A massage parlour ekasi
Flora Fadzai Sibanda, [email protected]
Many people associate massage parlours with luxurious and serene settings, where they can escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. But for Precious Ndebele, a 29-year-old entrepreneur from Nketa 9 in Bulawayo, massage parlours can also be found in high-density neighbourhoods, where they can serve the local community and offer affordable and quality services.
Precious is the owner of Precious Jewels Spa, a massage parlour that operates from her home. She opened the spa in 2021, after completing a diploma in cosmetology at Bulawayo Polytechnic. She says she wanted to create a business that would give her financial freedom and empower other women in her area.
“People always ask me why Nketa of all the places and I always laugh and tell them why not Nketa. Nketa to me has always been a safe home for everyone around it so I thought why should I go and rent a place in the low densities where my clients would feel like they are visitors instead of feeling at home. It was also a way of giving back to the community because not only am I empowering myself but my community as well. That is why all my clients will tell you that I always says i-spa lesi ngesabantu yikho sisebantwini,” says Precious.
She says people especially who are outside Nketa always ask if she is sure whether her place is clean, and she is professional because she is in a high density place.
Working as a teacher at a local college for almost five years made her realise a nine-to-five job was not ideal for her hence she went to Bulawayo Poly to pursue a diploma in cosmetology.
The massage parlour’s owner says after finishing her course in cosmetology early this year she decided she was not going to look for another job, rather would create her own thing where she would put her own style and give it a homely touch so that everyone would feel free to come and get her services.
Precious says she started the massage parlour mostly for financial freedom as she needed something which would help her maintain her lifestyle without depending on anyone.
She has two part time workers who help her when she has pressure with her work. She says she saw it as a chance to create employment for women particularly from Nketa as she knows how stressful it is not being financially stable.
“I offer different kinds of body massage at my parlour including the Swedish back and neck, the deep tissue back (OS1) and neck, Swedish full body, Indian head massage and the headstone full body massage. Apart from those massages we also offer facial treatments like acne removal, skin aging facial, electric slimming, bamboo tummy tuck, nails, manicure, pedicure and waxing. Bookings can be done online or through phone calls,” says Precious.
The owner says she has never worked at a massage parlour before so all the ideas at her parlour are from scratch.
Precious says working in the field needs someone who has a heart for people because one can never fake a genuine heart and conversation with clients. She says she took some of the money she had saved up to pay for her fees and buy a few things for her massage room.
“One thing I can tell you is that it was not an easy thing to do because well, like everyone would ask it’s in Nketa and at my home for that matter but I made sure to push and the first thing I bought with my money was a nail table and from there it has now grown to a beautiful massage room with almost all the required equipment there,” says Precious.
As part of a marketing strategy Precious says she opened a temporary massage parlour in town as a way of getting good clientele.
“Funny enough the strategy worked because all my customers went back with me and they are always telling me moving was the best decision because at the current parlour they feel like they are at home and not at an unknown place,” she says.
Precious says getting clientele from Nketa specifically was a bit difficult because people thought it was expensive. She claims that it took some time for them to realise that massages are not just for the wealthy and young, but for everyone, including ogogo who suffer from back discomfort.
“Massages are actually good for healing the body and mind that is why I am always happy when men come through because it is better for a man to come for a massage and relax than for him to commit suicide because he had a lot to deal with and could not relax,” says Precious.
“In the next five years I am seeing the massage parlour branching out to places like Plumtree, Tsholotsho and Nkayi, places where beauty therapy is viewed as expensive and something that is useless,” she says.–@flora_sibanda