Zaid Osman. Picture: Supplied
Zaid Osman. Picture: Supplied
Okmalumkoolkat. Picture: Supplied
Okmalumkoolkat. Picture: Supplied

It’s been five years since Sneaker Exchange, Africa’s largest sneaker expo came into existence. In celebration of its successful run, the expo held its latest instalment at Fox Junction in the Joburg CBD on Saturday.

Sneaker Exchange is the brainchild of Zaid Osman, a passionate sneaker aficionado. “The whole premise of the event is that it’s about sharing the love of a culture that few people know about or understand,” explained Osman.

This expo hosted up to 4000 attendees per event in major city centres across South Africa, such as Cape Town, Joburg, Durban and Bloemfontein, and countries across Africa.

Hosted in 2013, the inaugural Sneaker Exchange had a much less glamorous beginning, attracting a mere 80 people.

“Before the event started, the sneaker culture was very niche, and now each year we can see a phenomenal growth.”

Aside from being a hub for sneaker collectors looking to buy, sell or trade, Sneaker Exchange has become popular for its live music and entertainment.

This year, Okmalumkoolkat was headlining proceedings, supported by artists such as Anatii, YoungstaCPT, Red Button, Veezus and Moozlie. I asked Osman why he chose Okmalumkoolkat.

“The energy he brings to the crowd,” he said. “He is a homie who has been supporting us for a long time.”

Jade John and Smash Afrika hosted the festivities and the all-star female DJ line-up of Ms Cosmo, Doowap and Pink Molly were on the decks.

Earlier in 2018, Sneaker Exchange introduced The Platform Hour, which is a call-to-enter competition for young, up-and-coming artists to showcase their talents on the main stage.

The event played host to several international and local fashion labels, including Styla Gang, Rocka and 2bop.

There were several brand activations, food vendors, live sneaker customisation, a kids' corner and a mobile barber.

* SXC took place at Fox Junction in Joburg, on Saturday, October 27.