Entrepreneur, designer, student, and athlete currently living and pursuing his dreams in his adopted country of Germany, Oren Leano Kgosietsile was born and raised in Botswana. He attended both Cornerstone College in Pretoria, South Africa, and Botswana’s Livingstone Kolobeng College for his High School, where after successfully attaining his High School Diploma with High Honours results, he embarked on a journey to pursue his dream in Europe. It is from here where Travel Essence Magazine would learn of this young man, and how he has forged a new pathway on his entrepreneurial journey with the launch of his shoe line named E. G. Y. P. T. Footwear
E.G.Y.P.T Oren says, is an acronym for “Everything God’s Yearns Patience and Time,” citing that he came up with this name after having completed his first design and realising that he didn’t want to name his footwear line after himself but rather after something that would help him tell the story of his journey without his being the object of focus.
“My story is one that could be told or begun by having a ball at my feet and being able to go on my knees and ask for guidance on how to deal with life as a teenager. Growing up I was obsessed about 2 things: football and economics. One would find me in two different places, either on the football field or the library,” says Oren.
He is quick to add that he always had bigger dreams than just becoming a Professional Footballer or an economist, and so creating his shoe label was much less a surprise to him than it was to others.
“I believe that everyone was created ambidextrous as well as having the ability to tackle and achieve multiple goals. And so for me, the journey became much about focusing on one vision which would open the door to other dreams and an extension of the greater vision,” he says.
Fueled by faith and inspired by his mother’s sacrifice
Oren believes that building something requires a foundation or a base from which that thing can stand otherwise some level of instability will ensue. His base or foundation in this sense, is his relationship with God and the ability to observe and learn.
“I was always that kid that was always underestimated and counted out in everything I did. That built a storm within me the older I became, as I began to realize that I always moved in a unique way. It was the pressure of knowing and believing that I am talented and the frustration of not being able to yet see it come to fruition as quickly as I would have liked,” he states.
And so Oren began to use observation as a way to release all that energy built up within. But as life would have it, a blow was dealt for his family, which he would later use to build on the lessons he was learning as time lapsed. His mother had just lost almost everything and so he had to watch her rebuild everything from fresh foundations with a teenage son to feed and put through school.
“With all my mother’s academic brilliance, I witnessed her struggle with the pressures of being gifted yet desperate to see the tide turn for the better after a major setback. My greatest inspiration has been watching her build, with tears, sweat, faith, and absolute tunnel vision, her company Wise Leadership over the years, which has now garnered significant success in the field of Corporate Governance in Botswana and Southern Africa,” Oren says with pride.
Finding inspiration from his mother’s journey has allowed Oren to open himself up to embrace every challenge and failure, recognizing them as an opportunity to learn valuable lessons. Oren cites that his mother told him two things he has hung onto into adulthood; the first being to pursue all your dreams and passions no matter what, and most importantly never to look like what you have been through.
“These words came from someone who wanted to be a fashion designer growing up, and so it is what brought on my mother’s fashion sense and confidence. It is an unwritten rule for her to always step out of the house looking fabulous and elegant,” says Oren.
The journey to E.G.Y.P.T
He credits his creative spirit to his mother, which often showed up in how he dressed, but is quick to say that while clothes were never the problem, it was always the shoes that would never fit the outfits he chose to wear. And so his obsession with shoes started from there and progressed when he moved to Germany in 2016.
“I would be in the store and all the shoes would seem pretty nice, but somewhat lacked the look, feel and elegance I felt would fully complete an outfit. And the ones that could, would just break your bank account by just even considering buying them. Noticing that there was a lack of elegant shoes that could complete any outfit and make it stand out, I decided to pursue my creative side and that is how E.G.Y.P.T-Footwear was born,” Oren recounts.
A believer of creating a good narrative behind everything he sets his mind to, Oren decided he wanted to tell a story through his shoes whilst inspiring other people to tell theirs when wearing my shoes. That is why every shoe has a unique name and an inspirational quote on the inside of the tongue of the shoes.
“The first release is called ‘Erweckung’ which means awakening in German and the quote inside is “Don’t count the days. Make the days count”. The ultimate idea is that everyone has a journey and a story to tell. Which means everyone walks on a different path and at a different pace in this journey of life,” Oren says with excitement.
He is of the belief that with every committed step one takes, they could get closer to your goals, passions, and dreams regardless of how rocky the road may be, and that they should make a concerted effort to tell their story along the way.
“Shoes are just not shoes, they are a platform, one in which I hope to provide to people in my bid to inspire them. The crazy thing about it all is that this is just the genesis of it all as we aim to cause disruption in the shoe business,” he quips.
“My message to all the mothers out there is that your strength and courage to fight for your families doesn’t go unrecognized by your children. They may not say it, however, they learn and absorb it. That is why you are pillars of the community, and so please do not take every action you take for your children or granted, as it will one day be highly appreciated if now already, and your sacrifice viewed as something of great importance within society.