Why the local barber shop is a favorite daily stop for your man, though he takes a monthly shave!

May 14, 2020 at 09:42
Why the local barber shop is a favorite daily stop for your man, though he takes a monthly shave!

There’s a common myth that’s taken root around us.

Has you heard someone say men do not engage in gossip? Well, let this myth be put to death by public stoning, just because it’s a lot of paperwork getting the largely conservative government to approve and provide a suitable firing squad.

Men gossip, and generally spread slander and hearsay to a great extent.

The only difference from women – accepted as ‘genetically programmed’ for gossip – is that the male gender is tactical while at it. Also, men hardly gossip out of spite or indignation but rather as a form of mild entertainment.

The male gender also rarely keep grudges. Out of sight, Out of mind.

Perhaps, the main reason that fuels the myth, is that men have a singular respect for their audience, and venue of this gossip. No self-respecting man will blurt information to a random neighbor they only meet on the stair landing.

Men have a circle of friends, and, most importantly, a purely masculine ‘gossip’ space devoid of the other gender that Biblically shaved Samson.

The Barber Shop. That neighborhood Kinyozi.

In the pre-Covid-19 days, the local barber shop was always packed. It was a typical man cave. Men would meet every evening after work to swap war stories. Modern war stories? Well, exaggerated versions of work and love conquests, EPL probable winners and definite losers…….list is endless.

In between, someone remembers that some flashy foreigner living on 2nd floor in his apartment block ships in mysterious bulky boxes every Tuesday at midnight. That juicy gem doesn’t leave the hallowed man cave.

A casual stroll to my Kinyozi gets me disappointed. I needed a trim, and stories. Its open, but none of the usual crowd. The seasoned barber/owner – Ricaldo – is also not at the premise, and his apprentice tells me he’s doing a house call.

In the face of the pandemic, Ricaldo has had to re-think tactics to keep his business afloat. He no longer allows a crowd at the premises. He offers new clients sanitization fluids and a surgical face masks free of charges. For regular clients, he does house calls – a client calls and makes an appointment for home services.

I know, not much for macho war stories in the house with the missus and kids around, neh? Can this pandemic end already!

Ricardo charges a small fee above the service fees, depending on the client’s home address to manage the overheads shuttling all over the estate.

He further embraced cashless payments for obvious reasons – liquid cash increases the risk of Covid-19 infection, and security concerns.

Ricaldo has a Co-op Bank account which allows clients to send money directly into the account using the Lipa Na M-Pesa Paybill number 400200 (at no cost). He’d also visited the local Co-op Bank branch whose staff assisted him acquire a Till Number for his barber shop – any payments are sent to his account. He monitors his apprentice’s payments in real time.

Ricaldo leans towards me. Like, someone with a huge secret.

“Well, I visited Kioko’s apartment block and got called to a door on 2nd floor. Turns out its full of some flashy foreigners….” He trails off.

“And? Come on, man!”

“Never mind. Just know they paid me very well – in US dollars and Sterling pounds. Directly to my Co-op Bank account – na si unapenda mushene jamaa!”

That’s how I first learnt of Co-op Bank’s iconic E-commerce solution for business owners.

Contact the nearest Co-op Bank branch for more details.

 

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