Background on the Founder

I’m not a sneaker head, just an ordinary black woman from South Africa who had a dream 12 years ago of creating a sneaker that is a story telling platform that gives back and a passion that would lead me to carry it through.

I didn’t want to be like just another brand that takes an already existing design of sneakers and just put my name on it. I wanted to create something new, something original that can compete with international high-end sneakers, something that we can proud of and South Africans can be proud to wear.

After coming up with this concept, I embarked on a 12-year journey that would lead me to collaborating with an amazing American sneaker designer who took my story and together we created the design of the Long Walks by African Minions. After a year of failed attempts to find a factory to manufacture the prototype in South Africa, a fate connection put me us touch with the CEO of a factory in Portugal who believed in the brand that we were trying to create so much that he agreed to create the prototype for us.

18months and 5 prototype revisions later, we have our shoe… the Perfect Long Walks that took us on a real long walk of self-discovery and learning that we were never prepared for.


It’s been a long 12 years of blood, sweat, tears and a lot of personal funds invested to create this prototype, but we are here, ready to compete with top international brands and make South Africa proud. 


South Africans and the world will be our investors by pre-ordering the sneaker. Long Walks are about (amongst a lot of other things) wearing your protest and getting the confidence to protest social norms and spaces that we are so often (as black people and woman) “barred” from or that are made to seem impossible to enter. We hope that our story can inspire the next South African, African and the diaspora to wear their protest and break whatever boundaries that are holding them back from living out their wildest dreams.

Creator and Founder - Mpumi Mda

The Team

Neo Bobbie Lehana
Co-owner and Director
Lerato Tlee Moiloa
Co-owner and Director