Press Release: London, 10 February 2012 – Alive & Kicking has supplied more than 100,000 leather balls to Zambian footballers since 2004. The Zambian football team reaching the final of the African Cup of Nations for the first time since 1994 raises the question: how many of its players were brought up playing with Alive & Kicking balls?
Alive & Kicking is a UK-based social enterprise that has set-up stitching factories in Kenya and Zambia, where leather footballs are made for regional sale and for free distribution to underprivileged children across Africa. The factories have created hundreds of jobs in areas of high unemployment and have given hundreds of thousands of footballs – branded with HIV/AIDS awareness messages – to children who otherwise would be playing with home-made balls.
Sughra Hussain has been at Alive & Kicking for over three years, and in her time she has seen thousands of footballs donated to schools and football projects across every province of Zambia, each one helping the grass roots game flourish.
The Country Director of Alive & Kicking Zambia had this to say when interviewed at a recent Africa Cup of Nations event: “Seeing the Copper Bullets in the final fills everyone at Alive & Kicking Zambia with pride. Having made over 100,000 leather footballs in Lusaka, that have been played with across the country, we know that we’ve played our part in creating the talent that has helped the Zambian national team develop into the effective force they are.”
The team at Alive & Kicking believe it is no coincidence that the national team’s re-emergence as an international force has coincided with the development of a new industry in Zambia – hand stitching footballs. The high quality leather balls produced by Alive & Kicking in the industrial area of Lusaka have been distributed across the African continent and have won the support of African football stars such as Emmanuel Eboue and even that of President Barack Obama.
Sughra Hussain continued: “One day I hope that the Africa Cup of Nations uses a ball that was handstitched in Africa by Alive & Kicking. The quality of the football at this tournament has been so high and is matched by the quality of the products that this continent can make for itself – just like Alive & Kicking balls.”
To celebrate Zambia’s success at the Africa Cup of Nations, Alive & Kicking Zambia will be donating over 500 hand-stitched leather footballs to schools across Zambia in 2012.
Alive & Kicking is an African social enterprise that manufactures sports balls to provide balls for children, create jobs for adults and promote health education through sport. Established in 2004 Alive & Kicking operates factories in Kenya and Zambia employing over 150 people. More than 350,000 balls have been made, and 50,000 children have been targeted by Alive & Kicking’s HIV/AIDS campaign.