SHIPEPE - Driven by the passion to fight poverty and create an income for himself, 27-year-old Angolan-born Sergio Manuela da Silva has breached the stereotypical view that the nail-do is a women’s job and now successfully runs a door-to-door beauty parlour in the northern towns.
Formally trained at a tender age of 15 in his home town Luanda, Da Silva also accrued skills from his mother, who is also in the trade.
He has been running a beauty parlour with his mother in his native Angola before coming to Namibia to visit a relative.
Given the financial circumstances in his home country, Da Silva said he saw an opportunity to present Namibians a chance to do their nails and hair from the comfort of their homes. Although the start was not plain sailing, he was able to create a clientele base in a short time and now boasts a good number of customers in Ondangwa, Ongwediva and Oshakati.
“I am flexible, I can go anywhere as long as there are enough customers to cover the costs,” Da Silva related.
When busy with a customer, Da Silva barely makes conversation and concentrates fully on what he is doing – which he does with so much passion.
Asked why he opted for the beauty industry instead of, for example, fixing cars as many a teenage boy would aspire to become, Da Silva said he learned at a young age that women always had money lying around to spend on their hair and nails.
“Women may not have money for other things but they always have money to beautify themselves,” he explained.
Although the industry is predominantly female, Da Silva said being male still works in his favour because women hold the perception that men are the best in the industry.
For Da Silva, his passion stretches beyond doing nails.
In addition he does hair, eyelashes and make-up.
With the evolving world, where there is talent, da Silva said one should always explore other possible opportunities that are in demand.
Da Silva advised fellow youths to venture into businesses or look for jobs instead of waiting for the government to provide for them.
“When you are above 18, you can no longer expect your parents to take care of u. We should look for jobs and take care of our parents,” da Silva said.