High up in Wale Street in Cape Town, where the steep roads of the Bo-Kaap begin, an elderly man is seated at the back of a minute store, repairing shoes from daybreak to dusk. True, he uses a modern sewing machine, but the rest of his equipment is from a time long past. The traditional leather apron of leather workers tied to his waist, needle in hand, Mr Kasan Jaga works on an old last, carefully repairing shoes by hand.
Rocksole Shoe and Bag Repairs are a long-standing family-owned traditional shoe repair shop in the Bo-Kaap where their cobblers are renowned for their fine craftsmanship.
Mr Kay, as he is known to all, has been a cobbler in the Bo-Kaap, also known as the Malay Quarter, since 1936. He and his two sons, Bhadra and Gunwant, and their sons Roshan and Rajesh, runs a business which has been a Cape Town institution for almost 100 years.
They mend shoes and bags as well as bronzing, stretching, lowering and widening shoes, in addition to selling a wide array of accessories including laces, polish, shoe trees and shoe horns.