These former drug and alcohol addicts have made the cut for a new lease on life at a local hair salon.
I&L Hair salon owner, Nasief Hoosain, 38, says he believes in paying it forward, and urges mense not to judge recovering addicts too harshly.
“We welcome everyone. It doesn’t matter who you are,” says Nasief.
The Mitchells Plain businessman says it all started five years ago, when a drug addict suggested he open a barbershop in addition to his fruit and veg stall.
“I then set up just one station and allowed him to work here. He chose drugs over work but I carried on,” he says.
“I decided to employ more addicts thereafter, just to give them another chance, although I kept losing out.”
“My hair dryers and flat irons get stolen, but I’m sticking to my belief that I can make a difference.”
Warren Koopman, 30, from Rocklands, started working at the salon in June as a barber.
Warren was addicted to tik, ecstacy and rocks for 16 years, but has turned a new leaf for the sake of his children.
“I have now become a role model to my sons, something I never had the chance to do because I was too busy doing drugs. I’m happier now,” he says.
Nasief says when Warren gets a craving for drugs, he simply reminds him why he kicked the habit in the first place.
Cleaner Marlene Herman, 49, who suffers from alcoholism, says she got a moerse skrik when Nasief offered her a job.
“When I arrived, he said I can start as a cleaner. I am so happy to have a normal job and lead a normal life again,” she smiles.