In 1932, Tomas Bata sent two young Czech salesmen to investigate the African market. A month later, they each sent him a telegram to report back.
The first one read: "Nobody wears shoes here. No business opportunity."
The second one read: "Nobody wears shoes here. Great opportunity to serve new customers."
The second salesman was given the task to start operations across Africa.
Bata first established business headquarters in Mombasa (Kenya) in 1935, operating as the East Africa Bata Shoe Company Ltd.
Factories were opened around the African continent to provide affordable quality footwear for local customers.
In 1965, Bata developed The Safari Boot which was adapted from the South African veldtschoen, as a sturdy and durable boot for the African Savannah.
Still today, the word for shoes in many African dialects is "Bata".