By Isa Isawade
Her name is Mrs. Agbabiaka Ifeoluwa Abibat of number 15, Olakunle Domingo Street, Ikola-Lagos. She is usually seen at a popular barbershop in the area, holding clippers with an unimaginable confidence and cutting hair with speed that leaves men around agape.
Yet, she never went through any apprenticeship nor did she work under any expert’s tutelage. She does not even have a salon of her own yet. She is a teacher and an itinerant hairdresser. But, anytime her son needs to cut his hair, she just dashes into the salon, grabs clippers and gives her son a clean haircut within few minutes.
When she was asked how she came about her expertise, she said “I saw my friend (a lady also) do it one day in 2014. She later encouraged me to do it, and one day I did it. Since then, I have been cutting hair. It is very easy and very simple.”
How did she learn for just a day what even men learn for months?
She enthused, “what I know about me is that I am very talented. They can’t do anything in my presence and I will not catch it immediately. Even, my hair dressing vocation, I did not do apprenticeship anywhere. I just watched how people were doing it and I started doing it. Anything that is done once in my presence becomes part of me.”
What’s her plan for the vocation?
“I wish to have a barber and hairdressing salon of my own. I also plan to establish a school in future because, I like the two professions. I have taught in many schools. I am presently teaching in Crowndeal Montessori School in Agbenaje here in Lagos.” She said.
She also revealed that she was studying for a bachelor’s degree in education at the Tai Solarin University of Education, Ogun State, Southwest, Nigeria on part-time basis.
What is her advice to other women who might be scared to try their hands at any vocation traditionally reserved for men?
“My advice to them is that they should have confidence. They should have the ‘I can do’ spirit. If you have confidence in anything that you can do it, you would be able to do it. That was how the woman that taught me started. She just said one day in her husband’s salon that she could do it. The husband was just mocking her, saying can you hold the clippers? She collected the clippers and just started doing it. She said first her hand was shaking, but later she gained confidence. Same thing happened to me, initially I was afraid. When I held the clippers, it was shaking in my hand. But, immediately I remembered the day I saw the woman cutting hair, I summoned courage and held the clippers firmly, and I continued to do it. That was it. It’s good to have confidence in whatever you want to do. If you have confidence, it would be easy. So, everything is about confidence”, she concluded.
Watch the video of her in action at the salon: