Men styling women’s hair and nails are not common in Namibia, but Eric Nsamba has taken up space in the female-dominated hairdressing and nail industry – and now gives female hairstylists and nail technicians a real run for their money in Rundu.
The 29-year-old picked hairdressing and doing nails to earn a living, and women swarm around him because he has the “perfect touch” to make them look good.
“I go to his salon because he is good at his work and he is very unique…Most importantly, he doesn’t have mood swings like women. His mood is forever good – even whether he is going through something, so I’m comfortable there,” said radio personality Roswitha Ghunonga, aka Rossberry from Rapids FM.
She said Nsamba did butterfly locks first on her hair, and then others started flocking to him, as the style was new in Rundu.
Nsamba told VIBEZ! he started doing his sisters’ hair in 2016 and would tell them to keep it a secret.
“Last December, I started doing it as a business. The start was difficult for me, as I got pressure from my fellow men, making fun of me and discouraging me in any way possible, especially those who knew me and the ones I grew up with. They used to say I was becoming gay,” he narrated.
Nsamba, who was inspired by online videos of men doing women’s hair, said he was on the brink of quitting the business, but many women told him he was doing great; they wanted him to do their hair.
“After I stood up to take this business seriously, several men approached me for training to do women’s hair. They are keen to know and join me in this booming business,” he noted.
Nsamba has been doing women’s nails since 2014 after getting training as a nail technician.
“In 2016, I did it for a while and I stopped due to the negative pressure I was getting from people. They said all negative things to me but I continued – and now, I don’t pay attention to whatever they are saying. I’m following my passion,” he said.
Nsamba now rents a salon behind the old gambling house in Rundu, where he does his salon business until late into the night.
His advice to others: “If you have talent, don’t let people’s opinions block you; go for it and take the bull by its horns. People will always have something to say, and you can’t control what they say about you – but as for me, I’m just living my passion and making a living out of it”.
The passionate hairstylist and nail technician said money does not discriminate; “whether you are a man doing what’s referred to as a lady’s job, you will get paid”.
The youthful Nsamba encouraged fellow youths to focus on bringing food to the table, and taking care of their needs and family, as unemployment will take its toll.