Nelson Mandela's favourite footwear during his 28-year long incarceration on Robben Island was a pair of blue and white Hi-Tec tennis trainers. Upon his departure, he auctioned them off for charity.
When Hi-Tec Sports founder Frank van Wezel – an admirer of the late president – heard that Mandela’s Hi-Tec trainers were going up for auction to raise funds for the Nelson Mandela Foundation, he bought them without hesitation.
Since then, the shoes have been kept in a glass case on display at the company’s global concept store in Amsterdam. Tourists from all over the world visited the store to see the shoes, take pictures and express their admiration for Madiba.
But now, the trainers have returned home. In December 2018, Van Wezel brought the shoes back to South Africa where they are being displayed and can now be viewed at the Hi-Tec concept store in Church Street, Stellenbosch.