Founder of Vaya, Themba Makamo, Reflects A Year After Opening The First Store

In November 2021, nine months after launching a Vaya Footwear from a backroom in Katlehong, Themba Makamo officially launched the brand first first-ever store in Newtown Junction Mall, Johannesburg.

“We are excited by the prospect of creating job opportunities for our communities while helping others achieve their goals,”

Makamu during the opening of the store

A year later, Makamo took to his Instagram account to reflect on what has happened since opening the store in late 2021.

“Since opening the store, we have seen people from all walks of life embrace the brand. The store has not only served those that wanted a pair. But it has become a cultural hub. We always joke, that with the Newtown store ‘you must expect the unexpected.’’ And it’s true. So far, a CNN documentary has been shot at the store, a movie, music videos, reality show, podcasts, adverts…and more.”

Makamo, a former journalist turned entrepreneur, began the idea of Vaya back in 2019. Without any funding, he raised his own capital, and with the assistance of others, secured a manufacturing partner, made the first pairs, and its been UP since.

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