By: Paul Ndiho
The label “made in Africa” is not something you often see on shoes. But a young African entrepreneur is trying to change that with his quality shoe business, Horseman Shoes – a Ghanaian-based footwear manufacturing company.
A Native Kumasi, Ghana, Tonyi Senayah is one of a growing number of young social entrepreneurs who wants to do something good for his community, while personally doing well. He launched his company nearly 5 years ago, with an aim to build Ghana’s biggest footwear manufacturing company. Last year, Horseman shoes received an endorsement from Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama, who sported a pair Horsemen shoes during 2014 State of the Nation address in Parliament. Since that day, the company’s his sales have soared.
“This is Horseman Presidential — this is what we did for the president of Ghana when he wore it to parliament last year to deliver the state of the nation address. And it is one of the top notch and best-selling shoes. Normally, people who are top of the corporate ladder will want to go for these shoes, who are a bit conservative.
Horseman’s business is booming. It has gone from selling just a few pairs of quality shoes to bringing in more than Six Thousand US Dollars a month.
“This is one of our best selling shoes. Most the times when young people come here, those who want to get married, those who want to do weddings, they don’t have what to wear in mind. So we normally suggest that once you are wearing a suit you must look formal, you must look very serious. And naturally all the corporate guys want these shoes.”
Emmanuel Kwashi is a regular customer; he says quality shoes are a very important piece of the fashionable man’s wardrobe.
“We all know it is a Ghanaian brand. Because it’s a Ghanaian brand we want to be associated with it, not only associate with it because it’s Ghanaian, but I spoke about quality. I mean you’re looking for the best of leather then you talk about Horseman.”
Cabuttey Okansi is another regular customer and he says Horseman Shoes provides the Ghanaian working class with quality footwear that reflects people’s status.
“This is Horseman Shoes; this is where I buy most of my shoes. I do a variety of things, so my needs for shoes are quite varied. I’m a stage actor, so that one can come up with any kind of costume. And fortunately Horseman helps out with that.
Tonyi Senayah says his company wants to create a product by Ghanaians — for Ghanaians– thereby creating an avenue for young men and women with the skill in craftsmanship and arts to explore their talents and abilities to fulfill their dreams. Godfrey Nkrumah is one of the company’s shoe makers.
Horseman shoes are of high quality and quality leather. They’re affordable and a lot stronger. The shoes are good, the heel, the leather, everything is all original.
To stay ahead of the competition, Horseman Shoes is bringing in experts from Italy to train shoe makers. Italian Industry expert, Roberto Gussoni is teaching these young apprentices new skills.
“My goal is to teach them how to make a good design, good shoes. Maybe not always the same shoes that they are making every day. But try to give the message to give them the opportunity to make some other competitor shoes.
Analysts say the Horseman brand is becoming a household name. But, whether it can sustain the growth, keep the price point low and continue to employ workers at higher wages than its counterparts will, ultimately, be the true test.
Paul Ndiho is a Ugandan – American video journalist/ executive producer, Africa Innovations & Technology based in Washington D.C with interests in innovation, technology and entrepreneurship in Africa. He is passionate about mentorship and developing the next generation of Africa’s young leaders. Email:email@example.com, Facebook: Paul Ndiho and Twitter: @pndiho