Being told ‘Start where you are with what you have’ is cliché. We hear it so often it is easy to dismiss the truth in it. Ekie Walters embodies the truth in that statement. He uses his skillset to give back to his community whilst empowering others. He is our youth of the month and below is the conversation we had with him.
Tell us a bit about who you are?
My name is Ekie Walters Ngalle. I am 24years old and the CEO of Trimmers Mobile barbering services. I am based in Buea and offer door to door VIP barbering services.
What motivated you to start offering your services for free to the community?
I decided to render my services at no cost to my community because it was there for me when I was in need. So, I asked myself what I can do for my community. For if my community is to progress it is we who are part of it, not strangers, that are to make that happen.
What do you hope to achieve through these services you offer?
Through this, I hope to challenge my fellow youths to think on how they can help develop our community with their various skillsets. It is not all about money. The best way to help someone is to teach that person how to get money and not to give it to them.
You are a barber. What challenges did you face in running your business while offering training sessions and your services for free? Which do you constantly face in running it and how do you overcome these?
As a barber there is a high demand for my services. When I must travel out of town, I lose business. For example, when I go to towns like Mamfe or Bamenda, I would have to close my workplace for several days. During this time, clients call for a shave but unfortunately, I can only attend to them when I return. Most often, they cannot wait that long and go to another barber. However, that does not stop my love for what I do.
Tell us about some of the achievements which you are most proud of.
The joy and smile on people’s faces when they receive my services for free is enough. That is my best achievement.
What current plans/projects are you involved in which our readers should be aware of?
Currently, I am running a talent competition that brings together barbers, hairdressers, and makeup artist. It is called ‘Battle of the Barbers Africa’ and the finals is slated for the 9th of May 2021. The aim of this competition is to bring together young persons in these professions and showcase their talent to the public. Plus, they stand a chance to win prizes. Also, one of the competition’s goals is to sensitize the public on how to reduce the spread of COVID-19 at beauty salons.
What should we look out for from you in the future?
Expect a great change in the barbering industry from me.
What are your ambitions?
My ambition is to ensure my fellow youths not look down at the barbering profession.
What you think our Cameroonian youth need to know/do to be the Better Breed?
My advice to be a better breed is: If you want change then go ahead and make the change. Stop waiting for someone to make the change for you or blaming others for not starting it.