A Moment of Reflections
As we enter Spring, the season of newness and transformations, we can't help but reminisce the amazing year we have had thus far.
Cat Footwear is proud to have worked with so many influential people, who work hard to truly capture our mantra: DO MORE. These individuals show determination, courage and a hustling spirit that results in the creation of things. They do not stop at good; they go above and beyond to DO MORE.
1. The Pallet Dr
Ulundi Mpulu truly was an inspirational individual that showed us no matter what background you come from; you can make a difference in this world.
He inspired many young individuals in his community through his work, recycling, and repurposing pallets, hence the name ‘The Pallet Dr’.
Inspired by his grandfather’s strong work ethic, Ulundi followed in his footsteps and worked hard at his craft so that one day he could earn a good living and also support his mother. He saw how hard his mother worked, witnessing first-hand her hardships when he got a job at her workplace, and he decided that he needed to do something to help her. This inspired his bistro called the Pallet Dr, which operates in Motherwell and adds a sense of liveliness to the community. When this bistro was up and running, it allowed his mother to give up her work and do what she truly loved, cooking.
Although Ulundi is no longer with us, we know his legacy will live on. He taught us how one person can make a difference for an entire community and how we all could partake in sustainable practices.
2. Nombasa Jakeni
This year, we were honoured to work with Nombasa once again, the founder of the Limbasa foundation.
The focus was on creating a mentorship and empowerment programme for boy children in South Africa- a crucial movement in the much larger Gender-based violence issues that reside in our country.
Nombasa highlighted the importance of this programme by reminding us how we are called the fatherless generation and that many boys either have negative role models or none at all in their households. Overall, this mentorship programme works to change the narrative by teaching boys from a young age to be protectors so that they are prevented from following the path of abusers. This year, however, the campaign focused on anti-bullying. Since our younger generation is exposed to many forms of bullying namely cyber bullying, physical bullying, verbal bullying, and social bullying. The boys were taught how to identify and react to these forms of bullying which instilled this message of being the protectors of society.
Through the partnership with Cat Footwear, the Limbasa foundation was able to reach up to 5500 boys in Gqeberha in 2020. In 2022 the programme was run at the Erica Youth Care Centre, the Khayalethu Youth Centre as well as primary schools in the townships, and received a heart-warming response.
With this project, we learned how important mentorship is, and that one of the most important things you can give someone is your time.
3. Kick-It Fresh
A business that thrived when all odds were against it.
Sinawo Trevor Tutshana, showed all of us that you don’t always have to follow the traditional path to be successful.
Trevor, is the founder of Kick-It Fresh – a sneaker cleaning business that has taken Gqeberha by storm. He began his journey back in 2020. At the time he had no job, so his friend approached him and asked him to clean her sneakers and she would pay him for this service. He jumped at the offer, and when all her friends saw her newly cleaned sneakers, they could not believe how good they looked. Soon after, many people began asking Trevor to clean their sneakers as well, and this was when this young entrepreneur realised that he could make a business out of this.
He worked hard at promoting his services via social media, word of mouth, and even going so far as to wake up early every morning and jog alongside joggers in Summerstrand so that he may offer his services.
Today, Trevor's business is booming, people are always leaving his store happy with the results, and most importantly, always boasting about the friendly service that Kick-It Fresh provides.
Trevor taught us that you should never be afraid to dream big and that if you want to achieve something, then follow the Cat Footwear motto and simply – work hard.
4. Karl Schoemaker
The latest influencer we worked with, but certainly not the least – Karl Schoemaker, one of Gqeberha’s finest photographers.
Karl always knew that he wanted to be in the creative world and as a kid he would always be taking photos during his vacations on those small 110 cameras. The kind where you had to wait a week to see the results, but it was always worth it because he could relive his holiday all over again. In his later years, he went on to study Fine Arts at Rhodes, where he majored in photography. Upon obtaining his Fine Arts Honours Degree, he moved to Johannesburg to pursue his career in photography. Thereafter, he veered into the corporate world for a while, however, today he works in Gqeberha and produces the most exceptional images.
Karl showed the world what it looks like when you are truly passionate about what you do. The way he spoke about his art, and photography techniques, it was easy to tell that he truly loved what he was doing.
We learned some photography techniques for your phone's camera, and flattering angles for selfies, but most importantly, we learnt that passion is the driver of success.