Senegal: Meet The Man Using Home Materials To Create Afro Style Sneakers

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Cheikh Mbacke Thiam
Senegal: Meet The Man Using Home Materials To Create Afro Style Sneakers. Photo credit: Eye Gambia

Cheikh Mbacke Thiam also known as Cheikh Dal which translates as shoe in the Wolof language, is a Senegalese entrepreneur and innovator. He started learning the art of fashion at a very young age and was introduced to shoemaking by his brother. Cheikh started his craft by making shoes for children and eventually fell in love with it.


However, he didn’t like the job at the beginning but his motivation developed when people would stop him on the street to buy shoes that he put on. He says, “ On the day I had someone stop me on the street and asked me for the price and bought them directly. He asked me to take them off and give them to him there. There I knew what I made was valuable”

He says that he can turn any fabric that falls under his hand into shoes and accessories. Cheikh is a proud African and he loves to showcase that in his creations, “I style my shoes to carry a unique African identity so as to differentiate them from those made outside”.

“My dream is to grow big and be competitive in the global market for shoes” he stated. Creative people like Cheikh need investment from private investors and support from government institutions to help them venture into large scale productions. Africa has a purchasing power of trillion of dollars with a huge market population, so it’s just right we start supporting our businesses for GDP growth and job creations.

Abu Bakarr Jalloh

Abu Bakarr Jalloh is a writer, editor, and storyteller. He was born in Bo, Southern Sierra Leone. Started his primary school at the Bo District Educational Council Primary School, Abu Bakarr Jalloh was the top pupil from primary one to three. In 2005, his family relocated to the capital Freetown where he furthered his primary education at the Holy Trinity Primary School, Kissy Road. Abu Bakarr Jalloh became a force to reckon with throughout his primary 4-6 at the Holy Trinity Primary School. In 2008/2009, he enrolled at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Junior Secondary School where he started his JSS 1-3 and he went on to top the list of the best student in the 2011 Basic Education Certificate Examination and also 7th best student in the whole of Port Loko District.

In 2011/2012 he attended the Government Municipal Senior Secondary School where he attained his West Africa Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination in 2015. Abu Bakarr Jalloh is now a student of the Njala University, Njala Campus pursuing a degree in Bsc Agricultural Economics.

He is a very brilliant writer, editor, and storyteller that is passionate about telling Sierra Leonean stories undiluted using a mobile phone. He is also keen on highlighting national issues affecting Sierra Leoneans.

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