FEEL GOOD | Unemployed Cape Town man provides free haircuts to kids before school starts

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Kids from Bonteheuwel are lining up to get their free haircuts from Allistair Pedro.
Kids from Bonteheuwel are lining up to get their free haircuts from Allistair Pedro.
PHOTO: Supplied
  • Allistair Pedro is offering free haircuts to kids in Bonteheuwel before the school year kicks off.
  • More than 20 youngsters have already come for their haircuts.
  • The kind gesture was only supposed to last until Sunday, however, he has now extended it till Tuesday as more kids show up.

A resident of Bonteheuwel in Cape Town is offering up his time and providing free haircuts to kids in the area before the school year kicks off on Wednesday.

Allistair Pedro, 36, told News24 that more than 20 kids have taken up the opportunity to get fresh haircuts.

Allistair Pedro, the Bonteheuwel resident giving f
Allistair Pedro,36, told News24 that more than 20 kids have taken up the opportunity to get fresh haircuts.

"I'm definitely no professional barber. But I've been cutting hair since I was in my early teenage years. It's something I enjoy doing, and I know there are kids in the area whose parents do not have the means to let them go get a haircut before school starts, so I wanted to take that burden off from them," he said.

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Pedro added that he had put out a social media post last week Thursday, notifying parents in the area that he would be doing free haircuts until Sunday, but has since decided to extend it till Tuesday.

He said: 

I don't have any kids myself, but I resonate with the young boys who will be going back to school and want to make a good impression. I mean who doesn't love a good, clean, fresh haircut.

According to Pedro, when the kids show up at his home for their haircuts it's all "smiles and happy vibes".

He added that some of the parents have offered to pay for their children's haircut, but he has respectfully declined.

"It would defeat the purpose of offering the free haircuts. I can't be promoting free cuts for the kids and then accept cash on the side, it just wouldn't sit right with me," Pedro added.

According to the former customer services consultant, word started spreading like wildfire in the area about free haircuts, and he says it is a wonderful moment for him to see kids happy.

"I try and make them as comfortable as can be so that they don't move too much when I cut their hair. In most cases I'll put on some cartoons for the kids to watch, they love that," he added.

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Kids as young as four, right up to the age of 14 come and have their cut.

Pedro said: 

I've had to extend the free haircuts to Tuesday because more kids have started coming to me and I obviously don't want to turn them away.

Pedro, a self-taught barber, said he uses his own clippers and does the regular fades and straight cuts for the boys.

"The cuts are decent because they need to go to school. Some of them have told me that they also want to look 'cute' for school, so I'm making them look 'cute' for school," said a proud Pedro.

He added that he always has had a soft spot for parents who take care of their kids and protect them.

"My biological mom had asked another woman to raise me as a young baby. I owe my life to the 'strangers' that once raised me, and even though later in my life I got to know my biological mom, I still hold a very special place in my heart for parents that have relationships with their kids, it's amazing to see," he said.

Pedro said he will stop doing haircuts from Tuesday, but should kids knock on his door for a haircut he says he will "never" turn them away".

Allistair Pedro cuts the hair of a little boy gett
Allistair Pedro says he put out a social media post last week Thursday notifying parents in the area that he will be doing free haircuts.

"Giving back to the community is a proud moment for me, knowing that I can contribute to someone's life is such a blessing that I'm so thankful for," he added.

Bonteheuwel ward councillor Angus McKenzie said Pedro's contribution, "is exactly what we are trying to achieve in the area".

"Everything we have achieved in the community we have achieved on our own, each resident has played their part in creating a better Bonteheuwel and Pedro is no different. His initiative to afford young children a haircut for school would seem insignificant, but for many parents who are struggling financially with all the financial burdens this is hugely appreciated," he added.

McKenzie said he will always maintain that a "random act of kindness" could just be what the future doctors, pilots, scientists, or accountants of the area need to strive for greatness in their life.

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