By KATLEGO NKOSI
Moving to Makhanda from Soweto was a huge culture shock for me. Everything was different, especially getting to know people from all over the world. And here, I discovered, people live unapologetically. Part of that is how they dress. Their styles reflect who they are.
Sneaker culture, however, is not alive here in Makhanda. And sneakers matter!
So I set my sights on a place more familiar to me – a shop in Market Square on Beaufort Street called Sportscene. This shop houses the most recent sneaker drops and sports-branded clothing to go with them. To learn more about how such a store functions in this town, I talked with two individuals who seemed to gravitate towards me as I walked in. Was it my sneakers that drew them?
Ashwin Meyer and Cariston Willense both work at Sportscene.
Immediately, I could tell that they loved showing up to their place of work, clean haircuts and all. Browsing through the shoe-filled shelves, they told me what the people of Makhanda like to wear. “For them, it’s all about trends,” Meyer said, heading towards the black and white checkered Vans. These and the white Air Force 1’s are the most sought-after in this town because of their trendiness in society. In the four years that he has worked at this store, that’s what he knows. People here go after trends.
Meyer is not one of these. Not entirely, anyway. “I don’t get a shoe only because I like it,” he said. “It needs to fit who I am as a person.”
According to Meyer and Willense, sneakers and clothes should be a representation of ourselves. They are what speak for us before we can.
See also: https://laced002.wordpress.com.