Moegammat Sedick Adams, better known as Dicky barber, initially wanted to be a builder, but instead his dad steered him in the direction of the hair business.
His quick hands made him the Edward Scissorhands of his day and he has even passed on his passion to his children who have followed in his footsteps.
Sixty years later he celebrated his profession as a barber on his 75th birthday on Tuesday February 6, at his home in Lotus River, where he has been working from since last year.
Mr Adams started working as a barber at the age of 15 in 1958. His wife Amina said he started in a barber shop called Styles, in Lake Road, Grassy Park.
Mr Adams said when he was a youngster he wanted to be a construction worker like his father. But his father didn’t want him to choose that profession because it didn’t generate enough work during winter.
“My father then wanted me to be a tailor. I left the AMC Board School, in Lotus River, in Standard 5 (Grade 7) and I was sent to a tailor to learn how to do that trade. I didn’t really like sitting behind a sewing machine, and one day I decided to quit and I ran outside, to sit on the pavement for
the rest of that day. My father found me and gave me a hiding. I had to explain why I didn’t want to sit and work. My father then decided to send me to my uncle in Crawford, who was a barber, to learn how to become a barber.”
A few months later, on his birthday, February 6, he started working in a barbershop for the first time.
Mr Adams moved to Jannie Kiewietz barber, in Retreat in 1960.
Ms Adams said in 1962 her husband started working in the building where Progress Supermarket is, in
5th Avenue, Grassy Park. “He traded in that building for 21 years,” she
Then he moved on to a place in Zeekoe Road, Lotus River, and then to Manhattan’s Barber in 5th Avenue, Grassy Park, where he worked for most of his life.
Mr Adams’ granddaughter Warda, who introduced us to Dicky’s Barber, said it became a family business. “My grandfather, most of his sons and his youngest daughter all went into the hair industry.
“His eldest son, my father, Sedick Adams (named after his father) opened his barber in Atlantis called Dicky’s Barber.
“The second eldest son, Moegammat Adams, opened his barber in Belhar, and also called it Dicky’s Barber.
“His son Wasfie van Dieman, opened his barber in Grassy Park called Nu Image, along with my grandfather’s youngest brother Faiek Adams.”
“And his youngest son, Shaheen Adams, opened his Barber in Grassy Park, called Crescent barber.
In August last year, Mr Adams started trading from home, in Lotus River, due to his health and for safety reasons.
Ms Adams said they were grateful for her husband’s customers. “He cut the hair of lawyers, teachers, doctors and many other professionals. Some have been loyal customers and they celebrated his birthday with us.”
One of erstwhile loyal customers, who didn’t attend the birthday party, Advocate Hishaam Mohamed, regional head of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, said Dicky barber had been cutting his hair for 30 years. “I have been cutting my hair since the age of six and stopped going there about 10 years ago.
“He was cutting hair for many generations.”
Mr Mohamed said Mr Adams ‘involvement in the community made him a legend in the Grassy Park and Lotus River area. “He has wisdom and he used to listen to many family stories.
“I remember in 1996 during local government election time he was
nominated to stand as ANC ward councillor but he declined. He wanted to serve the community and invested his time coaching soccer to the youth.”
Mr Adams managed a youth soc-
cer club called the Crusaders and they have had many trophies under their belt.
He also took part in horse shows and won a few medals with his Hackney pony.