Deputy Lifestyle Editor
Remember the days when you serenaded to the early sounds of Oliver Mtukudzi’s music and it was inevitable to encounter the “Hai-kobo, aha, Hai-kobo aha” lyrics accompanied by a fashionable dance that was unmistakably Tuku’s?
It was so characteristic of the music legend to come up with his own way of dancing and of course there is the signature cough that completes the legacy of the Highfield-bred innovative musician.
And now to take the Tuku brand to another level, the musician who has been in the business for more than four decades has unleashed a new brand of footwear aptly called “Hai-Kobo”, which carries his trade mark Tuku signature.
He joins the band of other popular international musicians who have their own branded apparel, fragrances and even drinks.
The limited range of footwear is now available Barbours departmental store in Harare and Socrati Man, Rosebank in South Africa.
Hai-Kobo range comprises a diverse range of genuine leather men’s shoes and sandals that are now available for both the Zimbabwe and export markets. Plans to introduce women and children’s ranges are underway and will also include school wear.
A spokesman for the manufacturers said the concept was designed and developed by Mtukudzi over a five-year period and used genuine calf full grain leathers to come up with the premium range of footwear that was consistent with Tuku’s status as a tourism and goodwill ambassador. The range will be on the market for the 2015-2016 fashion season and comprises both formal and casual fittings in leather and suede.
But why Hai-Kobo?
Said Mtukudzi: “Hai-kobo is an uplifting dance, it is for releasing distressed emotions, and it is a therapeutic dance.” He believes that with his new brand of footwear, fans will find resonance with the values espoused by his yesteryear music and the dances that were popular then.
The predominant theme being the pride in being Zimbabwean and recognising the need to make things happen on an individual level.
The exclusive range of shoes is made from calf skin. This type of leather is used almost exclusively in higher quality men’s and women’s dress shoes.