THEY call him the “Crochet Master” in Mvurwi and outlying areas, where his hair crocheting style is highly rated.But Misheck Marezva (pictured) is your everyday, next-door kind of guy — popular, skilful and yet unassuming. Others know him as Elder Mwendaz a praise name derived from his Mhofu, Mwendamberi totem.

Having developed interest in crocheting way back in 1993 as a primary school pupil in Harare, it has become his source of income, and he is proud of the work he does — making sure he crowns his female customers’ hair into some fine coiffure.

Marezva said while he makes a decent living through his hair dressing skill, he also does some subsistence farming. “I developed an interest in handling the crochet hook when I was 11 in 1993 while doing Grade 5 at Warren Park 1 Primary School,” he said.

“I am fending for my family and my parents through that although l have also beefed it up with subsistence farming, but the capital came from hair dressing.”The hair stylist revealed that his mother was his first source of inspiration.

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“My mother was good at crocheting doilies which she sold, and l liked it so much that I developed an interest,” he recalled.Marezva discounted claims that crocheting was a largely female profession, saying most women hairdressers focused on weave braiding.

“This is not a feminine profession as such, because most women do weaves. What I am doing is, in fact, mainly done by men in Zimbabwe,” he said.He admitted that he was popular with especially female customers because he had a “firmer touch” that gives a hairstyle at the major longer shelf life.

But he was also quick to add that he has invested in his hairdressing skill and that was the major drawcard for customers.Marezva said although he did not receive any professional training in hairdressing, he received a little training from his mother, Juliet Marezva. And spending a lot of time in the saloon in early childhood also developed his fascination with hair, and the many elaborate things that could be done with it.

“There was no formal training as such, but I was trained by my mother at a tender age and I would also spend most of my time in saloons observing hair dressers doing it and l captured it. The hair stylist explained some of the “rituals” that accompany hair-dressing, with different head shapes determining the type of style that would be a perfect fit, some of which he “downloads” from the internet.

Marezva, however, said he was not dictatorial, but there had to be agreement with the customer on the appropriate hairstyle.“I consider people’s heads and come up with a suitable style. At times l refer to the internet so as to match contemporary hair styles, but we do it through consensus with the client,” he said. He added that while he was able to do almost every kind of hairstyle requested by the customer, his specialties lay in the basket, marijuana leaf and choga styles. The father of three said he normally works on between three and four clients per day and his wife is also a paying client.