The Struggle

The first sneaker from the Long Walks by African Minions (LW by AM) range is The Struggle.

The first sneaker from the Long Walks by African Minions (LW by AM) range is The Struggle.  Because the sneaker is a story telling platform, every part of the design tells a story, from tribal patterns to culture. Because this first range pays homage to Mandela’s life, and the life of the grandfather of our founder (Ashby Peters Solomzi Mda – who also fought in the struggle) he is Xhosa so we touch on Xhosa culture through our design in a very unconventional way.


This sneaker is designed with an extraordinarily strong aesthetic, made to look and feel like a combat boot. It tells the story that led to Mandela’s 27-year incarceration and the story of those comrades that were arrested at the Rivonia trial. This is where our story begins. We start the story at the end with this sneaker, the coming sneakers will be working the story back to the beginning. 

This shoe marks the tumultuous era of the late 1940s and 1950s which is characterized by a shift from an intellectual and peaceful passive protest to a more active direct, volatile and disruptive protest form. Our sneaker has a strong, bold and distinctive character reminiscent of the armed struggle. Its design pays homage to some of the core values of what defined the struggle movement from its birth to its peak; resilience, focus and a powerful presence.


The shoe’s aesthetic aims to give, with the glance of an eye, some intrigue into the richer and more complex story of a nation’s struggle. Design elements bringing in an authentically African, expertly crafted for durability, style, and visual story telling found in the detail. This lifestyle boot sneaker is made to complement the Socially conscious urbanite believing in sustainable and responsible brands.

Long Walks

We are inspired by a call Nelson Mandela made in 2008 for the next generation to take on the burden of leadership in addressing the world’s social injustices when he said, “it is in your hands now”.

The following year Nelson Mandela International Day was launched in recognition of Nelson Mandela’s birthday on 18 July, 2009 via a unanimous decision of the UN General Assembly.

This birthed the “67 minutes” initiative which encourages all global citizens to take part in a charitable deed for that period. This concept is more than a celebration of Mandela’s life and legacy. It is a global movement to honour his life’s work and act to change the world for the better. The message behind Mandela Day is simple – each individual has the ability and the responsibility to change the world for the better. This is the core of the formation of African Minions. We are heeding this call.

African Minions is a socially conscious company that aims to make a difference in the lives of Africans. African Minions is founded on 4 pillars: resilience, focus, presence and inspiration.

Off the founding pillars African Minions as a collective and verb defining an active citizen contributing towards the progression of African people in Africa and in the diaspora.


We identify with people who are or have displayed resilience in defying the state of mental captivity that Africans find themselves in and fighting to achieve their goals. The African Minion’s mentality that maintains focus on the goals they want to achieve, the African Minions ability to show up (presence) and take ownership of their chosen path and finally, the inspiration they give off as a by-product of the founding pillars of mentality that can take one from a position of minion to an African Minion.