It was a bright Sunday afternoon as I made my way to “Rasta”, an area along the bush road (from La to Teshie) to joined a group of young corporate executives for the opening of a multi-purpose grooming centre owned by a young guy committed to making a difference in society.
Cheerful, smart, vibrant and enterprising! These are some of the attributes of Christian Dordoe, who I can best describe as a perfect example of a go-getter, filled with a positive energy and possesses the spirit of a winner.
Just like his idol, Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba and a man who has single-handedly impacted the entire economy and internet industry in China, Christian has an inspiring story to tell – from a village boy to becoming an owner of a multiple unit thriving business.
Chris, as he is mostly called, arrived in Accra in 2004 from the Volta Region convinced of finding the best opportunities in the nation’s capital to make life more meaningful and also realise his dream of becoming a successful business owner.
Without a roof over his head and a place to call a home, Chris wasn’t deterred, rather, he got himself a job as a “workhand” at a construction site to enable him keep body and soul together. He carried bags of cement, buckets of water on his head all day and also supplied mortar to the bricklayers in a wheelbarrow all day for a stipend which could barely buy him three square meals.
His God gifted skill is his most priced asset – barbering, which he discovered earlier in his life as a teenager growing up in his hometown, Mafi-Adidome. After completing his elementary education at Pentecost Preparatory Junior High School in Tapa Abotoase, Chris became a barber with his family and friends becoming his initial clientele.
“Growing up for me was an exciting and challenging experience. My family did their best and provided me with basic education at one of the best schools in the village at the time. After I was done with JSS, I started barbering as that was the only thing I could do best. It is my gift from God as I didn’t learn how to barber, it comes to me naturally. With the level of development in the village, I know the only way to keep my dreams alive was to relocate to Accra and I was ready to do that no matter the cost it came with. It was convinced I was going to make it in Accra so I embarked on the journey”, Chris said.
After months of working on the construction site, he went on to work with a couple of barbershops. There, he realised how he could make a livelihood as a barber and also achieve his dreams. Apart from the barber shop, he did other menial jobs to save up to enable him to rent a small place which served as his shop and residence.
“Business was sometimes very good and at other times very bad. There were times I got excited and other times I got disappointed and very frustrated as I had the rest of the family back in the village to support. There were times I did extra jobs including buying and selling just to augment what I was getting from the shop. To be honest, it was a challenging moment for me as I had underestimated how frustrating Accra could be before leaving the village”, according to Chris.
Chris kept his head up in spite of all the challenges and was motivated to realise his dream to succeed in Accra. He was regular at church and had few friends who continually encouraged him never to give up.
Others would disappoint him sometimes but that made him stronger than discouraging him. From one business to the other in addition to the shop, Chris continued to work hard to acquire a bigger place to transform the business.
This led him to register and establish C- Dors Executive Grooming, an exclusive men’s grooming outfit currently with two branches, one in Osu, behind Radio XYZ and the other at Rasta, along the bush road from La to Teshie.
Services offered by his outfit are haircut, shaves, manicures & pedicures, shoe shine, facials & massage, waxing services and hair laser removal. They also provide private and special services in the comfort of the clients’ home or office.
His clientele base is diverse, from corporate executives, politicians to showbiz personalities including Black Avenue Music’s boss, Desmond Blackmore (D Black), DJ Breezy, Mic Smith and Castro. Others are Sekou Nkrumah, Obed Psych (of urban gospel group, Preachers), Kojo Bonso (former Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly Mayor), Joseph Adu (CEO, Devtraco) and Eric Goka (owner of Twist Pub).
About his future ambitions, Chris said “I am very grateful to God for how far he has brought me and also to everyone who has contributed to the success of this business, it’s a dream come through. At this point, I wish to establish a big retail outlet to stock several lifestyle products and brands, from clothing to other fashion accessories with an exclusive eatery and wine shop. It’s going to be a one stop shop for everything lifestyle”.
He subscribes to the philosophy of Pope John Paul XXIII “Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.”