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Africans Make Shoes?!

or those looking for an alternative to the once amazing, now troubling Tom's Shoe Brand we suggest Sawa Shoes and Oliberté Footwear.


While the title may be a joke, these shoemakers are not joking with their "Made in Africa" sartorial pairings for your appendages south of the ankle. For those looking for an alternative to the once amazing, now troubling Tom's Shoe Brand we suggest Sawa Shoes and Oliberté Footwear. Shoes that are not generating charitable slogans or debilitating African economies, these two brands are making fashion that is sustainable...in every sense of the word. 

Made 100% in Africa, Sawa Shoes claims its uniqueness in that it is neither a charity nor a fair trade brand. Sawa is simply a fashion brand that manufactures its products in Africa in order to maintain added value for the continent. As stated on their website, "If one day it were to snow in Africa, would people send us winter coats and snowboards?" Sawa has one thing right, Africans can and will produce their basic necessities and then some into the global market of fashion. And as Sawa braces for a pending snowstorm on the continent (per climate changes) they are certain Africans will be geared shoe-wise for the frosty weather... and snowboarding if they fancy! Check out their collection.

Oliberté Footwear, similarly believes in African countries self-sustaining their socio-economic livelihood, which is why when asked, "Why Africa?" They aptly replied, "Why Not?" Currently producing in Ethiopia, Liberia, and Kenya, Oliberté is most interested in supporting Africa's middle class as it's a defining element in the success of a country's socio-economic development. If you're on the path of wearing shoes that really make a difference, Sawa Shoes & Oliberte are taking you in the right direction, and in style.

 

Op-Ed
Photography by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Price to Pay: The Complicated Relationship Between Ambitiouz Entertainment and South Africa’s Music Scene

Through all the horror stories shared by artists, it's impossible to overlook Ambitiouz Entertainment's contribution to South African music.

One of the biggest South African songs at the moment boasts a lineup of artists that blend styles for a smooth collaboration. With verses for the heads and a catchy hook for the radio, "Price to Pay" by Miss Pru DJ features the duo Blaq Diamond and Lesotho-born rapper Malome Vector.

A quintessential Ambitiouz Entertainment song, "Price to Pay" feels like 2016/2017 all over again, even if it's for just above five minutes. When Ambitiouz started circa 2015, a majority of its hip-hop artists—Emtee, Saudi, Sjava, FiFi Cooper, and others—were doing trap rap, mostly in native languages. Even A-Reece, who raps almost exclusively in English now, threw a few SePitori phrases in his rhymes. Singles such as "Tshela" and "Smokolo" released by the rapper Priddy Ugly under Ambitiouz were his first experiments with adding native languages in his verses beyond hooks.

While streaming "Price to Pay" and other songs released by Ambitiouz Entertainment, however, one wonders if, years from now, Malome Vector and Blaq Diamond will be sharing horror stories of working with the label, just like many of its previous signings.

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