All the tour guides working at Maropeng and its Long March to Freedomopen-air exhibition are sporting new shoes, thanks to a generous sponsorship from South Africa’s Veldskoen shoes brand.

Veldskoen – producing a “reimagined version” of the iconic, handcrafted, durable leather “vellies” that have been popular in South Africa for many decades – uses African rawhide leather to make its products.

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Tour guides are excited about their iconic new handcrafted “vellies”, sponsored by South African shoe brand Veldskoen. (Image: Maropeng)

The shoes are perfectly suited for tour guides, who constantly have to be on their feet while conducting tours around Maropeng and the Long March to Freedom exhibition.

“Every two years, the uniforms of our professional guides need to be replaced, as the clothing takes quite a heavy strain. Suitable shoes are really a very big expense for us. We are therefore delighted by the Veldskoen sponsorship,” says Maropeng managing director Michael Worsnip.

Veldskoen founders Nick Dreyer, Nick Latouf and Ross Zondagh reportedly decided to launch an updated version of the classic veldskoen in August 2016 after realising that the South African Olympic team wasn’t wearing anything iconically South African to represent their country.

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Veldskoen is passionate about its African heritage and determined to help preserve it. (Image: Maropeng)

The company describes Veldskoen as “a traditional South African shoe with an injection of youth, energy and happiness”. The shoes come in several different styles for men and women, with the soles and laces in a choice of cool colours. The brand has also been launched in the UK, Europe and – most recently – the US.

Veldskoen is passionate about its African heritage and determined to help preserve it. Maropeng is a world-famous Unesco World Heritage Site with one of the world’s richest fossil yields, boasting many significant scientific discoveries that have allowed researchers to track our common ancestry as the human species. So, this sponsorship is a natural fit.

The Long March to Freedom exhibition is one of the largest exhibitions of representational bronze sculptures in the world, with the late US civil rights activist Martin Luther King’s statue unveiled as the latest addition to the collection. All the life-sized statues in the exhibition are also wearing veldskoene.

“Maropeng plays a wonderful role in presenting the best Africa can offer to the world. We have done this consistently for the past 18 years and we’re pleased to note from TripAdvisor and other sources that we’re keeping up this high standard,” says Worsnip.