Saturday, August 13, 2022

Is there anything wrong with sporting All Stars?

All Stars are those simple, light, comfortable rubber and canvas shoes that you see worn by every body almost everywhere you go.

Converse All Stars (Chuck Taylors), also referred to as machesa or magomora (locally) are, arguably the most widely worn shoes in the world. Having been impressed by their design, a famous basketball star player popularized the shoes, and they have been in existence since as early as 1917.
 
The trendy rubber shoes have a huge, bad reputation. The mass media popularized them. From television, we now know that when an elite character from a gang or mob passes away, the remaining others mourn by hanging a pair on a street lamp.┬á It’s meant to sympathize with the dead members’ family. Drug lords hang pairs on the street lamps to let buyers know that there are drugs available in the neighborhood.

“If you go to places like the Cape Flats where I come from, its quite a normal thing to pass a pair on street lamps, but very few people don’t know what this means,” he said. “You have to look past and beyond that.”
 
All stars are being shot down in Gaborone.

Unfortunately, some people in society class all stars and literally belittle them.

What could really be the reasons, for they aren’t allowed at clubs such as Fashion Lounge? Ask yourself why, because they’re still worn and are stylishly in fashion.

Brenda Makgale, the clubs manager, says it depends on the particular person wearing them and the occasion. 

“Some regulars usually wear them and we don’t say anything but they are mostly worn by the wrong kind of people,” she said. Sipho Manowa, a freelance bouncer, says mostly pickpocket and gate crushers at clubs and events wear them.
 
They’re the most preferred dancing shoes. Most musicians wear them like hip-hop, rock, and kwaito artists and other successful business people. Besides the fact that they are still in fashion, people like the design for good and bad reasons.

On a positive note, they can be worn to impress a girl on a date. There are places where they are welcome and accepted in society.

Samara Lubbe, a Swedish girl who resides at Village Gaborone says she likes them because they are comfortable, stylish and affordable shoes.

“They go well with most clothes,” she said. “I like the original black leather high cuts.”
On the other hand, thugs like tsotsi’s and mapatsula, even Bloods and Crips, own and wear them because they allow them to run a lot faster after committing a crime, like stabbing someone or snatching a bag.

All Stars are widely worn in South Africa, a country that has also got a strong cultural influence in our culture.

In Johannesburg, at places like Mapetla in Soweto, Yeoville and Alexandra, to pick pockets, rapists and the like, owning a pair also increases their chances of recognition. Having a pair is to let the victim know that they must submit to their demand, or else!

In the United States of America, All Stars are worn by gangsters mainly Blood and Crips.
Bloods and Crips are two notorious rival gangs, who are basically drug lords and mob gangsters. In America, you have ‘gangster’ places, like in California, Los Angeles or Brooklyn New York.

In Gaborone it’s more of a fashion trend than a threat and they are worn across the entire country by almost every body. A lot of people wear All Stars for different reasons. All Stars are worn locally for street credibility.
 
Local retailers are cashing in on the ever-lasting All-star craze. If you go through shopping malls like Game City, Riverwalk, Kagiso Centre and Nzano Center, you will discover that they have different types, shapes and sizes to offer.

Wapula, a shop teller at Options says they sell close to 50 pairs every second weekend.
Karabo Mojadife, aka Ghughuthi, a musician by profession, says he wears all stars because they represent where he comes from.

“I grew up in a community where they’re highly respected, because being a hard gangster or street smart character dominates,” he said.

Kabo Koontse, aka Khabba Khabba, a street performer and recording artist, says all stars give him the ability to dance his heart out.

“Wearing white all stars gives me the ability to express my personal experiences which I express throughout my old pairs,” he said.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper