Mobile barber is a cut above the rest
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Cape Town - A Cape Town barber needs assistance in spreading some cheer and restoring the smiles of seniors.
Warren Theunis, 41, originally from Mitchells Plain, has been in the barbering industry for 21 years and his latest project, established in 2018, has him wanting to do more.
His passion is as big as his heart, and he is hoping to get his project mobile.
Theunis described barbering as one of those jobs that is much more than just an exchange of money for a service.
He is one of the founding members of the Barber Association.
“Barbering has the ability to change someone’s appearance and instil confidence. As a barber, you experience this joy every day.
“A haircut is not just a haircut. It’s like a restoration, putting some years back into someone. Rewinding the clock.
“I get to spend time with men, every day, and I learn so much from them. It is not the highest paid job, but the reward in this industry definitely outweighs the salary,” Theunis told IOL.
He is the founder of “Groomed for Change”, a project which aims to model new behaviour and show seniors they have not been forgotten.
“We show seniors appreciation, love, and show them we have not forgotten about the sacrifices they made for us, and we recognise what they did for our country,” Theunis said.
In May 2018, Theunis started seniors day, at his Strandfontein-based barbershop, with a group of his barbers – where they treated pensioners to free haircuts.
“I realised seniors cannot afford haircuts and one of the seniors expressed this to me. That was where the realisation dawned – some seniors could not afford something as basic as a haircut. This service we provide is mundane and basic, but it is also one of the small pleasures in life. One senior even said that he cannot afford a R40 haircut, as that was the price of four loaves of bread,” Theunis said.
In 2019, Theunis expanded not only to seniors, although they remained the primary focus, but also to other projects – which aligned with his moral compass of assisting others.
Theunis joined a “16 Days for Youth” project and offered free haircuts in various towns across the Western Cape.
“It was during this time that I got the idea to take the project ’Groomed for Change’ and go mobile,” he said.
He said Mercedes-Benz came on board and sponsored a vehicle that he has converted into a mobile barbershop and, at that moment, his belief in humanity was restored.
In March 2020, just before lockdown regulations were implemented, Theunis availed himself to volunteer alongside a salon owner from Paarl, who was doing outreach projects across the Karoo.
He said this project showed him that his project could not just be run from one place.
“I really feel I need to make time available to do this and serve the seniors. It is the dream. This is the goal. This is the purpose now.
“And that is why I want to get a bus, to convert it not just into a mobile barbershop, but into a complete mobile salon,” Theunis said.
He said he needs to buy a bus to re-purpose it.
In total, it will cost him R350 000. It would cost R200 000 for the bus and a further R150 000 for the re-purposing, which would include solar panels and all necessities.
“If I am to continue with this project, I will only be able to do it on one site. But this is not what God is saying to me. I need to go out there,” Theunis said.
He has even gone as far in selling one of his barber shops in Mitchells Plain and Strandfontein.
Theunis has pushed his determination for this mobile project so badly, that he has placed his beloved Suzuki GSX R 1000 K7 as a prize – to motivate the public to donate.
In order to contend for the give-away prize, an individual has to donate at least R200. The winner will be chosen through a lucky draw, once the target amount has been reached.
He also started a Back A Buddy campaign called “Groomed For Change”, where he is also attempting to raise the funds.
If you would like to assist, contact Warren Theunis on 083 965 3047.