Move over Nike and make room for Keexs, an Africa-inspired unisex footwear brand and the first smart shoe in Africa that has a Bluetooth connection to your smartphone, tablet or laptop. Even more importantly, the new sneakers brand creates jobs and also helps poor people in Nigeria.

Straight outta… Nigeria

The new sneakers brand was created by Nigerian entrepreneur Babajide “Jide” Ipaye. He started his company by raising $20,000 through crowd-funding, after studying shoe production in the Netherlands. The shoes are fun and colorful, featuring African-inspired prints and sell for $59 online and in stores across Lagos. The manufacturing is located in Lagos, which creates jobs for many people in Lagos. In addition, Ipaye donates 10 percent of company profits to projects that help eliminate poverty.

IT meets footwear

Keexs is advertised as the first “Innovative and Social Oriented footwear brand in Africa.” Founder Ipaye founded and has been running an IT company in Nigeria for ten years. He wanted to incorporate technology into his passion for footwear. He went to the Netherlands to learn how to make sneakers at SLEM institute, the world’s leading school for innovative footwear design and manufacturing. The result was Keexs.

Giving back

It was important for Ipaye to create a company that would help others. His new shoe line is doing just that by creating jobs in the city of Lagos, where his manufacturing plant is located. But he wants to attract more investors and build a manufacturing facility in Nigeria.

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