Kivu Leather: best shoes in town
Olivier Maheshe runs Kivu Leather, the only business making shoes and sandals in Bukavu. His love for the work is obvious in the way he organises his team of twelve to work to a high level of quality and the time he takes to source local materials.
Before our collaboration he worked with three employees in a makeshift workshop in a poor area of town called Kadutu. With our support he has moved to a spacious workshop in Nyawera and is now employing twelve people and making around 2000 pairs of shoes and sandals per month.
High inflation has reduced still further the small amount of disposable income in people’s pockets and Olivier is having to concentrate on meeting the price limitations of the majority of customers, but still there are some who have the money for customized shoes. Such customers visit Olivier to discuss and place their order and pay accordingly. It’s profitable work and something of a contrast to the hard graft needed to sustain production at the lower end of the market.
Olivier is not disheartened. Shoemaking is his calling and he knows with confidence that his business will succeed.