Benin’s shoe company Sakashoes showcased at SIAO’s fair in Ouagadougou
A SPONSORED FEATURE
The thirtieth anniversary-edition of the Ouagadougou International Art and Craft Fair, SIAO, will be held 26 October through 4 November. The biannual commercial event, which attracts participants from all over Africa, will be attended this year by 28 artisans from Benin alone, just south of Burkina Faso’s capital. Among the Beninese participants, one displays unusual talents in his industry, the shoe industry: Sakashoes.
SIAO’s self-explanatory objective is to serve as a framework for the promotion and the exchange of African handicrafts by bringing together artisans from all over the continent in an effort to facilitate their access to the international market. Sakashoes, a shoe company launched back in 1991 by Sakaliou Salifou, is eager to take advantage of this opportunity to seduce both retail and B2B clienteles with his fine signature products.
Sakaliou Salifou was born in a family where making shoes has been a tradition for as long as the family can remember, the Salifou family that originated from Cana, in the southern region of Benin, but is spread throughout the country. But Salifou, now a highly-skilled shoemaker whose company turns out fine shoes for all occasions, did not learn his trade in the family. He developed his skills as a teenager on his own. He made his first shoes while in secondary school. Salifou tells The African:
“I made my first shoes in 1984 for my History & Geography teacher when I was in 10th grade. My teacher was so impressed he showed them to two of his colleagues who placed orders and were happy, too.”
“A well-dressed man is a man with nice shoes,” Salifou said repeatedly to The African in his workshop while his employees and apprentices were busy at work.
Sakashoes shoes are made 100 in-house, with first-grade material, mostly acquired locally, but sometimes purchased in neighboring countries such as the valued boa snake leather he told The African he bought in Nigeria.
With abundant inventory in store, Sakashoes is eyeing a larger share of the international market. He has all the needed assets to do so: fine products at very competitive prices, barely $60 for fine dress-shoes, and way less for the casual, yet elegant variety, all of which sell for triple that much in other stores.
Maison BADA Aimé
Cotonou – Benin.
Ph: +229-64-67-57-44 & +229-62-58-20-43
Email: [email protected]