**One Barber got the surprise of a lifetime outside of a local Starbucks on Tuesday from someone you wouldn’t expect.**
Ben Slottif has been a Barber at this Park Barber Shop for the past 5 years. According to many customers, besides giving the best haircuts in the neighborhood, his smile and positive attitude is what really separates him from other barbers.
“He’s always booked and works constantly. But he somehow manages to always take care of you with the best attitude. He treats everyone like family,” Peter McArthur states.
Being raised by a single mother, Ben is no stranger to hard work. “My mother raised me to do my best even in the strongest storms,” Ben says. “Whether it’s my family or my community, I’m always here to provide the best haircut to whoever needs it. You never know what kind of day that person has had and a new haircut always makes people feel good.”
So it came as no surprise to anyone when, 2 months ago, Ben took it upon himself to give haircuts to the less fortunate. "It can get quite hot in Johannesburg during the summer, and I see a couple familiar faces while on my way to work,” Ben says. “The first haircut I gave was to Frank Allister at the Park place after one of our weekly games of chess."
“I’ve known Ben only for 3 months before he gave me my first haircut. He randomly came up to me one day and noticed that I had a chess board out and challenged me to a game,” Peter said. “Since then, we’ve played weekly and became good friends.”
“We even worked out a little gamble when every time I win a game, I get a new haircut. It’s been loads of fun and has given me lots of my confidence back,” Peter continued. “Eventually I started applying for work and finally got a job as a kitchen porter after 5 years of unemployment.”
“I can’t thank Ben enough and its always been my plan to give him a nice gift especially since it’s the holidays,” Peter said. “If it wasn’t for him to come up and challenge me to that first game of chess, I probably would have still been sleeping in the park."
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