Sneakerheads in South Africa

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Sneaker Collection – A new profession 

Properly, consciously and continuously looking for a good pair of sneakers (mostly known as sneaks), has become a new art canvas for some and a culture for many. This phenomenon has created a common interest to those who lovingly collect soles and a new form of art for those who create.

We dive deep into the growing subculture whose members are proud to call themselves – Sneakerheads.

The beginning of sneaker collection 

Sneaker collecting got its start in the late 1970s as part of the rapidly growing b-boy and hip-hop movement of New York City. Unique clothes were a craze in the early days of hip-hop, and sneakers were easily customized, either by colour coordinating laces to an outfit or by filling in the triple stripes on a pair of Adidas with a magic marker. The sneaker craze hit mainstream America when Nike and Michael Jordan introduced Air Jordans in 1985. The shoes proved so popular that, by the early 1990s, some estimates say that 1 in every 12 Americans had a pair of Air Jordans.

Doing it the South African way. 
We have come to see a rapidly growing culture of sneaker collection in South Africa. From street culture at the locations to social events to pop up stores to small businesses, the term “sneakerhead” has become customary. While there might be endless debates between a true sneakerhead and a person who claims to be a sneakerhead, the motivation behind the sale of the sole initially determines who the real sneakerhead is. 
The sneaker exchange event
Sneaker Exchange is a definition Eden to the devoted “sneakerhead. An event where sole lovers can buy, sell and trade their sneakers. An organic conversation for those accustomed to the event and rather a pretentious reality to those who are not acquainted yet. Be as it may, this event consorts the two together by educating the amateur and exhilarate the pro. It's quite heart-warming to be surrounded by people with a common interest under one roof, in this case, collectively collecting sneakers. The multiformity of having a variety of soles displayed on a table for these collectors to love, appraise, critique or simply collect is a long- standing devotion to both the craft and the love.

This type of event has bred a community of old and new connoisseurs to indulge in, educate and appreciate the culture. It has also become a marquee of opportunities for young stars to trade, businesses to grow and a new kind of canvas for artists to probe.

 Find a collection of different styles of Soviet sneakers here:



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The Top 12 Miss South Africa finalists – who are vying for the title of Miss South Africa 2017 – have been announced.

They will compete to wear the prestigious crown at the Sun City Superbowl on Sunday, March 26, in an event which will be televised live and simulcast on M-Net and Mzansi Magic.

Miss South Africa 2017 will receive R1-million in cash from sponsors Sun International and Cell C, as well as a bouquet of prizes that will elevate the competition to one of the richest pageants in the world.

The finalists come from three of the country’s nine provinces: eight are from Gauteng with two from the Western Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal. In Gauteng they come from Alexandra, Soweto, Lenasia, Pretoria, Benoni and Krugersdorp and the Western Cape finalists hail from Herold’s Bay and Sedgefield. Kwa-Zulu Natal contestants come from Durban and Mtunzini.

They are (in alphabetical order of their first names):

  1. Adè van Heerden – Herold’s Bay, Western Cape
  1. Boipelo Mabe – Alexandra, Gauteng
  1. Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters – Sedgefield, Western Cape
  2. Iman Mkwanazi – Lenasia, Gauteng
  3. Kayla Malherbe – Mtunzini, Kwa Zulu Natal
  4. Nicole van Niekerk - Môregloed, Pretoria, Gauteng
  5. Nompumelelo Mampholo – Diepkloof, Soweto, Gauteng
  6. Odirile Sepeng – Mabopane, Pretoria, Gauteng
  1. Priyeshka Lutchman – Yellowwood Park, Durban, Kwa Zulu Natal
  1. Shané Naidoo – Benoni, Gauteng
  2. Shelbe Pretorius – Pinehaven, Krugersdorp, Gauteng
  3. Yuta Raubenheimer – Kameeldrift, Pretoria, Gauteng

For the first time in the history of the Miss South Africa pageant, members of the public were invited to vote for their favourite Miss South Africa 2017 semi-finalist and propel her into the Top 12. The winner of the public vote was Pretoria’s Nicole van Niekerk.

The second round of public voting opens at midnight on February 2. The public’s SMS votes will have a 25 percent weighting of the overall voting towards the winner, with 75 percent resting with the official judges. Voting is done via SMS. The public can SMS the number of their favourite Top 12 finalist to the short code number 45791.  Each SMS will cost R1.50. Proceeds from the competition will benefit the Cell C Girl Child Bursary Fund. Up for grabs for five lucky voters is a weekend at The Palace at Sun City and VIP tickets to attend the live Miss South Africa pageant and after party at Sun City. For more information visit the Miss South Africa website

Says Sun International PR Manager Claudia Henkel: “We are absolutely delighted with the finalists. The young women who have been selected depict everything that we hope the pageant represents; intelligence, integrity and beauty.”

Suzette van der Merwe, Managing Executive for Cell C says: “The Miss South Africa pageant provides a prestigious and respected platform for these dynamic, talented young women to discover their strengths, boost their confidence and propel their lives forward. It provides life changing experiences for all the participants and, for the winner, an opportunity to inspire and make a real difference.”

The young woman who is crowned Miss South Africa 2017 will automatically become the spokesperson for the Cell C Take a Girl Child to Work Day initiative.

Ntandoyenkosi Kunene, the current Miss South Africa who recently competed in both Miss World and Miss Universe, will crown her successor at the 2017 pageant.

The Miss South Africa Pageant is a proud collaboration between Sun International and Cell C. The new Miss South Africa 2017 will be crowned at Sun City on March 26 and simulcast live on Mzansi Magic (Channel 161) and M-Net (Channel 101).

Judges for the pageant include Maps Maponyane, Bridget Masinga and Ezra Davids, with more celebrity judges to be announced for the final.

Go to:

The Miss South Africa 2017 semi-finalists are (in alphabetical order with their unique key numbers for public voting):

Adè van Heerden is a 25-year-old medical doctor and second lieutenant in the South African Military Health Services. She comes from Herold’s Bay in the Western Cape. She won Protea colours in rhythmic gymnastics at the age of 13 and was a gold medal winner at the All African Championships. As a junior doctor Adè doesn’t get much spare time, but when she does, she likes boxing and hiking as well as baking anything from extravagant cakes to brownies.

23-year-old Boipelo Mabe from Alexandra is a full time Masters student, model and news reader on Soweto TV. She was a classical ballet dancer for nine years. She credits her father as her greatest role model. “From him I have learned the principles of hard work, standing for what I believe in and to be independent. I used to be embarrassed by the fact that my dad was a taxi driver but today I have grown to embrace and celebrate it. I realised it was his presence, love and support that mattered most to my growth and development as a young woman, not his job title.” Boipelo loves the outdoors and road trips far away from the city.

Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters from Sedgefield in the Western Cape is a 21-year-old final year B.Com business management and entrepreneurship student. She is also a part- time model at Boss Models and Vision Management. She was the first girl in her high school to be chosen as head girl of both the school and its hostel. Demi-Leigh was also elected as the Deputy Junior Mayor of the George City Council in grade 11. She makes handmade cards and does scrapbooking. She says her biggest motivator is her half-sister who was born without a cerebellum and is completely disabled.

Iman Mkwanazi (26) is a professional model who also happens to run her own construction company. Hailing from Lenasia, Iman says that she is really shy and often goes red in the face when meeting new people who pay her compliments. Her favourite Miss South Africa is Basetsana Kumalo whom she admires for her business skills. In her spare time, Iman reads while also visiting new restaurants, going to art galleries and hiking.

Kayla Malherbe is a 21-year-old model from Mtunzini in Kwa Zulu Natal. For her, former Miss South Africa and Miss World Rolene Strauss is the epitome of beauty with a purpose. Kayla wants to be Miss South Africa in order to inspire the whole of South Africa to want to make a change for the better. She is passionate about children and often helps out at the small school in her hometown.

Twenty-six-year-old Nicole van Niekerk from Môregloed in Pretoria is an events planner who specialises in children’s parties, a part-time model and au-pair. She likes spending time with her family and her labrador Kaylee. Nicole says she takes inspiration from her mother who got a degree when she was in her 50s. Nicole – who recently took up ballet classes – admits to being terrified of heights. She is a vegetarian whose favourite meal is pasta mixed with an assortment of vegetables.

Nompumelelo Mampholo (20) from Diepkloof in Soweto is a shareholder in Conquerors, an event and management company. Growing up, Nompumelelo used to be a real tomboy. She loves spending time with family and friends, playing sport, going to the gym and reading inspirational books. Nompumelelo would use the Miss South Africa prize money to go back to school and complete her studies. Her father works in the field of arts, culture and heritage and her mother is a sergeant in the South Africa Police.

Twenty-three-year-old Odirile Sepeng from Mapobane in Pretoria is a BCom Law student at Varsity College. She loves drawing and painting and is interested in photography. Odirile always says that the best days are unplanned, random and spontaneous, so a hike with friends or a picnic at the park is always a good idea. She is also a Latin American and ballroom dancer. She currently focuses on her law books but when she needs a dose of inspiration she references one of her favourite books, The Secret by Rhonda Bryne.

Priyeshka Lutchman (24) from Yellowwood Park in Durban is a business management student and model. She likes spending her spare time with friends enjoying long lunches and board games. Other favourite pastimes are listening to music, going on picnics and traveling to beautiful and adventurous destinations. Priyeshka loves amusement parks and will always go on the scariest rides which give her an adrenaline rush. She has three brothers.

Shané Naidoo (24) of Benoni is an industrial engineering student at the University of the Witwatersrand who is set to graduate in 2016. She enjoys being outdoors and staying fit and active. Another favourite pastime is trying out new restaurants. Shané loves to bake and often spends Sunday afternoons trying out new healthy recipes to satisfy her sweet tooth. Shané – a Miss South Africa finalist in 2015 - boxes to keep fit and says she throws a mean right hook!

Shelbe Pretorius (23) from Krugersdorp is the owner of Flair promotional models. She enjoys having lunch dates with her friends on one of her rare days off. She is a committee member at House Jade (a haven for orphaned children); a volunteer youth worker at Christ Kids Trust and works at the West Rand School, a school for children with disabilities and special needs. Shelbe – who loves making people laugh – says her favourite meal is a good rump steak and vegetables!

Yuta Raubenheimer, from Kameeldrift near Pretoria, is a 25-year-old customer service supervisor for Gautrain. To be Miss South Africa has always been her dream for as long as she can remember. She loves dancing and used to do some contemporary ballet but now does sh’bam, zumba and advanced aerobics. She is also involved with Toastmasters, sings at her church’s worship team and takes part in a number of charity projects. Her first career choice was to join the South African Defence Force as an air force pilot, as serving South Africa has always been her heart’s desire.

Issued by Ninesquared Communications and Events on behalf of Sun International. For more information please contact Stephanie Weil at on 084 999 8181