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Longest serving barber shop

Atasa Moceituba
Friday, March 09, 2018

DEO's Barber shop in Nabua is the oldest shop there operating for the past 27 years.

This barber shop is popular and many in Nabua stop over there for haircut before heading to work or home.

As we all know a barber shop is a place where conversation comes easy — easier still if the barbers themselves are friendly and chatty.

Deo Dutt, 69 originally from Labasa said he came from a family of barbers and his decision to move to Suva came about after he could not source gainful employment in the Babasiga town.

Mr Dutt said he started off as a truck driver working five days a week and was a part time barber.

"I remember every Sundays I would go around houses asking if anyone needed a haircut," he said.

With the little money he earned through the father of four wanted the best for his family.

In 1990 Mr Dutt thought it was time to start a business of his own from the money he saved.

In 1991 he said he was able to open a barber shop known as Deo's Barber shop. It wasn't long before he honed his skills with the scissors and the electric hair trimmers to become popular to patrons who frequented the establishment. Looking back he said he started off with only a chair and a scissors and charged haircuts for $1 and $2 and paid rent for $150 a month. Today he said they had to pay $600 a month.

"When I started Nabua was a one way road. There were only four shops in here and there were not much people around," Mr Dutt said.

"I was the only barber shop catering for the Nabua, Nasinu and Tamavua areas. Now things have changed."

He said prominent rugby players, businessmen, policemen, soldiers and basically people from all walks of life were familiar faces at his shop.

"We get all sorts of customers here and we have our fixed clients while we are always getting new ones who discover us for the first time," Mr Dutt said.

He said the only problem with this job was the long hours ofstanding. "I stand up from 6am to 6pm every day, six days a week and this is the hardest part of the job," Mr Dutt said.

The fact that this barber shop is one of the busiest gives him little time to rest his tired legs — maybe for a few minutes but after that, he is back at it again standing and serving clients.

His two sons, Rajesh and Ravinesh have also joined him in the business. They work tirelessly trimming, cutting and shaping men's hair as well as beards.

The shop is busiest when school starts as many students drop in for their haircuts. It's also busy on Saturdays.

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