Pokie moulds hair for summer time

2016-09-22 06:00
Aubrey Mcetywa, head of enterprise development for Hope Africa Collective handing over the certificate to Sipokazi Mbalula, in Khayelitsha, Site C, on Thursday. PHOTO: Mbongiseni MASEKO

Aubrey Mcetywa, head of enterprise development for Hope Africa Collective handing over the certificate to Sipokazi Mbalula, in Khayelitsha, Site C, on Thursday. PHOTO: Mbongiseni MASEKO

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Sipokazi Mbalula, a young Khayelitsha woman was in cloud nine on Thursday, just moments before she opened her salon in Site C.

Mbalula’s business, aptly named Pokie Hair Salon, is on Yakheni Street in C Section.

The salon and many others are a start-up from Hope Africa Collective, which trains mostly female entrepreneurs to start their own businesses.

Hope Africa Collective was established in 2009 by Jeremy, Bridget, Terry and Jeanenne Hilliard.

They said their call to begin work in Africa arose after seeing the need for such development at a bigger scale than was previously done for township residents wishing to make it in the business world.

Accordingly, at Hope Africa Collective, they aim to lead the charge in investing into the lives of people.

Through holistic personal development, they equip individuals to build better lives for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Noticing the shortfall in development, and through consulting with dozens of non-profit or aid organizations, and companies, they put together the framework of Hope Africa Collective.

Potential entrepreneurs are given a lifeline through a business course and upon successful completion of the program, graduates are responsible for securing a location from which to operate their business.

Mbalula,25, chose to do a hairdressers course, operating from a containers, providing services within her community. Her monthly franchise fee pays back the construction cost so that, eventually, the she will fully own both the building and the business.

Mbalula said she has had a talent in hairdressing since the age of 12.

Even her teachers at Encotsheni Primary and Luhlaza Secondary Schools trusted Mbalula with their hair.

“I was good at hairdressing. A friend, Bonga, persuaded me to go to Beautiful Gate(with Hope Africa Collective) to do the course. My life then changed(for the better). I am very happy, I now want to go back to school to finish my matric. There are many opportunities that are up for(grabs) for the youth out there,” Mbalula said.

She is planning to employ the services of an assistant so she can be part of the summer season business booming.

Aubrey Mcetywa, head of enterprise development for Hope Africa Collective, said the programme started last year and it is designed to empower the youth in townships.

“The number one business in the townships is alcohol(shebeens) and hairstyling lies a second best.

“We mentor them and guide them until we are satisfied that they can now be able to stand on their own.”

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