Cobbler Syafriel Sekumbang, who operates a small stall in Banda Hilir, Melaka, is grateful for the kindness of strangers who helped him take his business to new heights. writes
picked up after I put up the signboard. People now come to my stall to repair their shoes, including the foreigners.
“I charge between RM2 and RM5 for gluing, RM15 for stitching, and between RM40 and RM45 for changing of soles.
“Sometimes I do not charge a single sen if it involves just mending simple holes in the soles,” he added.
“When I was in my 20s, I worked as a cobbler in Medan, Indonesia where I learnt how to mend, and even make shoes.
“We operated the business from my boss’ house with only about 10 to 20 people.
“If I had the raw materials, I can even do custom-made shoes for both men and women,
“One of the shoemakers is my friend who asked me to join him to seek greener pastures in Malaysia in 1980s. He told me that there was plenty of job opportunities, especially as construction workers.
“Eventually, I came to Melaka in
Among the tools used by Syafriel Sekumbang at his shop in Jalan Parameswara, Banda Hilir.