DSA on a mission to empower street braiders

Darling South Africa is on a mission to arm more street braiders with hair toolkits throughout the country. Historically speaking, black women have been disadvantaged as the responsibilities and duties of the household often fell on them as their partners left to go find work while they simultaneously had to generate an income.

Street braiders are innovative as they have found a way to generate an income in a country with high unemployment rates using their talent and skill.


“With South Africa’s dismal unemployment figures, creating a culture of entrepreneurship is essential,” writes Pearle Peane, Darling’s senior brand manager.



The company provided women in Limpopo with hair kits which included umbrellas and chairs to help ensure the comfort of the clients. Street braiders in Protea South were excited at the prospect of receiving similar tools.

“We don’t work under the best conditions here and we try our best to make our clients as comfortable as we possibly can so these hair toolkits would really help us a lot.



“I think it will also help us grow our businesses so maybe one day we can have our own salons too,” said Siphiwe Khubeka, a street braider in Protea South.

Street braiders face many challenges such as getting permits to operate, tough competition, safety and difficulties getting stock according to Peane.

“Sometimes when I’m working and I don’t finish a client’s hair before it gets dark I worry about both our safety. It can get dangerous here but we have to feed our families at the end of the day,” Khubeka continued.



Darling South Africa recognised that there was a deficit in this niche market and decided to play their part in assisting with the empowerment of women in our society.

“We aim to empower women by standing with them as they continue the fight to provide for their families and encourage them to reach their full potential,” added Peane.



Darling noted the importance of not standing back on issues and dealing with them directly if it is within your range.

“As women, we need to support local businesses, because if not now, then when? If not us, then who?,” Peane concluded.




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Grace Pelo

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