The Barber Woman Of Mon District - Eastern Mirror
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The barber woman of Mon District

By EMN Updated: May 16, 2021 10:36 pm

“She was powerful not because she wasn’t scared but because she went on strongly, despite the fear.” – Atticus

The royal land of Anghs has a big reason to smile and cheer amid this pandemic because it has produced from among Anghs, a strong and determined single mother who has taught us the value of dignity of labour by taking up a profession where women are seldom seen and is more of a male dominated industry. Hailing from Totok Chingha Village which is 15 kilometres away from Mon town and presently residing in Tanlao Colony Mon, Ngipsho Konyak, a 26 year old single mother of two children aged 6 and 3, has proved that there is also a fierce, strong and determined woman in the land of Anghs. When many other women are opting for hairdresser or hair stylist as their profession, she has decided to become a female barber in Mon town which is a huge step for her as a woman and a wonderful and fine example of how Naga women are making headways breaking the gender stereotypes and a challenge for the youths in the society where the value of dignity of labour is fast declining. Coming from a humble background, Ngipsho did her studies till class 9 as her father who is a stonecutter could not support her for her higher studies due to financial difficulty. Leaving her studies and without any formal training, she started to cut hair for customers on and off at a very young age to support her family until she got married in the year 2014 at the age of 19 years. Unfortunately the marriage could not survive for long and ended with a divorce in the year 2019 when her husband left her and the children. Having divorced and living in her parent’s house with her two children with no source of income, she then started to move around the colony looking for customers for haircut in this recent lockdown to support her family. One day as she was cutting the hair of her neighbour Mr Wangkhai was so impressed by her haircutting skills that he encouraged her to open a barber shop for which he also offered a room near his Car servicing centre at Aboi and Wangkhao College Junction. Mr Wankhai Konyak who hails from Chi Village, has even waived off the room rent for one year and gifted her one wooden chair for the customers to sit, scissor, hair cutting machine and mirror to her to start her business. Having boosted her moral, she opened her barber shop on May 10, 2021 and in the first five days of her business she has already managed to cut the hair of 10 customers at 50 rupees per haircut. Her shop opens at 8:00 in the morning and closes at 12:00 noon due to lockdown in Mon town. She said that people often ask her where she took haircutting training to which she tells them that she has had no training on haircutting. She regretted that though she wanted to go for haircutting training to enhance her skill, it is out of her reach financially to undertake the training on her own and she is hoping that some kind person will sponsor her training course fees one fine day. When asked how she felt initially when she decided to open the shop, she admitted that she was nervous and shy at first to run such a shop usually dominated by men but then she thought of her children, their school fees and their future and firmly decided to open the shop for which she is so thankful to Mr Wankhai for his support as well as to her family members and well wishers for the encouragement. On investment to run a proper barber shop, she confessed that she has little knowledge on how much investment is needed to run a proper barber shop and further added that she will be thankful to any generous donor(s) who can help her set up a proper barber shop as she is financially not in a position to do so. She said that even after lockdown, she will continue to run the shop and that once she takes proper training, she will impart training to anyone in Mon who will be willing to set up barber shops in Mon Town. Her message to fellow Nagas is that these days there is no distinction between men and women and that to support our children, parents, etc., everyone has to work hard as there is no substitute to hard work. She further added that not everyone can become a government employee and that one should not be ashamed to do this kind of job as there is nothing such as big or small work as long as it is giving us food, clothing and shelter.

Tavinto K. Sumi

By EMN Updated: May 16, 2021 10:36:32 pm
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