REGGI XABA REINTERPRETS TRADITIONAL ZULU FOOTWEAR FOR THE NOW GENERATION
We connect with iFele founder Reggi Xaba who has given a traditional sandal a new look.
Umlazi born footwear phenomenon and iFele founder Reggi Xaba is a son of the soil who’s taking his authentic Zulu culture and making a successful, exportable commercial product of it.
With over two decades of experience, he’s setting his brand apart with hand-made elements that make use of mainly local materials such as leather and local synthetic rubber, along with non-footwear industrial materials such as upholstery off-cuts and metal trims which they then repurpose into modern products. His muse – the aesthetic beauty in African culture.
Next time you’re out and about, look down. The best advert for Reggi’s culturally proud sandals are all the people wearing them.
Q&A WITH REGGI
What does ‘living better’ mean to you? / How are you aspiring to live better?
Being kind to the environment and making an impact in my community. By using my gifts and talent for the benefit of others.
What legacy would you like to leave behind?
Making Africa a creative centre for Art and artistic creations for the whole world.
What 2 valuable lessons would you like to share with South Africa?
There is beauty in every culture in SA, we need to connect more to enjoy each other’s cultures.
Our indigenous heritage cultures are the new gold to be mined for the benefit of all South Africans.
Where do you go to escape and connect with yourself?
Being home alone with my family and my fur kids relaxes me. I also do a lot of nature walks in the bush and at the beach – there are plenty of these in Durban and KZN.
Do you have an encouraging quote for us?
Love is the answer. Always.
Are there any last comments / thoughts you’d like to add?
We need to support local creative people. Most don’t do it for money but money helps a lot. The collective heritage is the asset for the future of everyone.