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South African Sneakerhead and Air Jordan 1 Girl: Thumeka Moletsane Henkeman

Interviews

Hapsari Listya
September 19, 2022

White Converse Jack Purcell 3 Strap Velco Leather Low Top is the first sneaker that make Tumeka @zelae_summer knew she would have a big sneaker collection one day. As an Air Jordan 1 girl, you would see Air Jordan 1 Lucky Green and Air Jordan 1 Court Purple in her daily sneaker rotation!

All images via @zelae_summer

What was the moment you first got drawn to sneakers, and which pair of sneakers triggered your passion?

It goes way back to high school. It was always a gift from my mom and siblings that if I do well at school, I will get a pair of kicks. So that excited me so much and to a certain extent it turned me into an excellent student. 

I remember the first pair of sneakers that made me fall in love with the culture was the White Converse Jack Purcell 3 Strap Velcro Leather Low Top. Back then it was expensive so owning one was a huge thing. From there on, I knew I would have a massive collection one day.

What are some of your observations or personal stories when it comes to collecting kicks?

Ah I could write a book about personal stories but from an observation perception, the sneaker culture is growing immensely, a lot of sneakerheads are popping up out of nowhere however the supply for sneakers is getting less. It’s becoming a difficult hobby to maintain.

What are some of the current pairs of sneakers in your rotation?

I am an Air Jordan 1 baby through and through – so you are most likely to find all my outfits paired with Jordan 1’s. My current rotation would be the Air Jordan 1 Lucky Green and my Air Jordan 1 Court Purple/Metallic purple. I always find an excuse to wear them.

Can you please describe how it feels to you when you get and wear a new pair of kicks?

I feel like a kid honestly, it’s the best feeling in the world. I pass by my sneaker daily and great my sneakers – so to add and wear new ones, feels like I am adding another baby in my life I need to take care of - Hectic stuff.

What is one sneaker collaboration that doesn’t exist, but you wish/think should exist?

Would love to see more of J Balvin’s & Nike collaborations. 

What do you think is the most under-rated pair?

Fear of God Essentials x Converse Chuck Taylor Pack. I almost missed this drop because I did not hear much about it and usually, I am on top of these things. I managed to get the black and the white pair, still missing the grey pair. The quality on these is amazing and I was worried about comfortability, but they are super gentle on the feet. Love them.

What are some of your favourite creators/designers or brands and why?

Ah man – no doubt Virgil Abloh. What he accomplished since joining the fashion industry in 2009 has been remarkable and a clear definition of what hard work can yield in the long run. He also spent his time to mentor and provide mentoring resources to young designers – mentoring is something I am passionate about and I believe we all have a responsibility to give back and give direction to the youth.

So, his heart and his work ethic will always put him in a high pedestal in my view.

What is your ultimate holy grail sneaker that you have not managed to acquire so far?

I have three: Travis Scott x Fragment Jordan 1 Low, Air Jordan I High OG Dior and SB Parra Dunk Low Pro 'Abstract Art'.

What are some of your favorite sneaker related content creators?

I have a few in SA that are pushing sneaker content – my girl, Neo, Carter Duli, Hide n’ sneaker, and Yazeed Khan. I think they are doing amazing things and producing some high-quality content when it comes to sneakers.

Other than kicks, what are some of your daily essentials or treasured items?

Man – this is a hard question. My sneakers are my babies. Treasured items – my wedding ring, plain white t-shirt, and my Nike sweatpants.

Where can people find you on social media?

Instagram (@zelae_summer)

Do you have a sneaker collection that you wish to showcase or share with the world? Or maybe you have some hyped deadstock that you wish to sell. Join Ox Street as an early community member in our beta stage today and get $25 SGD off your first order (while discount slots last).

An ailurophile who loves bake cookies and listen to indie music!