For some people, the profession or business of repairing shoes is a shameful job, reserved for the illiterate and underprivileged members of the society who are trying to make ends meet through cheap means.
The profession is at times given an attitude and vilification despite the crucial role it plays in people’s daily lives.
Shoe repairers have existed for many years and continue to serve the world despite their negative outlook.
┬áImagine walking down a busy shopping complex or a street and all of a sudden, your shoe bursts open and feet left exposed. Everyone would agree that the situation could be quite embarrassing, which would normally call for the service of a shoe repairer.
Kgositsile Chopa, a shoe repairer who is based in Blue Jacket, a busy street of Francistown, is one of the shoe repairers who always receive an overwhelming number of customers every day.
“As shoe repairers we normally get an attitude from customers, with some of them mocking us and our profession, forgetting that our service is essential to the society just like any other profession,” he said.
Chopa revealed that he has been in the shoe service business for a decade and a half, adding that the profession is his passion and helps him earn a living. He further said that although he survives out of repairing shoes, he perceives the skill as a beautiful art that is embedded in his heart.
“I began repairing shoes during my childhood years because I was raised by a struggling single parent who could not buy me new shoes every time. I had to make a plan to repair my own shoes which then turned into a passion and ultimately a profession,” he said
Chopa said that although he is not employed and not educated, he manages to fend for his family through the profession. He continued to advise people to take into consideration the fact that just like any other profession, shoe repairing is a field that deserves respect and should be treated as essential to the daily living of people.
Another shoe repairer, who preferred to call himself Lucky, said to the Sunday Standard that he began repairing shoes after he was laid off from a security company in Francistown. He said that although he began the small business as a way of survival, it has since turned into a profession which he perceives as talent.
“I make much money through this profession more than when I was employed as a security guard and I have since helped a lot of people, some of them free of charge, especially when they are deeply in need of the service and do not have money,” he concluded.