The funds were raised during an auction held as part of the brand's 'Step-Up and Shine' launch, where the celebrity partners auctioned some of their most loved shoes, worn during some of their most significant and life-changing career and personal moments.

According to Kiwi, the shoes on auction totalled a value of R82 000, while guests — which included influencers, celebrities, media and Kiwi's corporate stakeholders — donated over R100 000 during the auction. Lucas Radebe's shoes were a hit as he ended up pledging an extra pair due to bidder demand.

Kiwi says the additional funds will go towards the brand's recycling programme, which encourages schools across KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Eastern Cape to collect recyclable tins. The schools that collect the most tins win money towards the improvement of their facilities or necessary programmes like feeding schemes.

The programme targets 200 schools annually, reaching over two hundred thousand children, adds the brand.

Commenting on her partnership with Kiwi former Miss South Africa Shudufhadzo Musida says, "I am incredibly humbled to be part of an initiative that is doing so much for underprivileged children. This is a true full-circle moment for me as someone who has always pushed myself to succeed academically and continued to advocate for children's access to education and support so that they do not only need to survive but also thrive.” 

The auction proceeds will go to the winning school in addition to the current targeted prize amounts. The Kiwi School Programme not only promotes sustainability but also inspires learners to 'Step-Up' and feel happy knowing that brands are behind them, says Kiwi.

The winner announcements are set to be made in March after the audit of the schools that have collected the most is concluded.  

Kiwi senior brand manager Yvette Modisaotsile says, "The educational landscape in South Africa is challenged due to a lack of funding, which makes corporate social investment and stronger stakeholder collaboration crucial to ensure that children continue to gain access to education at adequately resourced schools."

"It is our brand's mission to not only inspire children to 'Step-Up and Shine' by remaining entrenched in their communities, but it is also our hope to unlock some of these barriers to education attainment by driving access to education," adds Modisaotsile. 

Modisaotsile says, "As a brand that believes that education and empowerment propels people towards success, it was important for us to partner with public figures whose work and values resonate with this, and so it was only natural for us to partner with Lucas, Shudu, Ox and Morda."

"We want to inspire our customers and the greater South African public to step up and shine in every aspect of their lives, and we believe that our celebrity partners are the right people to help us achieve that," Modisaotsile concludes. 

According to the brand, phase two of the Kiwi 'Step-Up and Shine' campaign will kick off in March with school roadshows. The winner of the Recyclable Tins 2024 will be announced while the overall competition where consumers stand a chance to win their share of R3-million toward educational fees ends in March. 

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*Image courtesy of contributor