By Sarata Jabbi
Fatou is an ingenious, diligent, and self-esteem woman who believes in hard work and making difference in her community. Despite being a mum to five children doesn’t stop her from pursuing her dreams and ended up achieving it when she single-handedly opened her own business (hair and beauty salon) in Birmingham. In an exclusive interview with this selfless woman, this is what had to say.
Gamdigest: Tell us about yourself.
Fatou: I am Fatou Cham-Jobarteh, am 41 years old from The Gambia West Africa. I am a mother of five and I work full time regardless of being a single parent for years. I currently run and own my hair and beauty salon called Chamtarr at 200 Washwood heath road, Birmingham.
Gamdigest: When was your business established?
Fatou: It was officially opened in December 2013 after having the inspiration for so many years, because I have always had a passion for hair and beauty since at the age of nine.
Gamdigest: What kind of work were you involved in prior to owning your own hairdressing salon?
Fatou: Before my business flourished I cashiered for a book maker for 7 months before being trained to be manager for the same book makers for over 10 years. Meanwhile I purse hairdressing in my spare time and that helped me build my clientele for my business today.
Gamdigest: I understand that you came to England at the age of 16, did you already had hairdressing skills or you learned it here?
Fatou: Like I told you the passion to become a hairdresser has been in me since childhood time, however before establishing my salon, I took a break for a year to enrol in a level 2 and 3 hair course to enhance my knowledge at South and City College and achieved alongside the diploma a piercing and Balmain hair extension certificate.
Gamdigest: How often do you have customers?
Fatou: We have customers everyday and open 6 days a week, sometimes seven days depending on the demand as we work around the customers and what suits them.
Gamdigest: How do you promote yourself?
Fatou: Through social media. I have both facebook and instagram account where I usually post my work in order to attract more customer. My username on facebook is: cahmtarr and instagram: @chamtarr
Gamdigest: What are the achievements you had so far?
Fatou: Help from a government scheme A4e; they gave me 6 months free mentoring and financial help to start my business which has been thriving ever since.
Gamdigest: What are the challenges you do face, if any?
Fatou: Being a single mum to five children, and working full time could be very challenging, but fortunately, being married now to a loving and supportive husband and children, aids me in wanting to achieve my dream.
Gamdigest: Having had your own hairdressing salon, what else are you aiming at?
Fatou: Yes I own my own hairdressing salon that’s an achievement; however I’m sincerely hoping to open multiple hairdressing shops and to do my teaching programme to open a braiding academy in the UK.
Gamdigest: Any message for readers particularly the Gambian women?
Fatou: My advice to my fellow Gambian sisters is that we shouldn’t be overthrown by the male dominance in the business area and if we want to aspire to achieve something it can be done with determination and perseverance along with the support and respect of each other.
Gamdigest: Thank you for your time.
Fatou: You welcome.