The Magazine of Ethiopian Airlines

Soul of Africa

Authentic Ethiopian-made shoes for positive social change

Curious onlookers the world over have long admired the beauty of Ethiopia’s Kara tribe and its body-painting artistry. But now, thanks to a new partnership with global footwear brand Soul of Africa, interested admirers can wear a piece of the tribe’s artwork themselves.

Indeed, Soul of Africa’s “Ababa” line puts the legendary talent of the Kara forward, designed by both male and female tribe members in collaboration with Belgian design firm Akaso.

"The result is a collection of shoes that fuses one of Africa’s oldest art forms with an urban, contemporary spirit"

The result is a collection of shoes that fuses one of Africa’s oldest art forms with an urban, contemporary spirit. Like all of the brand’s shoes, the Ababa line is created from high-quality materials that are thin, flexible and locally manufactured in Ethiopia from ethically-sourced materials. Designed with Vivobarefoot technology, the shoes — available in both canvas and leather — are created to ensure minimal restrictions to movements while offering protection from the environment.

Read next: From Ethiopia to the World

The Soul of Africa brand seeks to enable patrons to not only walk in the steps of their ancestors but also contribute to the advancement, education and aid of the people of Africa with support through financial aid, scholarships, education and employment opportunities.

Most recently, Soul of Africa facilitated the establishment of a manufacturing facility in Ethiopia, from which the brand’s shoes are produced. And since 2003, Soul of Africa has generated more than US$2 million in wages for African workers; enabled almost 18,000 African children to receive access to education through building classrooms and funding scholarships; and provided micro-credits for small entrepreneurship projects to empower both youth and women across the continent. 

For more about the brand and to view its Ababa line designs, visit

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