Some ten ladies courageously shaved off their hair on Saturday, as a sign of solidarity for cancer patients and victims, during the first of its kind event in Seychelles.
‘Brave the Shave’ is an international fundraising activity, with the proceeds going to cancer victims and their family.
The initiator of this activity in Seychelles – 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean – Sylvie Ah-Time, said that funds raised will go to the local Cancer Concern Association.
“Each participant braving the shave is being sponsored. This money will be given to Cancer Concern Association and they will be building a centre that will provide support to cancer patients and survivors as well as the family who have lost loved ones,” said Ah-Time.
A crowd of locals and visitors gathered in front of the post office in Seychelles’ capital, Victoria, to encourage the women who were shaving their hair for charity. A few men were also sponsored to either shave their hair, beard or colour-spray their hair or beard.
The public also had the option to show their support. For those who didn’t want to shave off their hair completely, there was the option of doing side-shaves or have coloured extensions braided in.
People who did not want to shave off their hair had other options. (Salifa Karapetyan) Photo License: CC-BY
Ah-Time explained that after her dad was diagnosed with cancer five years ago, she didn’t shave her hair in solidarity with him, and has had regrets ever since.
She said that “shaving one’s hair off is challenging whether you choose to do so or is going through chemotherapy and losing hair.”
“My mom lost her best friend, and I have a friend living with cancer right now. I wanted to do this for everyone, especially the ladies,” added Ah-Time.
“Hair for a woman is important and when a woman loses or shaves off her hair, she is vulnerable as she does not know how society will look at her. Are you ready as an individual to look at yourself in the mirror without your hair?” concluded Ah-Time.
The island nation Vice President — Vincent Meriton, the health minister — Jean-Paul Adam, and some members of the National Assembly also joined in the charity act.
Prices for shaving, colouring or braiding varied from $4 to $7. T-Shirts and books were also on sale as part of the fundraising activity.
Though the act is not close to comparable to a cancer patient losing their hair, many of the participants and people present said that ‘Brave the Shave’ is a great way to raise fund and awareness about cancer, supporting victims in the process.
“I am very satisfied and my shave turned out really good. It was a decision I took this morning as I have family members who have died from breast cancer and I also know people who are suffering from cancer, and this is my way of supporting them. To all the ladies out there, there is no need to fear making a change in your appearance,” said Stephanie Wong, one of the ladies who shaved off her hair.
Another partaker in the event, Elke Talma, said that “it is a bit stressful as there are a lot of people looking at you but the shave feels nice.”
“Hair grows back but right now, I’ll be saving some money on hair products and plus, if I like the look, I might keep it,” added Talma.
‘Brave the Shave’ is the first of a series of activities that will be carried out in the island nation throughout October as part of the cancer awareness month.
SNA presents a series of pictures of the ‘Brave and Shave’ fundraising event. (Salifa Karapetyan) Photo License: CC-BY