I’m Too Focused On My Salon To Date — Man Like Ifeoluwa

July 4, 2021

What does it mean to be a man? Surely, it’s not one thing. It’s a series of little moments that add up. Man Like is a weekly Zikoko series documenting these moments to see how it adds up. It’s a series for men by men, talking about men’s issues. We try to understand what it means to “be a man” from the perspective of the subject of the week.

This week’s Man Like is Ifeoluwa Adeyoonu, a 28-year-old barber. He talks about his difficult relationship with his father, how he faced resistance when he wanted to start his salon, and how his business gets in the way of his romantic life.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.

I decided to open a barbing salon after I graduated from Obafemi Awolowo University. I graduated with a third class, so I didn’t have many job prospects available to me.

At an interview I managed to secure, the recruiter told me, “Look, you’re obviously very bright and promising, but we can’t possibly hire someone with a third class.” That experience broke me. I was depressed for a long time, and I decided not to look for white-collar jobs anymore.

What did you do next?

After a few months from that moment, my mum asked me what my plan was. I decided I wanted to open a barbing salon. I had learned how to give haircuts when I was younger, so it felt natural to pick it up. I brushed up my skills. 

My mum supported my decision, but my dad was somewhat reluctant. I think it’s because he resented me.

Wow. How so?

My dad impregnated my mum during his NYSC service year, and he was forced to marry her. I don’t think that was how he saw his life going. I was born shortly after, and he named me “Ifeoluwa” — the will of God.  I believe he saw me as the person who ruined his plans. Though I was a “model” child — got good grades in school and pretty much kept to myself — he’d favour my younger siblings and treat me like an afterthought.

He also wanted me to become a lawyer. When I got admitted into OAU, I was assigned to study English instead. To him, I had fallen off the pedestal he put me on, and he was sure to let me know. He’d always tell me how I’m a disappointment to him. Graduating with a poor grade was the final straw. He practically lost interest in me. 

When I told him I wanted to start up a barbing salon, he did not like the idea at all. Eventually, my mum convinced him to help me look for a place to set up my salon. He found me a place on the opposite end of Ibadan from where we lived, in an area I had never even been to, perhaps to discourage me from following through with my plans. He wanted me to go back to school to study law. He still talks about it when he calls me.

Did you accept the shop?

Yes. I was spending more money than I was making, but I accepted the challenge because I wanted to prove to him that I was not a failure. Eventually, my parents raised some money that allowed me to get an apartment close to my salon. That’s when I realised I had become a man.

Do you get along with your dad?

He once chased me around the house with a cutlass after I stood up to him to protect my mum. That’s the kind of relationship we had.

We’re distant, but since I moved out, he tries to stay in touch. He came to visit a few weeks ago to show me the new car he just bought. He even let me take it for a spin. Although he was against my career choice at first, I think he’s relieved that I’m a burden off his neck.

Do you enjoy what you do?

Absolutely. My salon is thriving. I wasn’t hoping for much when I started. I don’t think I’m such a great person, but I receive so much goodwill. When I announced the opening of my salon on Twitter, I got so many clients from all over Ibadan booking appointments. People in my neighbourhood always insist on having their hair cut by me. Once, I took the morning off to see a friend who had an emergency. I returned later that day to a lot of complaints about my absence. I can’t take a single day off my business. It’s why I don’t have a serious romantic relationship.

What’s your romantic life like?



Because of my business, I can’t go out on a lot of dates. Also, I mostly meet women online who are in other states and my business won’t allow me to travel to see them. I can’t leave my business because it’s growing. Running a salon is very tricky. If I close for a week, my clients might be left stranded and turn to a competing barber. Anything could happen to my shop before I return.

Any plans for romance in your future??

Yes. When I employ apprentices, I’ll be able to leave my store to go see my women. I don’t think that’s going to happen for another three years. 

It’s not all bad. I have occasional flings, but I don’t have the time for a proper romantic relationship.

What’s the most difficult thing about being a man?

It’s the uncertainty of the future.

Check back every Sunday by 12 pm for new stories in the Man Like series. If you’d like to be featured or you know anyone that would be perfect for this, kindly send an email.

Are you a man who would like to be interviewed for a Zikoko article? Fill this form and we’ll be in your inbox quicker than you can say “Man Dem.”

Olufemi Fadahunsi

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

November 9, 2020

It’s never too early to start thinking of Christmas gifts for your man. This year, make efforts to get, you know, actual gifts for your man (not boxers and singlets). Nigerian men deserve better, therefore, we’ve made a list of all the things you can get your man for Christmas this year. 1. A PS5 […]


Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

November 27, 2019

Do you have a face that could make angels jealous, or should you really be walking around with a nylon bag over your head so you don’t scare children? Well, this quiz is here to answer that by telling you exactly how good-looking you are. Take and find out: 11 Quizzes For People Who Aren’t […]

November 20, 2019

Last month, we thoughtfully made a quiz telling you guys exactly when you’ll marry, but some of you claimed that your spouse was nowhere to be found. Well, now we’ve created one that’ll tell you exactly who you’ll be dragging down that aisle. Take and start planning that wedding: 11 Quizzes For Nigerians Who Are […]

November 12, 2019

Are you a single pringle, stuck in a complicated situationship or happily married to the love of your life? This quiz is here to guess your current relationship status, and as you know, Zikoko quizzes are incredibly accurate (don’t quote us). So, give a shot:

November 19, 2019

Regardless of what society has tried to tell us, enjoying sex is not something to be ashamed of. So, in a bid to celebrate our generation’s sexual agency, we’ve created a quiz that will accurately (again, keep your complaints to yourself) infer how many people you’ve spelt with. Try it out: 11 Quizzes For The […]

More from Man Dem

September 5, 2021

The subject of today’s Man Like is Enioluwa “Lip Gloss Boy” Adeoluwa, a 21-year-old social media influencer and TV host. He talks about growing up in Akure, accidentally becoming popular from making videos while wearing makeup and how he handles being an unorthodox man in Nigeria. What’s your relationship with your dad like? He’s my […]


Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.