Become part of a network of South Africans abroad. Networks are not only for businesses; it is also a valuable way of building a support network for those days when you especially miss sipping a good South African wine, sitting around a braai; and enjoying the famous Afrikaner hospitality.
Worldwide’s World Guide is where South African businesses from all over the world come together to form a community. The World Guide currently consists of more than a thousand businesses, from Afrikaans doctors in New Zealand to biltong shops in London.
This week’s business in the Spotlight is Veldskoen in Switzerland.
The history of Veldskoen shoes is as rich and diverse as the country they originate from. There are various groups of people who believe the Veldskoen, or a version of it, started with them.
The word “Veldskoen”, was first documented by the Dutch settlers who arrived in southern Africa almost 400 years ago. It means “field shoes.” However, according to Khoisan tribal folklore, there were leather shoes, cut from a single hide, being made and worn by the tribe as far back as 1 000 years before that.
According to GQ magazine, Nathan Clark of Clarks Shoes was serving in World War II when he noticed South African officers wearing, in his own words, “strange leather shoes”.
On further investigation, he found they were made in a bazaar in Cairo, commissioned by the South African officers, after their military boots had failed them. The design was sent to London where the Chukka boot craze was born.
We like to believe they all had a hand, and a foot, in the Veldskoen story! We joined the journey of, arguably the world’s oldest shoe, a little more recently.