April 21, 2019
Latest News

Ex-convict goes from cutting hair in Brazilian prison to fame and fortune

By Nayara Batschke

Sao Paulo, Apr 15 (efe-epa).- Ariel Franco has gone from a crowded cell to having 300,000 followers on Instagram thanks to some eye-catching haircuts he learned while serving his sentence in a Sao Paulo prison.

"Against all statistics, I've achieved success," the 25-year-old self-taught barber said.

Franco, born and raised in Brasilandia, one of the largest shantytowns in Sao Paulo, started working while very young at the fair as a vendor of candy apples, as did many other youngsters in the neighborhood.

Between one botched job and another, and after multiple failed attempts to find steady work, he discovered his "chance" in the world of crime, and at age 15 got into drug trafficking. Four years later, however, he was arrested and slammed into prison, where amid "so many inhuman situations," he would learn the skill of cutting hair.

"I kept perfecting my cuts and learning new techniques. In time, I got more daring and started trying out new styles," he recalled.

While behind bars, where he came to share a cell with another 56 inmates, he never imagined that, years later, he would become a phenomenon and an inspiration for boys of Sao Paulo with his daring "armored" cut with designs in a wide range of colors and that lasts for several days.

Thanks to this pioneering technique of the barber, little boys and teens can strut the streets of Brasilandia with multicolored hairdos featuring designs like flames, skulls and whirlpools.

For the last 10 months, Franco has rented a shop in the shantytown where he grew up and has around 20 customers every day. He hasn't had any spare time since last June, since between his barbering days he travels around Brazil and even to other countries giving free classes, seminars and talks to motivate former inmates and ex-drug addicts.

"The Brazilian prison system is cruel, because it's not interested in reintegrating people into society. I've witnessed several times how the guards give beatings, leave inmates without food, and punish everyone for the offense of an individual," he said.

For that reason he considers it his "mission to change the lives" of children, ex-cons and drug addicts, and "to open doors" to the fact that, though it "might be very hard, reaching the heights is not impossible."

"I want them to know that, with determination, they can be anything they want to be," he said.

Almost five years after leaving prison, the barber is now a total celebrity on social networks, his main advertising platform, where he shares every one of his masterpieces and has attracted more than 300,000 followers.

"My customers, those boys who come here, go through the same hardships, disappointments and setbacks that I did when I was a kid. I want to offer them hope and show it's possible to be successful in life," Franco said.

News history
Hundreds attend former Green Party leader's anti-coal mine rally in Australia

Sydney, Australia (efe-epa).- Around a thousand protesters took part in a rally at Parramatta Park in Sydney on Saturday as part of a countrywide campaign...

Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) torchlight procession

By Laura Serrano-Conde

Christians flock to Jerusalem for Good Friday

By Joan Mas Autonell

Peru's Garcia left suicide note

Lima, Apr 19 (efe-epa).- Peruvian former President Alan Garcia wrote a note before taking his own life to avoid prosecution on corruption charges, his...

Mexican muralist chronicles the coming of the conquistadors

Veracruz, Mexico, Apr 19 (epa-efe).- Melchor Peredo Garcia has created six murals to represent the "historical and sociological phenomenon" of the arrival...

Newcomer lands main role in Mexico's grandest Passion Play

Mexico City, Apr 19 (epa-efe).- On this Good Friday, for the first time in 15 years, the role of Jesus in the famed Passion Play in the Mexico City borough...

Israel marks Passover, commemorates exodus from Egypt

Jerusalem, Apr 19 (efe-epa).- Israel's Jewish community is set to mark Passover, the holiday that commemorates the departure of their ancestors from Egypt...

Algiers' young people want job prospects, a better economy

With the resignation of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika earlier in April following weeks of protests against him running for a fifth term, Algeria is...

A city in the Philippines reenacts Passion of Christ with real sweat, blood

By Sara Gómez Armas.

Everest climber Kami Rita returns to break his own world record

By Sangam Prasai.

Long lines once again in Caracas, this time for humanitarian aid

By Barbara Agelvis.

Brazilian inmates' creations to hit runway at Sao Paulo Fashion Week

Sao Paulo, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- A score of male inmates at one of Brazil's maximum-security prisons have been hard at work for months on creations set to...

Pope urges bishops to show compassion when smearing chrism

Vatican City, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- The Pope called on bishops to identify with those of faith within their communities as well as to show compassion with...

Saudi Arabia postpones hearing for women activists

Cairo, Apr 17 (efe-epa).- A Saudi Arabian court has postponed a hearing in the trial of women's rights defenders Wednesday, almost a year after they were...

Migration north of broad-winged hawks makes stopover in Colombia

By Claudia Polanco Yermanos

France launches architectural competition to replace Notre Dame spire

Paris, Apr 17 (efe-epa).-The French government has launched an international architectural competition aimed at rebuilding a spire on Paris’ iconic Notre...

Climate change activists glue themselves to London train

London, Apr 17 (efe-epa).- Climate change activists glued themselves to the top of a train in London on Wednesday in a third day of protests.

Notre Dame pledges exceed $790 million as BNP Paribas, SocGen join donor list

Paris, Apr 17 (efe-epa).- BNP Paribas and Societe Generale have joined the list of companies and business elite who together have pledged more than $790...

Teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg meets Pope Francis

Vatican City, Apr 17 (efe-epa).- Swedish teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg met Pope Francis on Wednesday during the weekly general audience in the...

Migrants crossing southern US border, turning selves in to authorities

Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Apr 16 (efe-epa).- Central American migrant families are saying they made the decision to illegally cross the border into the United...

Red Cross: Electric generators in first humanitarian aid for Venezuela

Caracas, Apr 16 (efe-epa).- The Venezuelan Red Cross on Tuesday announced the entry into the country of the first shipment of humanitarian aid, including...

Penitents in Atlixco, Mexico, prepare for painful Way of the Cross

Atlixco, Mexico, Apr 16 (efe-epa).- The penitents of this town in central Mexico are preparing for one of the country's most representative Stations of the...

Indigenous reserve in Brazil survives near largest city in South America

By Alba Santandreu

The girls exploited in convents in the Netherlands

By Imane Rachidi

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.