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“Velskoen, pronounced “fell-skoon” and known colloquially as “vellies,” are the ancestor of the modern-day desert boot. Vellies were first made in the 1600s, inspired by the footwear of the Khoikhoi tribe and crafted using raw materials. Later, our vellies were adapted by British travellers, packaged and renamed to be what we now know as desert boots. (Brother Vellies) are made in the coastal town of Swakopmund, Namibia. There, a small group of eight Damara gentlemen assemble every shoe by hand, turning out just 20 pairs an afternoon. …Vellies are made of vegetable-dyed Kudu leather. The Namibian government mandates the culling of these large native antelope to control their population. Kudu skin yields amazingly durable leather and suede that ages exceptionally well. Because these hides are taken from wild animals they often show scars or other “imperfections” that domesticated hides do not.” — Namibians wearing Vellies

I was having a conversation earlier this afternoon with a friend of mine, about cinema’s in Joburg, particularly open air ones. When the weather in Joburg is awesome, it’s awesome, aint nothing bad about it, and I often find that people here are always looking for places to be able to hang out, outside, at night.

Unless you have the *luxury* of having a garden, or living in the type of place which affords you the safety to be outside at night, you kinda miss Jozi evening awesome'ness.

If I won the lotto I’d just buy up pieces of land and set up night parks for people to be able to sit and hold hands and read books and eat ice-cream in (someone wanna give me some doe?)

What I was discussing with this friend in particular though, were drive-ins…Now if you’re not a 90’s-or-before kid, you might not know what a drive-in is.

The first thing you need to know is that they were epic.

Drive-ins were outdoor cinemas, where for R50 or so bucks, per car (so you could fill your car with as many friends as possible, no matter what size car), you could drive into this huge parking lot, and sit and watch two movies (TWO), either in camp chairs, or in your car, and then the sound would be played either on these metal walkie-talkie type things which would clip to your car window, or, you could listen to the movie via your car radio.

You would pack a picnic, or get take-aways, and just chill and do what you wanted. No-one to tell you to shush coz you laughed too loud, and no super expensive popcorn and coke that ended up being more expensive than the actual movie ticket. For a lot of parents it was awesome coz the little kids would just sleep in the car, and you wouldn’t have to worry about crying babies.

My best memories are going out in my pajamas (coz you know when you’re under 10, a matching pajama set makes you an automatic BAUSS) with my blanket, chilling watching movies with my bro in the back of the car, or going to the tuck shop during the break between the movies (still in my bauss pajamas), and buying bonus sweets, checking out all the other kids in their pajamas.

The last drive-in that I know of in Jozi, or at least the one we would always go to, Velskoen, closed down a year or two ago…TOTAL BLEAKAGE.

There’s an event coming up in Marks Park on the 16th November where they’re setting up an inflatable drive-in, and showing about 8 short films for R250 per car. The organisers are called “Short & Sweet Joburg”,  and the event is called Full Moon Drive-In Cinema. I don’t know how easy it’s gonna be to watch films with a full moon, but it sounds like it’s gonna be epic. Click on the links for more info about the event or the event organisers, and the T’s & C’s for the event.

Man I feel bad for kids these days…Maybe if I win the lotto I’ll set up a drive-in instead…



Schier Shoes, has been making velskoen out of Swakopmund, Namibia, since 1935. They call them velskoen, pronounced “fell-skoon”, known colloquially as “vellies” or “skoens”.

“They’re the ancestor of the modern-day desert boot,” says Aurora James, creative director at Schier Shoes.

“They have been around since the 1600s, inspired by the footwear of the Khoikhoi, and were crafted using raw materials. Since then they have evolved and have been given a rubber sole.” - TIMESLIVE