BY NATHANIEL GONDO
Brighten Tatenda Tipi, the CEO and founder of Shoeguru Laundry Zimbabwe, has been invited to speak at the prestigious Sole Survivor Conference on September 23, 2023.
The conference, which brings together reputable brands in the emerging African shoe care industry, will take place at Tshimologong Precinct in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Tipi’s invitation is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Shoeguru Laundry team and their commitment to providing the highest quality of service. The conference will feature speakers such as Khama Hlabahlaba Motanyane and Nhlero Hlatshwayo, founders of sneaker cleaning companies Walk Fresh and Sneaker Shack in South Africa.
The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Learn, Formalize, Inspire’. Tipi’s presentation will revolve around this theme from a Zimbabwean perspective.
“I will present on three topics; which are learn, formalise and inspire,” says Tipi.Tipi is humbled by the invitation and amazed by the regional recognition.
“I’m humbled by this invitation because it makes me feel so special being recognised in Africa. To be honest I was really surprised that people out of our country were observing to that extent of seeing the hard work we are doing,” beams Tipi.
As an environmentally conscious company, Tipi is excited to learn about how other companies are instituting ‘going green’ initiatives in their day-to-day operations. He is also keen to teach people about the importance of taking up careers that are often looked down upon.
“I’m anticipating to learn how others deal with ‘going green’ measures because with us, we reinforce the 3 Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) to protect the environment. We will also teach them on taking a career path that is often looked down upon in our society and how it has changed the lives so many youth in the country,” says Tipi.
In addition to the Sole Survivors Conference, the organizers are also hosting the first-ever Soul Survivors Awards. The awards recognize hard-working individuals who have dedicated themselves to the art of sneaker cleaning. There will be five categories: Entrepreneur of the Year, Business Of The Year, Rising Star, OG Lifetime Achievement and Continent’s Most Loved. Nominations are open to the public.
Tipi would prefer a win in the Rising Star category. “We aren’t selected for any award but these awards are open to everyone so we decided Rising Star in cleaning sneakers since we got invited as guest speakers,” Tipi highlights.
This is not the first time that Shoeguru Laundry has been invited to the regional conference. They were invited in 2021 but were unable to attend due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Shoe Guru’s attendance at this year’s conference proves that delay is not denial.
With voting ending on September 3, go and vote for one of own on the link below: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeJcYczAB0iSt7tJtuUk83rdGnEml-6XHrpSm2AnDdSS0-pDQ/viewform