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Kenya aims to compete in running shoe market

Monday, August 08, 2016 - 01:28

Kenya is home to some of the world's best runners but they all wear foreign branded shoes. Local sportswear company - Enda, a swahili word meaning 'Go' - is working to change that by building the first Kenyan-made running shoe. Sonia Legg reports.

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Kenya's athletes have dominated long distance running for decades. But when it comes to their footwear the prize goes to Europe and the U.S. The likes of Adidas and Nike win the lion's share of sales - but now there's a new challenger in town. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ENDA SPORTS WEAR CO-FOUNDER, NAVALAYO OSEMBO-OMBATI SAYING: "Running is like a part of the culture, especially for the kids in the rural setting, they walk long distances, some of them run long distances and basically the 'Enda Iten' is based on that." Enda means 'Go' in Swahili and Iten is the Rift Valley town where many athletes train. The new running shoe is meant to reflect that position. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ENDA SPORTS WEAR CO-FOUNDER, NAVALAYO OSEMBO-OMBATI SAYING: "There's just too many people around the world who really admire Kenyans for how they win, how they train, how they run and basically Enda is taking all that and putting it together in a product and selling it to the world for the benefit of Kenya." Locally it's proving popular…for fit anyway - the price is still pretty high. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ENDA SPORTSWEAR CO-FOUNDER, WELDON KENNEDY SAYING: "If you go to a store here and you look for a running shoe of this same grade, you'll be paying somewhere between 11,000 to 14,000 shillings. I would love to sell the shoe in the 10,000 shilling range, 100 U.S dollars is our target." Enda has already raised $120,000 through crowd-funding from a 1,000 pre-orders from around the world. They won't be challenging the big sportswear firms quite yet. But they do hope to be in the running one day.

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Kenya aims to compete in running shoe market

Monday, August 08, 2016 - 01:28