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A heart-warming journey

Shaping Futures aims to provide opportunities for passionate hairstylists from disadvantaged backgrounds worldwide. It is always heart-warming when we hear a true success story – here is Zinhle’s story from South Africa…

Zinhle in April 2016 at the Shaping Futures Graduation ceremony.

Zinhle Evelyn Dlamini was raised by her mother, a domestic worker and her grandmother, a pensioner. Times were tough for her family growing up as her father left when she was nine, which resulted in her mother having to raise Zinhle on her own.

In 2013, Zinhle began applying for bursaries at tertiary institutions. Her goal was to complete her 2013 matric year and then further her studies so that she could have a qualification behind her name and seek a good job to provide for her family.

For the next two years Zinhle applied to over 15 different courses, but was met with disappointment – they all came back unsuccessful. This led to a very heart breaking time for Zinhle, as she was surrounded by friends who had been successful and were happily studying and furthering their education. Eventually Zinhle received an acceptance letter from one of the tertiary institutions. However, when she went to register they informed her that she was not on the system and would have to reapply for the following year. When she did reapply, she was rejected once again.

Zinhle had reached a point where she felt so alone and was losing hope of ever being given the opportunity to study further.

Then things took an unexpected turn for Zinhle. One day she was visiting a local school and was introduced to a lady by the name of ‘Mom Tumi’. She handed an application form to Zinhle and asked her to complete it. Without giving it much thought, Zinhle completed the form and handed it back. Mentally, Zinhle did not get her hopes up as she had been rejected so many times before.

A few weeks passed when Zinhle received a call from Anne Wafula, Shaping Futures Project Manager. She asked Zinhle to come in for an interview, which she did and got the news that she had been accepted. “I could not believe it! I cried,” states Zinhle.

Her journey to become a professional hairdresser had begun…

During the Shaping Futures programme, students were placed at various salons for apprenticeships. Zinhle was placed at VXV Studio. She was hired on her first day as an apprentice. After five weeks at the salon she was promoted to supervisor. Shortly after that Zinhle was offered an assistant manager position.

Zinhle at work at the VXV Studio in Johannesburg.

Zinhle is currently an assistant manager at VXV Studio and the salon manager, Mama Malebone, has even paid for her to further develop her hairdressing skills and she is now on a six week Caucasian hairdressing programme. Mama Malebone has offered to mentor Zinhle to become a skilled hairdresser. During her journey, Zinhle was afforded the opportunity to meet with business people from China who have agreed to assist her in opening her own salon if she proves herself while at VXV Studio. Since Shaping Futures, she has even worked as a hair model through the contacts she made during the Shaping Futures programme.

Reason to celebrate: Zinhle got her certificate! She is obviously glad, that she got the chance to change her life with the help of Shaping Futures.

“At Shaping Futures they showed me the light! I feel that my hope is being built up again. The other students showed me love after I had been rejected by other people. I feel alive again!,” says Zinhle.

Zinhle’s story proves that you should never give up and should always make the most of every opportunity. Shaping Futures is about transforming lives and Zinhle is a wonderful example of this.

Find more information on the Schwarzkopf Professional Website

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