Boys at the Barbershop

Before leaving for high school, Hesbon and Henry had their heads shaved this afternoon. If the boys don’t have clean cut hair when they arrive, they’ll get into a lot of trouble with their school. I joined them at the barbershop. Saidi, the shop owner, uses clippers on Hesbon.

Since it was a Saturday afternoon, several men were relaxing around Saidi’s shop, catching up on the week’s politics. Henry, in the blue shirt to the right, read the newspaper while he was waiting for Hesbon to finish.

Ganga, one of the students at Royal Kids School, was playing nearby and stopped by to have his picture taken. This barbershop is just across the parking lot from the school. Below is a view of the school from the shop’s bench.

Then it was finally Henry’s turn. Below is a picture of Hesbon’s clean cut and high school ready hair.

Their hair cuts were so cheap! A hair cut cost the equivalent of 25 cents. A barbershop is called a ‘kinyozi’ in Kenya. And since they have electricity in their stalls, a customer can also charge a cell phone battery for the same amount.

After Saidi, on the right, finished cutting their hair, he asked me take a picture of himself and his fellow “director of the Staff Kinyozi.” The other “director” is merely a friend of Saidi’s. Saidi has had this kinyozi for the last four years. And it’s called Staff Kinyozi, since the school’s neighborhood is called by that name. While taking their pictures, Saidi joked with the rest of the men about this picture getting posted on Facebook to advertise the best barber in Africa.

Hesbon and Henry leave tomorrow for high school. They leave in the evening, and have a sixteen hour bus ride to western Kenya. They made final adjustments to their school trunks this afternoon, and with these haircuts they are all set to make a good impression when they arrive at their new school.

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