Working hard to send money home is part of day-to-day life for customers at Slick Rick, a barbershop in south London. Many have travelled to the UK to build a new life but use money transfers to support friends and family back home.
We went to the barbershop to meet with Ghanaian barber, Nikky Okyere, and his clients. Inside Nikky, who has experienced huge success in the UK since becoming the barber of choice for well-known Premier League footballers, explained why sending money home matters to him.
Much more than a barbershop
You don’t need to spend long in Nikky’s barbershop to realise this is more than just a place to get your hair cut; it’s a hub for the local community.
People from various backgrounds visit, attracted by the shop’s welcoming vibe and the sense of belonging it offers those who have moved to the UK from abroad.
Sending money home might be one thing they have in common, but they also share a love of dance. For Nikky’s customers, dance is a way to celebrate their roots and connect to their African identity.
Afrobeats dancing, a type of street dance that blends hip hop with West African dance traditions, is commonplace at the barbershop. Amateur dance videos filmed at the shop have gone viral on social media, helping to launch the careers of several performers.
We asked Nikky why Afrobeats dancing took off in his shop. “The dancing started in the barbershop as a lot of people got talents,” said Nikky. “Some people are waiting four or five hours (to get their hair cut) and wanted to pass the time.”
Bringing the community together
Nikky Okyere has played a pivotal role in building the barbershop’s community. Having cut the hair of famous footballers like Wilfried Zaha and Danny Welbeck, he now has clients from across London.
But Nikky also likes to think of himself as a therapist; a source of advice and support for his customers. He knows people like to talk about their life dilemmas whilst sat in the barber chair, and he’s happy to offer up ways to put their worries to rest.
He’s not afraid to talk about money matters either. Or give a little advice on the mindset that has helped him to become so successful, as he does in this video.
How Skrill helps Nikky send money home
Transferring your money abroad should be easy, and cheap. That’s why we’ve made sending money to a bank account completely free.
For Nikky, this means he can better support friends and family back home as more money arrives.
Watch as he explains why sending money home is important to him.