Saturday, 13 February 2021

Collaboration is the newest form of innovation and Bathu aims to be a sneaker brand that Africans can proudly affiliate with. A Sneaker Brand from Africa for Africa, and a collaboration with Somizi Mhlongo-Motaung is one like no other. 




At the inception of sneaker brand Bathu, founder Theo Baloyi approached a couple of local public figures to help promote the establishment of the brand. Taking a chance of going to their workplaces, he’d patiently wait to hopefully bump into them and be awarded the opportunity of pitching how and why Bathu would be the brand they would like to collaborate with. With sheer resilience, that’s exactly how Theo crossed paths with media personality Somizi.




After Theo waited to get a chance to talk to him at his Metro FM radio show at the SABC Studios, Somizi gave him the opportunity to sell the sneaker to him and he went for it. Baloyi presented his brand as profound as he could, just like any other man with a vision for their brand. Driven as he is, he asked the star to be an influencer for the sneaker, by taking a photo wearing it and posting it on his social media. Somizi did not give a straight answer, treating the offer like he would any other that would request a similar trade. 

3 weeks later at The Durban July, Somizi posted himself wearing the sneaker and people began referring to it as “is’cathulo saka Somizi” . That’s when Theo knew that the relationship between Bathu and the personality would commence. The affiliation between the brands set-off at that time to become what it is today, as Bathu launches the #BathuXSomizi. 




Bathu aiming to be a sneaker brand that Africans can proudly affiliate with, this collaboration was a no brainer. The partnership came of birth easy because of the similarity in stories the two brands carry. 




Given creative power and 3 years to produce, Somizi was hands on and very precise with what kinds of colours, detail and packaging he would like the shoes to embody. Knowing that Bathu is a proudly South African produced sneaker, he wanted the box of the shoe to symbolise the night lights that reminded him of his upbringing in Soweto, as well as designs coming in four minerals inspired colours being gold, diamond, silver and ruby red. A stylish blend of meaningful design messaging, with a touch of his glamorous style and personality.


“January last year, I had an Aha moment, and thought, how about we have a mineral range, Gold, Silver, Platinum and Ruby, Theo loved it, designed the shoes and brought the samples, I loved it, excited, enjoyed it and knew that this was going to work because I am ‘King of bling’, I love stones, my favourite stones are tanzanite, diamond, rubys, the gems. That’s how the range BathuXSomizi came about! and it’s because of the love of finer things in life, the love of celebrating the richness of Africa and the love for just beautiful things'' - Somizi Mhlongo 



“This has been a long time coming, I am personally excited about this collaboration with Somizi. He has been a friend of the brand since inception and this needed to be done THE RIGHT WAY. I can't wait to see how people receive it!” - Theo Baloyi



Sneakers will be available for purchase at Bathu stores nationwide and online at www.bathu.co.za