By: Foday Manneh
Modou Lamin Bah, alias “ML,” has made a niche for himself in the field of Barbing, scooping more than D20, 000 profits per month in the face of a dire scramble to acquire conventional jobs where many youths are making less than D5000.
The 26-year-old native of Nema Kunku goes by the brand “HomeBoy’. He rosed to prominence after many years of apprenticeship under the guidance of his uncle and is now the darling of many prominent personalities, socialites, and celebrities in the country.
“I joined my Uncle at his barbershop and used to watch him barb until I started doing it myself,” said ML.
He added: “At first, I started as a part-timer, only going to the shop after school during my junior secondary times. However, I became more interested and focused on Barbing after completing my Junior school certificate examination,” he added.
Like many young Gambians, ML hails from an underprivileged family who struggled daily to make ends meet. However, this situation didn’t stall his determination to pursue his dreams and remove the family from the circle of poverty.
“I used to spend all night watching videos of top barbers and wanting to be like them one day. I still watch videos. I like learning new things daily to satisfy customers who frequent “HOMEBOY’ salon,” Modou Lamin Bah explained.
He added: “Thank God, today I can start my barbing salon — earning a living for myself and my family.”
According to him, Barbing is a steady and profitable business venture for him and his family, revealing that he earns more than D20, 000 per month, a figure that far exceeds the wages of his colleagues working in the Government and public sector.
“I like the profession. I am motivated to be a barber because barbing is a career with a great social life. You will always be connected to the people. In addition, my creativity and technical skills inspired me into it,” he said.
After several years in the business, ML’s determination, focus, vision, dedication, and consistency have earned him much respect. Customers, including influential individuals, visit him from near and far for a haircut.
“Barbers are always in demand. I am always needed every time. What makes it unique for me is seeing big people in the country showing up for my services. So I ensure I give the best customer satisfaction,” ML said.
One of his regular clients is Rap sensation Hussain Dada, a rising music superstar, who described “Homeboy Barbershop as a home for him.”
“They have been doing my hair for years, and I have always been pleased with their services.”
The music star acknowledged the hardworking man and urged others to emulate the ambitious ML Homeboy.
“I want to own as many barbershops as possible and employ more youths to work with me. It is my dream,” he said.
ML has numerous challenges in operating his business, but the inconsistency of electricity supply in the Greater Banjul Area remains the most significant constraint in his work.
“I want to be supported to grow bigger than this. If we can have that from the private sector, Government, and anyone, it will be beneficial,” ML appealed.
“My message to young people is to learn a skill. Either barbing or any other skill. Going to school is important, but youths shouldn’t only rely on that,” he urged.