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I inherited ‘kinyozi’ from my husband

By Kevin Ogutu | April 13th 2016 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Kheseli decided to take over the barbershop had been running after he got a new job.

When Jemima Kheseli's husband got a new job, he decided to close down the barbershop business he had been running at Darajani in Kibera, Nairobi. But she would not allow him.

At that time, Kheseli was a housewife who depended on her husband for everything. She saw the new development as an opportunity for self-employment.

That was August 2013. "He wanted it closed down so he could concentrate on his new job.

But I couldn't allow it to be closed down and I was jobless. I saw this as an opportunity to contribute to the family finances," the 23-year-old Kheseli, who started living with her husband in March 2013, says.

Her business trades by the name Brooks Kinyozi and people have since nicknamed her Brooks.

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Our interview was repeatedly interrupted by clients waiting to be served.

Her earnings, she confesses, are not as tidy as what women owning salons get.

"What a salonist gets from one client I get from about 10 clients", she says.

She, however, is quick to add that she loves what she does and she is contented.

"I am contented with this because it is mine. When I was growing up, I wanted to be self-employed. My dream has come true," she says.

Her new domain, traditionally the preserve of men, has not been without challenges.

She says when she started, she had an abnormally high number of male customers, most of whom were only keen on having sexual relations with her. She had to find a way of turning them away.

Some neighbours think she has ventured into a "job too big for a woman" and is better off looking for a more "feminine" job. She is not listening to them.

She is currently looking for money to enroll in a beauty college to sharpen her skills. She says beauty and barbershop is the only business she is passionate about.


self-employment kinyozi barbershop
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