Fatima – Sorbet Man

Meet Fatima Kassim, the Sorbet Man’s Award-Winning Barber at Morningside Shopping Centre. Fatima Kassim’s journey into the world of barbering commenced in 2014. Her initial involvement in hair care primarily focused on women’s hairstyles. However, a pivotal moment arose when her colleague, Thokozani (male), sought her assistance with hair-related matters. Intrigued by his explanation that his clients trusted him due to his gender, an idea began to take root in Fatima’s mind. 

After this encounter, Fatima shared her newfound interest in barbering with her husband, who supported the notion. Delving into her research, she discovered that SORBET offered a comprehensive course at their academy located in the support office. Without hesitation, she enrolled in early February 2015. By August of the same year, she had already embarked on her journey with Sorbet, honing her skills and mastering her craft. 

Her efforts culminated with the Sorbet Awards toward the close of the year. Driven by determination, Fatima was resolute in her goal to secure an award. Although she did not emerge victorious in 2015, her unyielding commitment paid off. From the 2016 awards onward, Fatima consistently claimed the prestigious title of top barber, a feat she holds dear as her pride and joy. 

This steadfast dedication to her profession led to the emergence of the name “Fatima” as a prominent figure in the industry. With each passing year, her passion, hard work, and unwavering dedication elevated her status, eventually propelling her to the top barber in the Gauteng Region. A testament to her accomplishments, she also achieved the esteemed MILLIONAIRE club award. 

Fatima’s drive to enhance people’s appearance and self-esteem fuels her passion for her craft. Pushing herself beyond limits, she continually refines her skills and explores new horizons within the field. The genuine gratitude from clients who feel and look better after her services is the ultimate reward, complementing her dedication and unwavering commitment.

Q&A

  1. What inspired you to pursue your career, and how have your experiences as a woman shaped your professional career?
    Transforming how people look is a passion. As a woman, I have helped change how we are viewed as barbers.
  2. What are some of the most significant challenges you’ve faced throughout your career, and how did you overcome them?
    People often undermine that a woman cannot excel in a male-dominated industry. With my capabilities always questioned, it is definitely a challenge.
  3. In a world where gender equality is still a work in progress, how do you advocate for equal opportunities and representation for women in your workplace?
    I often Speak out on fairness. Empowerment is highlighted because a woman owns the store, so equality is not so much of a problem. 

  4. What strategies do you employ to maintain a healthy work-life balance and take care of your well-being amidst professional demands?
    When the time for my personal life comes, I make no compromises. Time to oneself is always needed, so I always make sure to allocate it. I always make sure I separate work and personal time. The trick is to work smart and not too hard. Challenging work is always a plus. 
  5. Women have often been underrepresented in leadership positions. How do you navigate the path to leadership and inspire other women to do the same?
    Confidence is always the key that opens many opportunities. I ensure I am confident when I enter a room, and nothing can beat a confident woman.
  6. Workplaces are evolving, diversity and inclusion are gaining importance. How do you contribute to creating a more inclusive and supportive work environment?
    We build each other in my store. When one lacks, we help motivate them, making it easier for the good gesture to be returned to me if necessary.
  7. Upskilling and continuous learning are essential in a dynamic job market. What steps do you take to stay relevant and enhance your skills in your field?
    I go for upskilling to make sure if a new skill is there to be learnt, I am in the ball. I often go for training to understand new products better and even better my services. 
  8. As we celebrate Women’s Month, what advice would you give young women starting their careers or aspiring to make a difference in their respective fields?
    Be you, do not compromise and do not be timid. Greatness comes from Confidence.