- 555, Balmoral St., Winnipeg
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BARBERS – Les Touch Hair & Beauty Treatments
Members of Winnipeg’s African community will be cramming their way into a barber shop for the next few weeks.
Now that Godwin Smith has mounted a 47-inch flat screen television on the wall of his modest-sized shop, Les Touch Hair and Beauty Treatment (located at the corner of Balmoral Street and Sargent Avenue), the place will feel more like a living room for the remaining weeks of soccer’s World Cup.
“Now that I have the television set up, we are ready to go,” Smith said while carefully trimming a young man’s sideburns. “I’m expecting more than 50 people here during the games.”
Even with clippers and comb in hand, Smith can assess and dissect most of the teams participating in the tournament. So it’s fair to say that the Ghanaian, who’s been living here Winnipeg for the past 20 years, was counting the days until the month-long tournament got under way.
“We are soccer people. We are very passionate about it,” he said. “We can’t wait to see what will happen.”
Since Smith opened his shop in the early ’90s, it’s been a hub for Winnipeg’s African soccer fans.
With six African nations (Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Ghana, Algeria, and host South Africa) competing in this year’s tournament, there’s a sense of pride flowing throughout the city’s community.
“This is the place to be during the World Cup,” said Osei Assibey. “This place is not very big but we manage to jam as many people as we can in here and enjoy the games together. Doesn’t matter who you’re cheering for, we will be cheering for Africa as a whole.”
Assibey says they’ll need to be sure of just one thing during the games.
“I hope the air conditioning works,” he quipped.
Winnipeg’s World Cup is a look at the 2010 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament through the eyes of Winnipeggers from the participating countries.