MOSSEL BAY NEWS AND VIDEO - Art comes in many different forms, such as shoes.
When form and function meet in a satisfactory way, you have a winner. Such is the case with Divvie Pienaar's handmade shoes.
There are no two pairs the same. Divvie's speciality is plakkies - flip flops. You can choose the colour leather and cotton you want in the morning and have your flip flops made by the afternoon.
Watch a video below.
Because he pays particular attention to the quality of his materials, Divvie's shoes can last for decades. They might only need resoling or reheeling over the years.
His workshop is in Voorbaai, where he and his employee, Rudi Roelfse, spend many hours. "I enjoy my work tremendously," Divvie says. "I'm always here."
There are interesting details in his shoes which further go to making them unique. Inside the boots and shoes is a little pressure pad - a spongy map of Africa sewn on to the sole. This prevents the sole from cracking, Divvie explains. Also, with the map of Africa, are the co-ordinates of Mossel Bay, sewn on.
Divvie's label on his shoes and plakkies consists of a series of phonetic letters: mike, bravo, alpha, yankee. If you put the first letter of each of these words together, it spells M Bay, short for Mossel Bay.
Divvie attracts customers through his facebook page and there are also faithful local fans of his handiwork, who send tourists his way.
Leather and cotton
The tourists delight in choosing their own colour leather and cotton and simply cannot wait to fetch their custom-made art pieces later in the day.
A person who has a prosthetic leg had a shoe specially made by Divvie. When the man went to see his specialist in George, he was asked, excitedly: "Where did you find your shoes?" Now the specialist sends his other patients to Divvie to have special shoes made. Divvie is pleased to be able to help people in this way. "I also have several elderly customers."
Comfort is key to these clients, Divvie says.
"Also, some people with a disability need one sole thicker than the other," he adds.
When you walk into his workshop, you are struck by the brightly coloured pieces of leather, the sewing machines and the large variety of leather shoes. It is a hive of activity and creativity. The radio is on and there is a "good vibe".
What is Divvie's standard wear? A T-shirt, baggy jeans and a pair of his own plakkies.
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