KATHRYN VAN DEN BERG 

Scattered with locks of hair, and highlighted with dye of every colour, the Rooiplein was clearly the host of the Shaveathon organized by CANSA along with Groomed Academy. Friday 28 September saw Maties sitting excitedly on chairs in the sun, with volunteers and professionals alike holding hair dye and scissors behind them. Eric Way Lovemore, the creative director of Groomed Academy, studied barbering at EDGE Hair&Barber Academy, and decided to “get students involved in this charity drive” at Stellenbosch.

Although this was the Academy’s first time participating in a Shaveathon, Lovemore said that “we [the academy] have been involved with raising funds for Cheetah Outreach” and therefore, this “whole experience was thoroughly enjoyed by the team”. Lovemore believes that Shaveathons are successful as a method in cancer awareness. He said that “it [Shavethons] certainly raises awareness in the community by holding these fun Shaveathons. People’s participation is key to success, whether they shave their whole head or just have colours sprayed through their hair.” When asked about how the academy got involved with CANSA, Lovermore stated that Groomed Academy was approached by the Golden Key Society at SU, who gave them the opportunity to participate in the Shaveathon.

Lovemore’s sentiments about the success of Shaveathons are supported by Sharon Fransman, a CANSA representative who was present at the event. When asked what the point of Shaveathons are, Fransman said that “Shaveathons offer people the opportunity to donate their hair to make wigs for patients who have lost theirs”. She also said that “Shaveathons are very successful in raising awareness… it shows our support to cancer survivors who lost all their hair in treatment.” Contacted every year by the Golden Key Society at SU, CANSA has been participating in Shaveathons for 15 years. On top of researching, educating and supporting cancer patients and families/friends, CANSA also trains volunteers to participate in Shaveathons. Fransman expressed her appreciation for CANSA and the Shaveathons which support it by saying that “up to today I am not sorry [that I am a representative of CANSA and Shaveathons]. Just putting a smile on someone’s face makes my day.”

PHOTO: Kathryn van den Berg