JUST IN: How we survived the Covid-19 lockdown

Source: JUST IN: How we survived the Covid-19 lockdown | Herald (Opinion)

Mirriam Madiye Features Writer
It cannot be disputed that within a blink of an eye, the Covid -19 pandemic changed all the facets of life for everyone across the world.

The usual and normal order that the world used to enjoy has been affected and replaced by a new one, which to some is hard to adjust to. Most business facilities were closed except for a few that were considered to be offering essential services.

With online platforms becoming handy for many business operations, such was not the same for hairdressers whose job involve physical contact with clients. Hairdressers and barbers became innovative – resulting in many offering house call service delivery for their clients during the lockdown. The Herald caught up with some hairdressers and barbers to hear how they coped before relaxation of the phase four Covid-19 lockdown.

Nyasha Mhepo, a hairdresser from Mufakose in Harare, who plies her trade in Harare’s central business district (CBD) highlighted how house calls made her survive during the lockdown phase.

“The house calls services made me survive throughout the lockdown phase. Some of my customers only made a phone call and I would be at their doorsteps for their hairdos and manicures,” said Mhepo.

Mhepo said house call service delivery was the only option she had.

“Covid-19 affected most business activities, but for me this was not the case because of the house calls I offered.

“Even though I did those house calls, I made sure I observed the Covid-19 regulations for my safety and even of my client.”

Danai Mapfumo, from Mabvuku, a hairdresser said they had no option except to do house calls for survival means.

“House calls were risky as a result of the pandemic and travel movements were a bit complicated. I had no other option,” said Mapfumo.

She said charges for house call hairdos were higher and not all clients could afford.

“At least things are now back to normal we can do our business freely,” said Mapfumo.

A customer who named herself as Mai Tapiwa highlighted that house calls were the best option in this Covid-19 situation.

“I could not go for more than two or three weeks without my hair and manicure being done, so I would call my hairdresser home.
“As for the Covid-19 regulations, I would make sure that the hairdresser followed the regulations religiously.”

Mai Tapiwa added that the house calls were time saving as she did not have to travel from her place to the hairdresser’s, making it more convenient. But not all the ladies resorted to house calls service delivery for their hairdos and manicures.

“I would wear my wig as I went to work because the salons were closed,” said Ms Emilia Moyo of Highlands.

“I could not risk letting the hairdresser coming to my house. I was scared of contracting Covid-19.”

Jeffrey Dube, a barber who operates in the city centre could not hide his joy on the relaxing of the Covid -19 regulations as he is now able to perform his job freely.

“The lockdown phase had greatly affected my life as none of my clients were forthcoming to allow me to do house calls. I had to resort to other means of survival as my source of livelihood depends on this barber shop.

Now things are back to normal as my clients are now coming for their haircuts,’’ said Dube.

Not only the hairdressers and barbers were doing house call service delivery. Food outlets like Chicken Inn, Nandos and Chicken Slice also upped their game on existing delivery services.

Grocery companies also went an extra mile in making grocery deliveries to their customers in the comfort of their homes.