Our Story Behind the Stump
Outland Footwear finds its roots in a deep grounded history where it initially operated under a different name by Munsami and Dolly Govender. Mr. Govender is familiar with the footwear manufacture, process and operations, having worked for many footwear manufacture companies in his earlier days. Mrs. Govdender was the heart and soul of the business, operating the sales, finances and logistics of the company. Both having humbled beginnings established the business in 1993. They have both over time maintained and abided relations with suppliers and customers that are longstanding. The business operated under a different name but was a family run business, having always the ideals to promote smaller business and encourage local employment.
Despite its success over the years the business was met with tragedy at the passing of Mrs. Govender. The business still operated for a short time until Mr. Govender had to close the business doors due to personal, financial and health related issues.
In August 2020, during the COVID-19 outbreak, Sameshan Govender, Mr. and Mrs. Govender’s youngest son decided to push through and break forth in the business – allowing it another opportunity to grow.
In August 2020, during the COVID-19 outbreak, South Africa was under strict lockdown restrictions and it was in this time that Sameshan began to hone into his beliefs and reconnect with his spiritual life. While listening to an online Bible teaching on the book of Judges, God had purposed in his heart to take on the business and help it start up again. This was a challenge for him, as he was already established in his career BUT the voice of God was so strong that he had no choice but to obey and take a leap of faith.
The question that God had asked him was, “Why are you not using your ox goad?” –
Judges 3:31 (NKJV)
And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: and he also delivered Israel.
While waiting upon the Lord, questions had come to mind as to how to grow this business that had become redundant like a tree stump. God had answered this question by giving an image of a tree stump that had strong deep roots and out of the centre of the stump, a tree was sprouting, tall green and with two leaves. This image was a reminder of the glory of God that if you are planted and rooted well with Him you will continue to grow no matter if you have become like a stump. This was a huge encouragement to both Sameshan and his wife.
The name Outland is also symbolic of the journey of the people of Israel when they were taken out of Egypt, out of bondage and slavery – into the hopes of a better life. As they walked and travelled in the wilderness, their sandals never wore off and this was because of the favor and grace from God.
Deuteronomy 29:5 (NKJV)
And I have led you forty years in the wilderness.
Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn out on your feet.
Keeping all of this in his heart Sameshan together with his wife decided to go back to his roots and follow in his father’s footsteps of being a cobbler. The idea was to create and produce footwear that was natural, durable, comfortable and affordable. Something that was suitable for everyone walking a different way in life.
Today the business is run by husband and wife team, Sameshan and Divina Govender, just as their predecessors; having a focus on leather footwear and providing a product that is really worth walking in.