Authentic and Professional Handmade Accessories by Custom Mate.

Shoes have become a major accessory/priority in whatever we choose to wear in these modern days we live in, that’s why many people see the need to wear shoes that are stylish, some wear shoes that are expensive and others prefer wearing shoes that represent who they are, while embracing their African ethnicity at the same time.

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“Sandals are part of who we are as Africans, we feel more connected to our customs and traditions each and every time we are wearing sandals. When something is part of who you are, you can’t really explain why, it’s like a calling” said Bobo Moko, a 26-year-old cobbler (A person who makes or repairs shoes) and co-founder of Custom Mate, A South African brand that produces quality hand craft accessories, found and established in 2012 by himself, Ndumisa Dube and close friend future Ramoshaba.

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This Trio partnership started like any other ambitious dream filled with passion and determination to succeed, Bobo says he was introduced to Ndumiso Dube, a 43-year skilled shoe maker from Kwa Bulawayo by a friend who has been impatiently insisting that he should meet him. Bobo eventually placed an order for these shoes after meeting Mr. Dube, and he instantly fell in love with them. The way these shoes were so contagious and admirable, all his colleagues and friends immediately fell in love with them too.

The Custom Mate team (Bobo Moko, Future Ramoshaba and Pontsho Manyana) were burning with passion to learn more about being a professional cobbler so they bought a sewing machine, some leather and then initiated a workshop where Mr. Dube taught them everything about designing, sewing, and repairing shoes. This workshop helped them develop their skills and become professional cobblers which is compulsory in their field of work because people are always approaching them with different types of designs every day so it’s very important for them to be versatile in what they do.

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Bobo says, the purpose of creating Custom Mate was to create accessories that are not easily accessible anywhere else, shoes that are cut according to ones specifications. We know that shoes are the first thing people notice about you so we understand the importance of wearing good, quality bespoke shoes.

Customs Mate allows customers to maneuver their own designs, so you can actually give them details of the type of design you desire and they will accept the challenge and create a masterpiece you requested. They making it more convenient for their customer’s to have a pleasant and productive service.


Their accessories are women’s sandals, men’s sandals, and belts (on special requests) their shoe prices range from R350 to R2000 depending on the style of shoe and the type of leather a customer may prefer. They are currently based in Midrand but just to accommodate people who may be far from Midrand, and may want to make a purchase, Customs Mate also does shipping anywhere in South Africa.

Bobo has always been a confident young man who believes in looking good because it makes him feel good, He always had a good taste in apparel and always wanted to share his fashion sense with his surroundings. He got an opportunity to do so in a form of making sandals and he didn’t hesitate to grab the opportunity and run with it.


Bobo said ” We plan to push the movement, make sure South Africans knows what we do and then take it to the whole African continent, to countries like Ghana, where people are fascinated by sandals”

Custom Mate is a black owned business, blakk renaissance and black excellence movement simply because they are very innovative, produces professional accessories, they cater for the young and old, possess a major influence over the masses and they contribute a lot towards shaping the modern African culture through style and fashion.


By LordKenn



Emerging Above The Criticism & Stereotypes Of The Society to Follow Your Dreams: Pride

Goetsimang Pride Mbele better known as Pride is a 19 year old innovative, hardworking, passionate stylist and business orientated Model based in Midrand, Kaalfontein. He grew up in the townships of Tembisa, Emcantsi where he fell in love with the idea of becoming a fashionista and a business man early in his childhood. He was so ambitious about this idea in a way that he once considered selling clothes or establishing a clothing business for a living when he got older. This led Pride to learning commercial studies while he was in high school but little did he know that fate had summoned him to the path of becoming a professional fashion stylist and model.

Somalian Shoot 

With Buhle

New Town Basement 

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Pride had a tough time growing up and trying to recognize his true potential/ talent just like any other kid. When Pride finally decided that he wanted to become a model, he knew that it wasn’t going to be easy for him because “modeling” is a profession that is usually perceived as a female dominated platform in most South African Townships. So when he decided to officially commence his career in modeling he received a lot of criticism and stereotypical insults such as “modeling is for females” or “modeling guys are gay” or “stupid” and all of these critics almost held him back from fulfilling his dreams and embarking on his true destiny.

Shot by Leon

Dressed By BlVCK PRIDEON ( Promo shoot for a brand he started with Leon)



Shot by leon

Self Dressed

With Dorcas Toko

Kempton Park (Parking lot)


Goetsimang always had a passion for modeling and it’s been a calling that has been haunting him for quite a while in his teenage years, simply because he was tall and skinny, He said. Pride’s enthusiasm for modeling has always been evident from a young age, tracing back to the days he was still in primary school. Everytime he would scroll through magazines with his friends, he would sub-consciously (unaware) find himself curious about the name of the model and the posture which the model is posing in rather than being fascinated by the clothes they’d be wearing/advertising.

When he reached high school, he couldn’t conceal himself from being a model any longer. So he finally decided to burst out of his own bubble and take on modeling regardless of the criticism he was going to get from his peers. At this point he had already made up his mind about being a model and he was optimistic that, this decision would benefit his goals and desires rather than fulfilling society’s expectations.

Shot by Leon

Self Dressed 

Braamfontein & Maboneng


He took initiative to participate in a contest competition that was debut to take place at his school, Kaalfontein Secondary School, while he was only in the 9th grade. His determination and efforts helped him win the contest and become crowned as Mr Kaalfontein high. Thereafter he actively participated in a few other local contests after winning the previous one at his High School. Pride’s confidence was high at that time but that still it didn’t bring out the best in him until he saw what he was capable of doing in front of a camera, he said.

Shot by Meagan Joey

Self Dressed 

Ghandi Square

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During his High School years Pride met Leon Chauke, whom later became a good friend and Pride’s main photographer. Leon then played a major role in pushing him to the right direction as a professional model. Pride also mentioned that Leon has been a very helpful person towards his modeling career/ where he is today as a model merely because a majority of his photographs where shot by him and he has been a pillar of strength and motivation throughout the years.

Shot by Leon

Dressed by Sock and tie (Changing Facets Magazine shoot)

Ghandi Square

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“I love leading, having the responsibility to serve other people has always been my thing and I love working with people, taking on challenges and not following the crowd”, He said.

Judging from my interactions with him, Pride was genuinely an interesting person so I had to ask him a couple of questions I was curious to know about him:

Read The Dialogue Below

Me: What are your plans for the future?

Pride: Personally I would jump for joy if I made it to the cover of Vogue Magazine and had my story told, but my ultimate dream is to go back to the young ones who still have their future in their hands and educate them about other careers/ industries that are available to them rather than following only the careers they are offered at their schools.

Me: Are you still going to open that clothing business you once wanted as a kid?

Pride: I actually did. It’s called BlVCK PRIDEON, I co-own it with Leon but due to lack of information and resources we were unable to maintain it but we all learn from our mistakes that’s why I’m planning to obtain a degree in business management so that I can come back stronger.

Promo shoot

Dressed By Marry K.

With Candice

Ghandi Square


Shot By Leon 

Self Dressed

With Jay jay



Pride is a Blakk Renaissance, brave and ambitious young man who has chosen to follow his dreams against all odds and all the shallow words of insult criticism and stereotypes that society had to offer him, to become a very inspirational person in today’s modern generation. He uses style to influence his people and restructure his culture by evolving people’s beliefs and their perspective about modeling and at the same time diminishing narrow-mindedness and stereotypical thinking that hinder young people from realising our true potential.

Shot by Leon


Self Dressed



#BlakkRenassance by Lord Kenn