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#ImpactStory Djan Bagayogo – The Multi-Talent Fights With All His Might for the Potential of His Village

August 28, 2020

Djan is an impressive personality. His energy and positivity are overwhelming and we are soon highly motivated and fit again, infected by his enthusiasm.

A Hairdresser With Many Different Facets

Djan is a hairdresser in Sirakoro, Mali. In the course of the conversation, he turns out to be a multi-talent with many side businesses, but the hair salon was his first business and his heart's project. Djan experimented with different styles and braided hairstyles as a teenager. Sometimes a good friend needed cornrows for a party, sometimes his little cousin wanted braids for the start of school. He soon realised that there was a demand for fancy hairstyles and, as there was not a single hairdresser in Sirakoro, decided to simply become one himself. Word quickly spread around the village that he was really good at what he did, and he could hardly keep up with the steady flow of customers. That's how his hairdressing salon came into being in 2013.

I don't see why I should have to go all the way to Bamako to look good. Even here, people want to dress up for special occasions, like weddings or local festivals. With my salon, I have inspired young people in particular to give back more to their village and trust in their potential. That makes me proud.

Djan Bagayogo

Djan also repairs shoes in his store


Djan Trusts in the Potential of the Next Generation

Djan has up to 15 customers a day and can hardly keep up. That is why he now has five employees to support him in his daily work. We ask him about the skills that he looks for in people applying to work for him.
My employees have to be able to do everything. Like me. Besides hairdressing, I repair shoes and do various domestic installations. Furthermore, I am also active as a painter. I label signs and houses for people. There is a great need for all these things and if no one else does it, then I am going to do it. I want to help where I can. I expect the same from my staff. And most of them bring a tremendous amount of potential, they are diamonds in the rough that I want to shape.
In fact, Djan is an all-rounder and even trained as a tattoo artist in Bamako to be able to decorate the skin of the villagers with his designs. People from his community should not have to travel to another village or the capital to get these services. He wants to create new opportunities in his village and use the potential of his community to do so. And it works. Many jump on the bandwagon and start businesses that benefit their village. There are now even four hairdressers in Sirakoro. Djan was the first.

Electricity As an Enabler for More Activities in the Village

For all of them, electricity is the prerequisite for making a difference in the village. Djan, for example, uses batteries and small solar panels to power his appliances, but has been looking for a better and reliable solution for a long time. Africa GreenTec offers him the very solution with electricity from the Solartainer.
To be honest, I don't think about myself that much. Sure, the electricity from Africa GreenTec also simplifies my work. But my main concern is to show the young people in the village a perspective. I want to stop them from fleeing the country and avoid everyone going to try their luck in Bamako. Why not build up something valuable right here?. Together we can do it, because we have the potential.

In fact, Djan has many plans. He would like to open an internet café with a copy shop in Sirakoro. He also wants a game store for the children and young people where they can try out games. Everyone has dreams and Djan makes us believe that they can be realised regardless of the place of birth.

Just before we leave, Djan's wife comes by. She has a round belly and must be eight months along. She is very proud of what her husband has done for his village in the last few years and wishes that their child will have the same zest for life, energy and solidarity as his father.