LUSAKA, March 22 — Manicure and pedicure are services that are often offered by women mostly in beauty parlors, yet an increasing number of Zambian men particularly from fast-growing towns are also providing these services.
A visit to Kamwala market, one of the busy trading places in Lusaka, revealed that while the area has many beauty parlors, much of the work to do with nails and facial enhancement was being done by men.
While some operate in beauty parlors commonly known as salons, alongside their female counterparts, a good number of them have opted to open their own businesses around the same trading space.
“This is good business especially on Fridays and over the weekend when people are getting ready to go on dates or attend special events,” explains Mwaba Chileshe, a male beautician who operates at the Kwamwala trading area.
Another male beautician William Siame explained that his clientele, the majority of whom are younger women, do not view him as a young man but as a beauty specialist capable of delivering to their expectations.
“What is important is to provide a good service, other things are secondary or simply non-existent,” Siame asserted.
He further explained that on a good day, he makes about 100 kwacha (about 5 U.S. dollars), which he uses to provide sustenance for his family.
Aside from providing manicure and pedicure services, Siame also specializes in the application of artificial lashes.
Discussions with younger women that have had their manicures and pedicures done by male beauticians revealed that the majority of them (women) are happy to have men take on women’s jobs.
“I think this is called gender balancing. We are also seeing women driving trucks and taking on jobs that were previously dominated by males,” Precious Kaumba said.
Kaumba added that going forward, more emphasis should be put on building the abilities of individuals as opposed to focusing on their gender, stating that gender stereotyping only works to inhibit people’s creative potential. Xinhua