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Today we make our way to Drissa Sidibe. Drissa is a hairdresser in Djoliba and has been running his own hair salon right on the main street since late 2014. The street is very busy. Street vendors haggle with passersby, workers flock to the kiosks and snack bars during their lunch break, and the smell of fresh food mingles with the smell of petrol from the passing motos. 

After a while we reach Drissa’s hair salon. He is still busy with a customer and we wait. After a few minutes he finishes and sits down with us, we start the interview.

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Drissa in action

Drissa’s hair salon is a place for everyone

We learn that Drissa’s daily clients include teachers, police officers and also highly respected people from the village. That’s precisely why Drissa is one of the first places people turn to when they need a fancy haircut for an event.

"I'm so happy to have this store here now. Since the salon is right on the main road, my clients can also park their cars here. I can offer them a better service. That's why the upper class people of Djoliba come here. But I make no distinction, I'm happy about every one of my customers, regardless of their social status."

Drissa Sidibe

A few years ago, Drissa ran a salon under an iron bungalow in a residential area of Djoliba. There was little space and the setting didn’t exactly invite people to stay. Therefore, Drissa additionally moved from house to house offering his services. 

His skills were convincing, and after a few months he had already built up a large customer base, which enabled him to afford the larger store on the main street and which remained loyal to him there.

Sustainable electricity from Africa GreenTec

Since 2018, Drissa has been purchasing electricity from Africa GreenTec and is very happy with it:

"Before Africa GreenTec came to Djoliba, like most people here, I kept switching between diesel power and batteries. But the batteries kept breaking, I kept having to buy new ones, and the diesel power is extremely expensive and also kept breaking down. It's also noisy and disturbs the neighbors."

Drissa Sidibe

Drissa’s customers feel comfortable in his store. In addition to cooling off with fans, listening to music and the radio, patrons also enjoy being entertained by the television. Drissa is proud of this offer and knows that this service is not necessarily a matter of course for hairdressers in Djoliba.

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Drissa also has interns that supoort him

24/7 electricity from Africa GreenTec?

But in addition to the advantages of electricity from Africa GreenTec, there is also a disadvantage, according to Drissa: since people return from the fields quite late, especially during harvest time, and cannot stop by earlier, he would need electricity for a longer period of time during the day. Preferably also during the night hours. Since the electricity from Africa GreenTec is not yet available 24/7, this is a disadvantage for Drissa, also from an economic point of view. In addition, his consumption also partially exceeds the capacities of his tariff. However, this should be easily solved in the future by upgrading his tariff.

While talking to Drissa, a young man enters the salon. “Excuse me,” Drissa says, welcoming the man into his store. The two talk briefly and after a few minutes Drissa returns to us. The man is a policeman and is visiting Djoliba. After a long absence, he is visiting his family again today and wants to get a proper haircut and trim his beard before meeting up with them again.

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Drissa's salon is almost always full of people

"This is what I love so much. I make people happy with my work. I make them feel good about themselves with a freshly cut hairstyle and they go home to their families in a good mood. That's why I love working in this profession."

Drissa Sidibe

But it’s not always easy. Drissa is very hardworking and sometimes works on weekends. He doesn’t find much rest… But the support of his family makes it easier for him. He is now not only responsible for his wife and two children, but also provides for his extended family with partners and children. He works hard for them and receives a lot of respect, gratitude and support from them in return.

A look to the future:

In the future, Drissa would like to see more equipment for his salon so that he can welcome even more clients. His income in recent years has doubled, but Drissa sees an even greater financial potential in the future through more efficient use of electricity.

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Drissa Sidibe and Aida Schreiber during the interview

"Basically, things are going great, but of course you always want more. As long as my customers are happy, everything is fine with me. I'm not that hung up on money, but if I see that more equipment would allow me to serve even more customers and also satisfy them better, I'd like to be able to afford that in the future. I'm confident about that."

Drissa Sidibe

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