to convert his van into a mobile barber shop, moving around to where the clients were instead of the clients coming to him.
His inspiration came from watching YouTube videos about mobile barbershops in the UK.
Barkat overcame challenges in installing equipment and plumbing in a moving car, and soon business was on. “It was quite difficult at first because I did not know how to install water and electricity in a moving van. It has been a learning lesson for me,” he told KTN News.
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The business has been challenging, with Nairobi traffic particularly being a nuisance. He says he often sleep for less than 4 hours, owing to the odd hours some of his clients call to request a hair trim.
Charging Sh3000 a pop, his clientele is understandably people with deep pockets and weird schedules. It is not unusual for him to give a hair cut at 5am in the morning. Barkat says he can do 10 or so clients a day.
He says that some of his loyal clients have already booked certain time slots on particular days of the week, all but guaranteeing him a stable income.
Among his loyal clients is former Kiambu governor William Kabogo.
Watch his interview with KTN’s Your Money.