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Bangui men go beyond gender barrier, thrive on beauty industry

Debonheur Koli tends to a customer in his shop in Bangui on July 14, 2021.   -  
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Oduor, Michael/

Central African Republic

In the Central African Republic, a rare profession is cropping up among the least expected group of people.

A group of men is thriving through the lucrative manicure business.

Despite being touted as a profession that attracts mainly women, this group of men led by Debonheur Koli finds it worthy.

"Here in Bangui, women are not interested in manicure work, so the men do it. In the beginning, it was a job done by the Congolese and they were itinerant, which was not easy for the women, and it has remained so," Debonheur revealed.

Even his clients can attest to his skills. Just like Debonheur, these men have surpassed the gender stereotype. Their skills and experience have been touted as the best in Bangui.

" He does false nails well. When he puts them on, everywhere you go, people ask you: 'Who put these on you? Where did you do this?' That's why I like coming to Debonheur," a client said.

Men in Bangui and other regions in the Central African Republic have resorted to different types of labor. Bangui has faced decades of civil wars and unemployment stands at close to 70 percent.

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