Meet the barber of the Eastern Cape who makes 3D portraits of celebrities on people’s heads

Lonwabu Takata opened a haircut in 2013 and opened his home barbershop in 2020.

Lonwabu Takata opened a haircut in 2013 and opened his home barbershop in 2020.

He has a love for art – he can draw, paint, sculpt and shave hair.

Talented artist Lonwabu Takata (25 years old) has combined his talents to create something unique – 3D hairstyles.

He always wanted to attend a technical school but he did not get opportunities due to financial resources. He dropped out of high school but didn’t let that stop him from pursuing his dream of being an artist. His medium is people’s hair.

hair beauty

Ricky Rick’s haircut by Lunwabu Takata

“I am a born artist,” he told Drum.

It has always been his dream to have his artwork sold internationally and to have his own art gallery, but he has struggled even to sell enough to earn a living locally.

“My dream has been to always be an artist and do sculpture. I was selling my artwork, but I stopped because there were no clients. Not many people are interested in the culture of buying art, they don’t see the value,” he says.

Despite financial challenges, he continued to draw as a hobby.

I continued to paint and make sculptures and sell them when I could. I entered competitions at school. It has always been my gift, something I crave, not just for the money but I do it out of fun. At school, I will allocate sneakers and jeans jackets. ”

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He started cutting his hair as a way of making a living when art wasn’t paying his bills.

“I started cutting hair in 2013. I was making house calls or cutting people in the field or my bedroom. Just before closing, I opened a casual at-home barber and called it Veinrawyal Barbers.”

Before opening the barbershop, he was doing a business administration course at a company in Mathatha.

“For the educators, we got a salary of 2,000 rand per month which I used for transportation, food, clothes and the purchase of hair-cutting equipment,” he says.

Then he would cut his hair regularly.

“I decided I needed to get creative and find something that stood out to me. I went on YouTube to check out how I do my hairstyles differently and saw someone making pictures.”

He was already gifted with the skill of drawing and coloring, and he knew it would be easy to pull it off.

“My first haircuts were for American rapper Tupac, then Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama. People love to work, and I’ve done Cassper Nyovest, Black Coffee, and many others, and most recently Ricky Rick when he passed away,” he says.

hair beauty

Barack Obama’s haircut by Lunwabu Takata

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Black coffee haircut from Lunwabu Takata

His work garnered a lot of attention on social media and even earned a nod from Black Coffee.

“People love to work because it is different. My photos are all realistic and easily recognizable. The only thing we are lacking are the resources because I still work from the barbershop in my home.”

All the money he earns, he uses it to upgrade his barbershop.

I started 2020 working in front of the house. Then I worked in a hair salon renting a chair in the city and after work, I cut hair at the local car wash. I now have four more men who have joined me. I taught them how to cut hair and draw portraits. Whatever money we make, we share it and use it to acquire equipment to try to grow the business. “If we keep it up, I know we’ll be far away in a few years,” says Lonwabo.

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Born in Mthatha, Lonwabu left high school in the tenth grade after receiving an invitation from his ancestors.

I received a spiritual call when I was in school, and my parents couldn’t understand it. I fought with them because there are witchcraft and stuff in the school. I wanted to change school, but they refused and I ended up being a street kid from December 2016 until April 2017 after they tried to hit me with a metal rod.”

I ran away from home and lived in a friend’s house away from the church. His parents ended up kicking us out and living outside in a field on cardboard boxes.”

A few months later, Lonwabo gets a dream that they have to go back to his friend’s mother to apologize.

“We came back and a few weeks later, my friend received money from the road accident fund from his father’s death, and so his life was back to normal. I later went back to my parents when they saw that I was fine, working noisy and trying to be something in life.”

Lonwabo loves to go back to school to study art and live his dream.

“I want to study art, this is my passion and I know one day it will come true.”