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Ali Hussein

Ali Hussein

30 years old
The Democratic Republic of the Congo
Biography collected and written by Primo Luanda Bauma
Photo by Primo Luanda Bauma


My name is Ali Hussein, I’m a Congolese by nationality, and I’m 30 years old. I was born in Tanzania because my family fled violence in DRCongo to Tanzania. My daddy died when I was 15 years old, and my mother got married to another man. My mother's husband didn't want me, and I was the only son to my mum. He refused to pay for my school fees

So my mother sent me to her sister in Burundi, which is where I met a certain brother who taught me hairdressing. After 2 years I got the skill and I got employed at a salon. In 2007 I met a Ugandan lady. She told me that she had a relative that runs a salon in Kampala and suggested that I go with her to Uganda. I decided to go to Uganda. I spent 5 years in Uganda.

When I heard news that my mother was seriously sick, I decided to go back to Tanzania. When I reached Tanzania, I found my mother in a very critical condition. She was seriously sick, and after 6 months she passed away. That year was the worst year in my life. I had no one to support me. The little that my mother left me, her husband did not want me to have it. He planned to kill me, so I had to flee Tanzania to Malawi.

When I reached Dzaleka, my life was very difficult. I decided to go to Mozambique. There I got a job. After three years of hard work, I earned money. I bought equipment. I returned to Dzaleka. In 2017 I opened a salon. Since I started this business, my life has improved. I teach a lot of youths the skill in the camp. For me, it’s a privilege, but lack of enough material is a big challenge. Also, a lot of people have opened salons in Dzaleka, so I no longer have as many customers as I used to have. Secondly, lack of training and trainers, it’s also a big challenge for me. I’m asking for support in order to expand the salon and open a big space where people will learn hairdressing and how to work too.