The Maker of the ‘Shushu’ range of school shoes
Josef Seibel Africa Ltd., the makers of high quality and comfortable shoes chose to locate their ROMIKA factory in Mvindeni in the heart of Kwale County along the A14 road to Lunga Lunga. It is close to all the settlements around Ukunda, making it easily accessible to employees as well as the public. ShuShu is the name of a line of affordable and durable school shoes made locally with German quality.
The factory’s construction began in November 2019, funded by the Josef Seibel Group, one of Germany’s leading shoe manufacturers. Founded in 1886, this traditional family-owned company is now in the hands of the 4th generation, Carl Seibel, its owner since 1993. The company owns several well-known shoe brands: Josef Seibel, Tizian, Spirit of Nature, Westland and ROMIKA.
The ROMIKA brand has been manufacturing high quality comfort shoes since the 1920s and has gone from strength to strength since it was taken over by the Josef Seibel Group in 2005. ROMIKA is known around the world to produce comfortable, durable shoes that reflect the spirit of the times in both style and colour using the best textiles and finest leathers from our Kenyan tanneries for the production of sandals and shoes.
December 2019, the company sent five Kenyans to Germany to train in the art of shoe making and design. The Kenyan artisans pushed hard to learn a 3-year programme within six months. Carl was very impressed by the level of skills and the results the team achieved. The Kenyan team came back in August 2020, accompanied by a German and Indian shoe specialists to continue training the candidates locally and new factory workers in Kenya.
ShuShus will be sold exclusively in Kenya and will match respective school uniforms. They are durable but still very comfortable and light-weight, uniquely designed for the active lifestyle of school children providing physical ease, flexibility and relaxation.
“For the time being only leather shoes for school children will be produced under the brand In November 2020, the factory was officially launched and the production started. With a total investment of 200 Million Shillings so far which includes the building of the factory, machines and training, the factory is now employing 30 shoe-maker workers and 20 support staff. The goal is to double the number of employees in 6 months’ time with a target of 250 employees by the end of 2022.
The current production rate during the training period is 20 pairs of shoes per day, which will increase to 50 in a few weeks’ time when production will reach the industrial stage. Once in full operation the factory is expected to manufacture 500 pairs of shoes per day.
The ROMIKA brand has an ambitious motto: German Quality. Made in Kenya. According to the German specialists the Kenyan workers have already reached 90% of that goal and will reach 100% soon. The 4 ShuShu models named "Amy", "Maya", "Jamal" and "Kendo" are available from size 31 to 42. They are made from locally sourced quality leather and soles. They will be available soon in a ROMIKA shop in Ukunda, Kwale and the shops of Umoja Rubber as well as both companies' online shops.