Occupation: Lance Ainofo, hairdresser
Lance Ainofo is a fella who lands on his feet. The one-time New Zealand Idol contestant arrived in Australia but months ago and has already secured himself a plum job at a top salon, an apartment near the beach and a new church to boot. Not that there haven't been bumps on the road.
"Originally I had a job lined up for me here in Australia, but when I went for my trial I noticed the salon was really quiet, so trusting my instincts I turned the job down and went on the hunt," he says. "I stood outside Oscar Oscar for half an hour scoping it out, walked in, gave them my CV and got called that night to come in for a trial. I started the next week. So it literally fell from heaven right into my arms."
Unassuming and gentle in nature, Lance was the kid who got along with everyone at school in Auckland. "I felt like the kid who wasn't part of a clique," he says. "I liked everyone and I hope they liked me back." He loved studying Drama, because it allowed him to step outside his comfort zone and be someone else, which is a funny proposition considering what an extraordinary talent he is.
Do a YouTube search and you'll unearth some gems include him singing in a Mother's Day puppet show, "jammin" with friends, singing "Bless the Lord" at church and covering "Drift Away" by Uncle Cracker and "Someone Like You" by Adele. It was his voice that carried him through to the auditions of New Zealand Idol in 2005 making it through to the top 36.
His career in hairdressing was an happy accident. After working in telemarketing he attended a graduation party for Servilles Academy of Hairdressing with a friend and enrolled that night. Only, his parents thought he was still studying communications at Auckland University of Technology.
"When a letter came in the mail to advise them that I was graduating from the Servilles Academy of Hairdressing with 'Outstanding' the questions started flooding out," he says. "My dad was not impressed, but he eventually accepted it. When I graduated from the Academy, Paul Huege de Serville asked me if I wanted to be part of the creative team. I jumped at it, and two weeks after graduating I was one of the first students to go on the road with the creative team."
His move to Australia was on a whim, too. He figured New Zealand had an expiry date and wanted to challenge himself. "My mission while here is to win a competition and do work in Australian Vogue," he says. "I'm really looking forward to achieving bigger and greater things. I believe God has put me here in Australia for a reason. I'm still searching for what it is, but I have a great feeling that it's going to be amazing."
There's no doubt anything Lance puts his hand to will be.
You can visit or book Lance at Oscar Oscar Salon, Pacific Fair.
Disclaimer: Oscar Oscar is the hairdresser frequented by GWAS.
Girl With a Satchel