Masai twist braiding business in town

Masai Twist braiding have turned the tables around with their neatly braided singles
Masai Twist braiding have turned the tables around with their neatly braided singles

Tanzanian Masai hairdresser who has been living in Botswana for 10 years now has decided to infuse flavour of his culture into the country hair business.

This is despite only a handful of men locally embarking on braiding vocation. Yona Mathew Young alongside three other local men braid for a living.

Even though hairdressing, more especially braiding and plaiting at large are popular amongst females, this group of men identifying themselves as Twist Braiding have turned the tables around with their magnificent neatly braided singles.

Young said they do braiding as a job, adding that he learnt it from his culture in Tanzania. He revealed that he decided to try Masai twist braiding in Botswana after customers were impressed with his work.


“Most of my customers are very happy and are actually sharing my skills with others around the neighbourhood to the extend of some booking for braiding.

I even have routine clients who always call me whenever they want to do braiding,” he said proudly.

Young added that he takes pride in the fact that unlike ordinary braiding, Masai twist braids are beautiful and can be done in a short time of approximately three hours, with caution and wonderful skill.

He said it serves the customer quickly and is not commonly known in Botswana. He added that it is unique in the sense that he doesn’t need schooling rather he sucked it from his Masai culture and exposed it in the country.

Young said he has been doing Masai twist for a long time and has different options of length of either short, medium or long. He said he has being braiding for probably 10 years now and has mastered and braids perfectly.  Like other professionals, Young said he respects his job.

He further explained that being a man doing women’s hair has being interesting and motivating especially on the customer who loves being braided by men.

“Just like any other business, I face a few challenges such as clients lacking knowledge about Masai braiding therefore bringing minimum clientele. I also think my demand would be bigger if advertising was done at a bigger scale, like in newspapers and television,” he said.

“Sometimes language is also a barrier as some of my customers are not fond of speaking English and address me in Setswana.

I am still struggling to speak Setswana, but it is now better because we have taught three Batswana men how to do Masai twist braiding and we sometimes ask them to intervene where necessary.”

On good days more especially month end, Masai Twist Braiding get six clients per day. Young said the style is good and quick and therefore called on many women to come in numbers to get their hair done saying that the hairstyle was also good for hair as it restores it. He added that the hair also takes longer and therefore does not need to be braided many times and as a result saves money.

They can be found on Facebook. Their saloon is located at Molapo Crossing and they can also go to the clients.

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