We want to share our leather bound story with you

The Tsonga Story

From our passion for design creativity, to our rich African heritage, to the people who transform 100% soft, genuine leather into the finest collection of footwear, handbags and accessories for you to enjoy.

Kwasuka Sukela. Listen, the story is about to start.

The old school building that Tsonga turned into the Thread of Hope farm where shoes were made on site.

The journey began in the late 1990's when cheap imported footwear flooded the South African market forcing many shoe manufacturers to close their doors. Tsonga's Founder, Peter Maree, who at the time already had two decades of experience in the industry, embraced the challenge.

He saw an opportunity for a niche market in high-quality leather footwear with a uniquely African style and the comfort that only hand-stitching could provide.

With a team of top international designers and skilled technicians already in place, Peter set out to find the unique hand-stitching skills that would be the signature of Tsonga footwear for years to come.

"I wanted to create a range of shoes and handbags inspired by Africa. The handstitching skills of the women in the village of Lidgetton, close to my home in South Africa, are renowned. I thought that together we could create something quite unique and wonderful."

Women hand lacing a Tsonga leather handbag

Today, in the heart of the Kingdom of the Zulu, there are inspiring stories of success to be told. Transformed from an old abandoned school building, the Thread of Hope Farm became the training centre where many from the local rural community were given the opportunity to learn skills in the manufacture of leather footwear.

For many years it was a place where women gathers and conversation flowed to the rhythm of the work.