Mobile barber helps seniors cut a dash

Barber Warren Theunis in front of his mobile barber shop.

A Claremont barber is travelling around Cape Town in his mobile barber shop, giving seniors free haircuts.

Warren Theunis gives the haircuts in the back of his Mercedes Sprinter van, which is fitted with a barber’s chair, laminated floors and lights.

Keeping the seniors looking well turned out, he says, is part of what he calls his Groomed for Change campaign. “I started this campaign to give thanks to the seniors and to remind them that they are not forgotten.”

Mr Theunis is originally from Strandfontein and worked in Mitchell’s Plain for 14 years. He was still in Mitchell’s Plain when he started Groom for Change four years ago.

“I noticed that haircuts were not on top of the their priority list, and I thought it would not cost me much to give back to them.”

The campaign continued when he moved his business, Mr Barber, to the Golden Acre in the City Bowl, in 2019. He would find somewhere to let in Strandfontein at the end of each month and give free haircuts to 50 to 60 seniors, he says, adding that the community supported him by supplying lamb akni to those waiting their turn.

Mr Theunis says the seniors are the backbone of the country. “We normally celebrate Youth Month, though its important to celebrate the seniors, because the youth of 1976 are our seniors today.”

He says he sold some of his assets, including his motor bike, and did some fund-raising so he could buy the second-hand van from which he now does the free haircuts once a week on Wednesdays.

His mobile barbershop rolled into Strandfontein last month and last week he was in Bridgetown. He plans to visit Elsies River next.

“I will avail my mobile barber to every area that requires my services,” he says. “It’s not about your economic background, it’s about appreciating our seniors.”

Follow Mr Theunis, @mrbarbersa, on Instagram and Facebook for updates on where he next plans to give free haircuts.

A barber’s chair installed inside the mobile barber shop.
Barber Warren Theunis gives a haircut to senior citizen Anthony Keith Liederman during his Bridgetown visit.