– Edidiong Cyprian Ukpakha, a Nigerian barber who lives in Ukraine, recently shared his grass to grace story with Legit.ng
– The hair stylist narrated he went from being a regular Nigerian with a PhD to a barber for local and international celebrities
– According to him, David was one of the Nigerian celebrities who contributed to his success story Legit.ng recently had a discussion with Edidiong, a Nigerian man who lives in Ukraine and makes a living barbing hair for local and international celebrities including music star, Davido.
In his chat with Legit.ng, the Nigerian barber revealed that he left Nigeria years ago with the intention to start a hair salon. He attributed his interest in barbing to his great ability to do hair tattoos. Before ever dreaming of starting a hair salon, he got admission to study Political Science in University of Abuja but after studying for some years in UniAbuja, he left the institution and decided to continue his education in Europe.
He gained admission in a school in Ukraine and traveled down to Lagos in order to fly to the European country but for some reason given to him by his agent, he could not travel for the next eight months. Edidiong explained his reaction to this news with these words:
“Nobody knew that I was in Lagos and I did not have anybody in Lagos… Nowhere to stay, nowhere to go… At that time, I was 23… So that was how I ventured into the streets and I met up with some guys, I was talking with them almost all day. When night came, I did not have anywhere to go… These guys got a place for me to stay just for one night but I ended up staying for eight months.
When I realised that I needed to get a job and I searched everywhere and there was no job… I started selling clothes… But unfortunately, most of the people I sold the clothes to in VI, Island, most of them did not pay me back.”
After eight months of striving to survive on his own, Edidiong left Nigeria to Ukraine with no money. He was not able to enrol in the school he planned to go to. But thankfully, he met two guys who accommodated and urged him to start barbing hair for Ukrainian students. Although he was not good enough at the skill, he kept doing it for free for five months.
Then, for the first time, a client paid him $2. He was thrilled to have collected this amount so he invested it in church with the hope that his business would boom. “I can say categorically that after giving this money to church, things started getting better and I started a salon. I was becoming famous in Kiev and Ukraine.”
From collecting $2 from clients, Edidiong now barbs people’s hair for as high as $1000. According to him, a particular Kenyan man spent above $8000 just so he could cut his hair for him. But then, tragedy struck. “Unfortunately, not long from that time, the war started… I lost virtually everything.
So we had to start afresh here, meet people from house to house to barb their hair, tried to build my client base again. It was very difficult.” Two years after working hard to resuscitate his business, Edidiong became popular again for his barbing skill. He started barbing hair for Nigerian professional footballers like Haruna and international stars. He also did a stylish haircut for musician Davido. The hair he barbed for the popular singer stirred a controversy which made him even more famous.
“I remember this situation I had with Davido when he came to cut his hair. He told me to do this little design for him because I know how to do this hair tattoo. He just told me to write number seven on his head. I said, ‘No problem, this is what you want, I can do it for you’. That was how I wrote the number seven for him… Edidiong with Davido after barbing a controversial haircut for him
“The design brought a lot of crises; there was a lot of catastrophe. I remember a lot of people wrote that Davido came to be initiated into cult and even the barber that was doing it for him, that was the initiation process. For me, I did not know what this seven meant to him, for me, it was just a normal seven. At some point, that thing made me more popular because people started writing to me everywhere… I became somehow famous too, and today, the business is successful.”
“Davido is actually a cool guy, for me, he was a cool guy. It is fun when you meet him. You know, it is actually a different notion from what people think about him outside. When I met him, he was nice guy to me. He paid me well and I did the job for him.” Recently, Davido recently exposed a video director who begged him for a job even after calling him talentless.