On 2 November 2009, Zeitz Foundation Ambassador for Culture (Sport), Usain Bolt adopted a cheetah named ‘Lightening Bolt’ at a ceremony at the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Headquarters in Nairobi. Cheetahs can cover 100 meters in 6.13 seconds with a top speed of 90-112kph over 50 to 100m, meaning that Bolts’ adopted animal can give him serious competition, even if he can run 100 meters in 9.69 seconds.
Nine months later and at almost one year old ‘Lightning Bolt’ or ‘Bolt’ as he is more affectionately known is fast becoming a darling of the KWS Nairobi Animal Orphanage. His handler, Mark, looks after him on a daily basis whilst tourists and school groups from around the country regularly come to see him.
Lightening Bolt’s day begins at dawn when he and his two brothers are awoken by the raising sun. He is fed meat on the bone once a day and occasionally gets a rabbit. Lightning and his brothers keep fit by playing with a football or chasing their favourite toy, a teddy bear, around the pen. Despite the fact the Lightning won't be released into the wild, his predator instincts are still intact as he and is brothers often wrestle to get the teddy bear and see who can hold onto it for the longest.
A mark on his left ear and a fluffier mane make him stand out from his brothers.
At the same ceremony on 2 November 2009, Kenyan Prime Minister, Honorable Raila Odinga, adopted a lion cub, whilst Colin Jackson, world record holding hurdler and Zeitz Foundation Specialist for Culture (Sport), adopted an Eland.
Report compiled by Gathoni Mwai on September 2, 2010
Laikipia and Beyond Unity Cup football tournament ends A great success, with Central Rhinos winning the cup
Samuel Eto'o, Patron of the inaugural Laikipia and Beyond Unity Cup, was a favourite from the time he touched down. Alighting from a helicopter that landed in the middle of the Nanyuki Municipal Stadium, he was introduced to each player representing four regions of Laikipia - Eastern Grevys, Northern Elephants, Central Rhinos and Uaso Lions. After the national anthem, Eto'o greeted the crowd in French, followed by a translation, and then kicked the match ball to start the first of two semi-finals. He was accompanied by his brother Serges Biket, who also quickly became much-loved by the crowds. As the day wore on, the numbers swelled as thousands came to see Eto'o for themselves.
The following day saw the finals. Jochen Zeitz, founder of the Zeitz Foundation, arrived and, with Eto'o, watched a thrilling match between the Central Rhinos and the Northern Elephants. Favourites from the beginning, the Central Rhinos were pushed to the limit and, at full time, the score was 1-1. In the post-match golden goal (sudden death) penalties, the pressure was too much for the Northern Elephants and the ball hit the post. The ecstatic Rhinos celebrated with their fans around Nanyuki town.
Immediately after, Jochen Zeitz donned his goalkeeper kit and faced 25 invited guests and organisers in a Guest Penalty Shoot Out. Penalty takers (besides Eto'o) included UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner; British High Commissioner, Rob McCaire; the South African High Commissioner, Tony Msimanga; Lt Col Rex Sartain of the British Army, MP for Laikipia East, Hon Ndiritu Murithi; MP Laikipia West, Hon Kiunjuri and the Charge d'Affaires from the Brazilian Embassy, Antonio Ricarte.
During lunch, the 32 teams who had participated in the LUC received photographs taken at the regional events. In addition, Zeitz and Eto'o presented the British Army Training Unit in Kenya (BATUK) a certificate mounted with photographs as a souvenir of the event, which they made possible through their partnership in providing accommodation and food for all the players.
Thereafter, there was an exhibition match between Mathare United from Nairobi and the cream of Laikipia, drawn from all the regional teams and named "Laikipia United." Mathare United scored in the first half and Eto'o took to the field for Laikipia much to the delight of the swelling crowd.
The medal ceremony was concluded speedily as Eto'o had to catch a flight back to Nairobi. Each team member received a medal, plus a bag of gifts from the South African High Commission and a shirt from Safaricom, one of the main sponsors. The man of the match, William Muhanji received his gift, a solar powered lamp, from Samuel Eto'o who had picked him out from the start.
Before leaving, Eto'o dedicated his first goal of the new season to Laikipia District and, after a quick press conference, he was escorted to Nanyuki airstrip by the Kenya Police.
With best regards
Dr Liz Rihoy
Zeitz Foundation Programme Director
Dr Anthony King
Laikipia Wildlife Forum Director
In leaving, players and supporters alike were reminded of the LUC pledge:
As you read this newsletter, botanists in Kew Gardens, London, are growing a plant that was thought to have gone extinct sixty years ago! Some positive news as scientists remind us that between 150 and 200 species of life become extinct every 24 hours.
At times, the outlook for our planet seems bleak. People are at war, the Gulf of Mexico is filling with oil, we are dealing with a global economic crisis... Yet this current climate is an incentive for us to do more.
At the Zeitz Foundation, we put our energy and resources into making our Long Run philosophy a reality. We believe in an approach to life geared at acting today for a better tomorrow. We strive for improvement.
Our work is about sustainable development, for a better planet, considering the 4Cs – conservation, culture, community and commerce - holistically as areas that need to be balanced.
In this first issue of the Zeitz Foundation newsletter, we hope to draw your attention to important events such as the Laikipia and Beyond Unity Cup. This football tournament is about a lot more than kicking a ball around, it is about promoting environmental awareness and unity through sport.
This newsletter will tell you about our work this year, give you updates from the Long Run Destinations and open a window into the minds of two of our Ambassadors, Usain Bolt and François-Henri Pinault. As with all ‘first issues’, this is a starting block and we look forward to your feedback and contributions to shape and improve the way we keep you in the loop!
Best regards, Jochen Zeitz
To access the newsletter, please click here.
We headed down on the Thursday for our usual briefing with the team, BATUK, LWF, the unit directors and the volunteers. The break had obviously done some good as people were excited and rearing to go for another successful event.
The LUC has been raising quite a buzz with the Laikipian community and the crowds get bigger with every competition we attend.
The day started with all the teams arriving on time and registration going smoothly..The opening ceremony started with all the teams marching along to Shakira’s Waka Waka which has become not only the World Cup theme song, but the LUC’s theme song.
The head master of Kimanju Primay School welcomed us to his school and then introduced Dr. Anthony King the Exec Director of LWF who explained the reasons behind the competition and then welcomed the teams to sign the Green Pledge as each received a vuvuzela.
Other people who gave speeches included the Chief of the area, Dr. Liz Rihoy from the Zeitz Foundation, and Col Rex from BATUK.
The football got off to a good start, however the home favourites Kimanju Lions lost their opening match.
That evening on the big screen we watched the World Cup match between Germany and Brazil and then later on we watched Ghana come out of the World Cup after their loss to Uruguay. We were all in mourning.
After being woken up to the sounds of vuvuzelas the teams were sat down to a discussion led by Dr Anthony King from LWF about the environment and in particular water management. Each team captain had to answer a few questions on behalf of their team about water conservation. After this, the teams then met with Steve…. From the Laikipia Predator Project a.k.a Living with Lions who gave them some information about predator proof bomas and how to construct them. The teams then each created their own boma, which was then placed in the neighbouring communities.
After lunch the teams went on to play the rest of their group stage matches and the semi finals which saw Ol Jogi facing Il Polei and Mpala meeting Ngimastae. After this match the composite team, the Uaso Lions were picked. This is the composite tea made out of the best players from the Uaso Nyiro Unit
As is the norm, MYSA players were treated to a game drive in the Ol-Jogi ranch located about 70 Km from Nanyuki town on the Nanyuki –Doldol road. The ranch has a game reserve called the pyramid whose seemingly endless rolling undulating landscape boasts a variety of roaming game and bird species. Ol-jogi game reverve also has a mini-zoo that exhibits a black leopard and a Russian brown bear (most probable the only brown bear in Africa).
That evening we watched Spain cruise to victory and into the semi finals of the World Cup.
Day 3 is the busiest day of the tournament weekend but this weekend we managed to hold a mini match between the ‘Environmentalists’ and the ‘Medics’. The Environmentalists comprised the Zeitz Foundation team, MYSA officials, Andrew from YTPR and Colour Sergeant Smyth from BATUK. Even though the Environmentalist only had 12 players versus the medics 17 players they managed to outshine the competition with impressive goals from Andrew from MYSA, Andrew of YTPR and the Colour Sergeant. The re match is planned for the Eastern Unit competition.
While this was going on the other team participated in a rubbish collection from around the camp and the school ground.
After that match the Uaso Lions played against the team from MYSA Dandora, previously the MYSA teams have had very convincing wins over the Composite teams but this weekend they had to fight to come back from a goal down to eventually end the match at 1 all.
And for the final match of the day, Mpala took on Ol Jogi to see who would become champions of the Uaso Unit. Both teams fought hard but in the end there could only be one winner and it was Mpala with 3 goals to Ol’jogi’s one.
To bring the weekend to a close we had the prize giving ceremony which, Francis Ole Kaparo the ex Speaker of the House gave a few words as did Regina Hess from the German Embassy about the power of sport to create unity and promote awareness on issues of health and the environment.
Yet again the medical team outdid themselves by treating approximately 2900 people with services ranging from dental clinic, mental health, HIV/AIDS counselling and testing, nutrition to general consultation; all free of charge. Dental problems are really high in this area due to high Floride content in the water.
Once again it was a very successful tournament, all the teams and the organisers having a wonderful time. Next stop Eastern Unit for the last of the regional tournaments.
By the ZF team.
WESTERN UNIT TOURNAMENT
Day 1: Thursday 17 June 2010
You would be forgiven to think that after the four intense days at Nyakio for the Central Unit tournament of the Laikipia and Beyond Unity Cup (LUC), everyone would either be at home nursing sunburns or at a physiotherapist’s trying to get their arms or legs working again. I am however glad to report that the entire team of organizers was on their feet and very excited to make the Western Unit tournament happen. From the plenary meeting on Thursday afternoon with all the stakeholders: the Zeitz Foundation, LWF, BATUK and the rest of the Suyian team (the host for this weekend’s tournament), it was obvious that lessons had been learnt and things would run even more smoothly during the weekend, to everyone’s delight.
Our enthusiasm was met with equal excitement from the community who helped on site, from pitching tents and marking pitches to fetching firewood.
This eagerness was further demonstrated on D-day when the participating teams arrived in time for the registration and all psyched up to prove their football prowess -- aren’t we all anticipating the semi-finals!
Day 2: Friday 18 June 2010
The opening ceremony began with Anne Powys, the Unit Director and host of this weekend’s tournament, delivering a rousing speech. The local chief Mr. Mundia, the headmaster of Ol Maisor School Mr. Sasia, LWF director Anthony King, and Zeitz Foundation Program Director Liz Rihoy followed. The MP for Laikipia West, Hon Ndiritu Muriithi also graced the event, and, in true LUC spirit, brought ‘The Peace Caravan’ with him, led by its chairmen Dr. Lenai, who spread the peace message, leaving the crowd with a peace chant –Amani. Milele (Peace Forever).
The MP and each of the participating teams planted trees in the school grounds with the youngest students, with the intention that as the student progressed through school they would nurse the tree into maturity.
The matches began on schedule after taking the Green pledge acknowledging ones intentions to help conserve the environment.
Kaptuya played Ol Moran in Pool A’ whilst Ol malo met Karandi in B’ – with the matches ending 0-1 and 0-6 respectively. The second set of matches saw Suyian beat Rumuruti Administration 2-0, an exhilarating match that attracted the entire shopping centre, passersby and school children who came to cheer their home team. How sweet to win on home ground! From pool B’, Biba FC and Amani combined battled it out, ending the morning session at 0-0.
The afternoon matches finished as follows:
Ol Moran - Rumuruti Administration: 1-1
Karandi - Biba FC: 1-1
Suyian FC - Kaptuya FC: 0-0
Ol Malo - Amani combined 0-5.
MYSA Kahawa provided football training clinics and environmental education to the children in the community, as part of their community service. They also provided first aid during the football matches, carrying injured footballers off the field in stretchers.
By the end of the day, the medical team had provided treatment to approx. 200 members of the community, and approx. 150 people volunteered for counseling and HIV testing. Similar to what was observed in Nyakio; upper respiratory infection was the most common illness observed and quite a number of patients had arthritis. While the turnout was relatively low compared to the previous week in Nyakio, the team anticipated that more people will show up for treatment in the next few days as the word spreads.
Day 3: Saturday 19 June 2010
As expected, Saturday afternoon was the day of the Semi’s and everyone was looking forward to his or her team performing beyond expectations.
Suyian FC; the local team vs. Rumuruti Biba and Karandi FC Vs. Rumuruti Administration were the teams that got through to the semi-finals, which saw both Rumuruti Biba and Administration drop out.
The teams were treated to a pleasant surprise when Mr. Jochen Zeitz, founder of the Zeitz Foundation, one of the LUC organizers, met them for lunch.
That evening before the World Cup matches, the participating teams watched a 30-minute video followed by a question session on sexual-education aimed at raising awareness of sexually transmitted diseases.
Day 4: Sunday 20 June 2010
On Sunday morning, all the teams in pools A’ and B’ participated in an environmental awareness session. Various organizations made presentations about their contribution to environmental conservation in their areas, among them were the Sosian Centre environmental group who make charcoal briquettes ‘with a twist’….theirs contained cow manure and charcoal dust.
LWF also gave a presentation about some of their activities in the area. And the school choir then ended the session with a song welcoming the teams to the community.
The Groups then separated, some collecting garbage around the centre while the others dug a garbage pit for the local community.
The medical camp saw an influx of patients in the last two days bringing the numbers to approx. 600 with 370 being tested and counseled for HIV/AIDS.
Then came the much-anticipated final game, Suyian FC versus Karandi FC, that brought the western unit tournament to a close. By the end of the second half, both teams were tied to 1 all. This led to a nail biting penalty shoot out. Suyian FC, the local team, came up top scoring the last penalty. The final score was 4-3.
The regional team, Northern Elephants was named amid deafening applause from the fans. From where I stand the event couldn’t have been any more successful!
By Grace Wanjuki
A land rich in wildlife and overwhelming natural beauty, Segera is now home to a number of exciting initiatives that this newsletter brings to you. In these few pages, you will discover the Zeitz Foundation’s new conservation and community outreach strategies; participate in Segera’s imminent opening to tourism; and, amongst others, read about the visit of the fastest man on earth, Usain Bolt, and the launch of the ‘Laikipia and Beyond Unity Cup’ football tournament.
Today, I believe that we are at a crossroads and the outcome of tomorrow depends on our finding new ways to translate our passions into meaningful connections with the world around us. Segera therefore aims to balance conservation, community, culture and commerce; and, I hope, to encourage a new model for sustainable development.
Segera is a place where we strive to maintain and enhance the ability of ecosystems to deliver services - clean water, fresh air, abundant wildlife - for the benefit of mankind. This year, Segera became one of the select Long Run Destinations, nine sites around the world that work on sustainable, mostly tourism-driven, enterprises, whilst fostering community development and cultural stewardship.
As home to the Zeitz Foundation, Segera shares in the vision of our planet maintained in the healthiest possible state, with the major contribution to that health coming from people, like you and me, making sustainable choices. We therefore weigh up everything we do in Segera to ensure the negative impact on our surroundings is minimal whilst the positive effects are maximised. This is in line with the Zeitz Foundation philosophy of a fair, honest, positive and creative approach to life, aimed a transforming all that we do into ways and means to move this world forwards in a sustainable manner.
With this in mind, I hope you enjoy this first issue of Segera’s Newsletter.
The South African High Commissioner Tulani Nyembe handing a Vuvuzela to the Laikipia Central DO-1.
The raucous sounds of the Vuvuzela heard on the savannah grasslands down in Lamuria at Nyakio Primary school on the 11th of June 2010 certainly didn’t travel all the way across from South Africa; they came from the eight teams that participated in the inaugural Laikipia and Beyond Unity Cup (LUC) football tournament.
Unity being the message of the weekend, the first of five football events that culminate in the finals on July 21st and 22nd in Nanyuki brought the communities of the Central region together through a combination of activities focused on sport and the environment. The local community also benefited through the provision of free medical services.
A brainchild of the Zeitz Foundation, sponsored by Safaricom ltd, the LUC was hosted by Nyakio primary school, courtesy of the Headmaster Mr. Mucheru, and had its opening ceremony graced by the presence of the Acting South African High Commissioner Tulani Nyembe; MP Laikipia east constituency Hon. Assistant Minister of Water and Irrigation, Mwangi Kiunjuri; the Hon. Assistant Minister Youth and Sports, Kabando Wa Kabando; the District Officer Laikipia Central, the Lieutenant Colonel BATUK (British Army Training Unit Kenya); Laurie Sessions, a local wheat farmer; Dr. Anthony King, Director Laikipia Wildlife Forum; and Dr. Liz Rihoy, Zeitz Foundation Programme Director.
During the official opening, the MC Mr. David Ombisi of UNEP introduced the participating teams who then proceeded to march onto the field for the recital of the green pledge acknowledging their intentions to help conserve the environment:
‘The Earth is our home and together we must conserve our precious water, land, forests and wildlife. I am proud to pledge that I will unite with others throughout Laikipia and that I will give a red card to environmental destruction and defend our natural heritage'
The BATUK, under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Rex Sartain and the supervision of company quarter master sergeant Davy Smyth, did a fantastic job feeding and housing almost 250 participants for the entire weekend. Indeed, this event never would have happened without all of their hard work and generous support.
Hundreds of community members lined up early in the morning to receive free medical care provided by a team consisting of 28 doctors, nurses and pharmacists from the Nanyuki District Hospital and the Kenya Air Force. In total, approximately 1,600 local people were seen and treated by the medical team, while another few hundred benefited through the provision of valuable medication. Patients were treated for a variety of ailments, including upper respiratory and urinary tract infections, and over 100 people tested and counseled for HIV/AIDS.
Members of Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA), an NGO based in the slums of Nairobi and supporting sports and environmental activities, shared their experiences with the children from the community and provided football-training camps.
Football matches got underway Friday morning, with team Tigithi winning 1-0 against Ol Pejeta, and later defeating Laikipia Air Base 3-2, while Laikipia Air Base won 7-1 against Mutara. In group B, Segera team put up a good fight, yet were defeated by Nanyuki Combined 2-0. Team Sirima won 1-0 against Lamuria, and Nanyuki Combined won 4-0 against Lamuria.
At the end of the day, footballers and 100’s of community members gathered to witness the opening ceremonies of the World Cup on a large screen provided by DSTV and watch the exciting opening match played by South Africa vs. Mexico. As Africa and the rest of the world celebrated the biggest football event the world over, the LUC participants could not be left out, it was a great way to end a successful first day of the tournament.
Day 2 of the tournament proved to be another successful day. Members of the LWF and UNEP provided interactive environmental awareness education focusing on some of the main issues affecting the central region of Laikipia, such as the impact of deforestation and water conservation. The talk generated a lot of interesting discussion among all the participants.. Following the talk, everyone pitched in to clean up garbage around the school grounds and each footballer partnered with a primary student to plant a tree. Laurie Sessions a local wheat farmer and neighbor to Nyakio primary school also shared his experiences in conservation agriculture, as his no tillage method of farming is an inspiration to other farmers in the area especially since he was able to produce a harvest despite the recent drought conditions.
Day 3 of the tournament and the end of the first round of the LUC saw the Nanyuki combined team play against Tigithi scoring 1-0 to walk away with one of the unique LUC regional trophies made from recycled glass. A selection of excellent players dubbed the Central Rhinos was then put together by a team of professional talent spotters from MYSA to play in a friendly game with the MYSA football team.
The prize giving saw all team members getting certificates and medals. Volunteers and other participants who assisted in making the event possible were also awarded certificates of appreciation while all outstanding players got prizes of solar lamps. The winning team also took home goal posts and a net.
After the vote of thanks, everyone dispersed with their hearts full of hopes of a more united, greener Laikipia and definitely looking forward to the finals.
Millicent Atieno & Mary Snider
If you have been to Laikipia, you will know that most communities draw lines clearly defining gender roles. During the Laikipia and Beyond Unity Cup (LUC), a tournament whose local teams are exclusively male, the Zeitz Foundation was able to interview two girls who have dared to venture into the male dominated sport and excelled against all odds.
Meet Mary Snider and Millicent Atieno, both 16 years old and members of the Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA) who for the first time got the rare chance to travel outside of the slums of Nairobi, and together with the rest of the team went for a game drive at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy to witness some of Kenya’s spectacular wildlife for the first time in their lives. Among the wild animals they saw, they were most amazed by the gazelles, ostriches, giraffes, rhinos and warthogs which they had never seen before. They were also captivated by facts about wildlife, for instance that the oldest female elephant is the matriarch of the family group.
Laikipia with its hot days and chilly nights was a change from the weather they are accustomed to, however they appreciated the difference in climate and thoroughly enjoyed the camping in the middle of the bush; a totally new experience to them. Mary would like her team members to be given more opportunities to travel throughout Kenya and learn about different cultures and communities. Mary noted that Laikipia was very dry and would like to see more trees planted in Laikipia to green the harsh conditions.
Disappointed that there were no women represented at the Unity Cup, Millicent would like girls in Laikipia to break from the myth that football is a sport for boys and participate in the future. They were pleased however to see that both young and old people were present on the teams and played very well together.
In this interview with the Zeitz Foundation, Millicent confessed to have met resistance from her parents to play football in the beginning and that they wouldn’t buy her the necessary equipment let alone allow her to go for practice. However, through her experiences traveling and playing, her father has had a change of heart and is now proud of everything she’s achieved. Although Mary’s mom worries about her being around male managers, coaches, and players for fear of her daughter getting pregnant and while her community finds it undignified to play and hang around boys, Mary has never had a problem as she is treated with respect and she doesn’t feel any threats thanks to the structures in MYSA that respect and protect all its members irrespective of their gender.
Millicent’s main focus is education. She would like to study nursing and hopes to play football for her University in the future. Mary’s focus is also on education, although because of financial constraints, she is unlikely to go to university. That said, she knows how important the MYSA experience has been and doesn’t want to waste it, hoping she will be picked to play for an international team. Should she be able to continue her education, she would like to become a math and English teacher.
Millicent comes from a family of five where the boys don’t play football, yet she encourages her younger sister to play so she can benefit from MYSA like she did. When they achieve their dreams they would like to give back to the community and help disadvantaged people and especially encourage young girls to pursue sport and football.
MYSA has a program to clean up garbage in the areas where the teams are drawn from. They noticed in the past there was more garbage, and people would dump anywhere, but now there is a garbage collection program which has resulted in less dumping. They also receive environmental education from different organizations. They would like the area they live in, Baba Ndogo, to have a better sewage system and for the companies to maintain them. They would also like to see better control of livestock coming into the city to reduce the spread of disease. They appreciate that in Nairobi there are more tree planting programs around schools and parks.
Other members who don’t play football but are still a part of MYSA participate in other activities such as dancing, gymnastics, photography, music and poetry.
Millicent’s role model is Bobbi Munro, the chairman and founder of MYSA, Mary’s is Steve Biko, their coach.
This interview was conducted during the LUC, a tournament organized by the Zeitz Foundation and others, with an aim:
• To promote unity and understanding amongst diverse groups within Laikipia and beyond, contributing to peace building efforts, conservation and local development;
• To raise awareness of environmental and conservation issues amongst Kenyan youth and the contribution to conservation endeavours in Laikipia;
• To promote Laikipia as a tourism destination.
For more information: http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=109130542463301&ref=ts
Zeitz Foundation Ambassadors for Culture, Amadou&Mariam, perform tonight at FIFA World Cup Kick-Off Celebration Concert in Johannesburgh
The long awaited 2010 FIFA World Cup begins tomorrow, June 11, in South Africa. As with many large international events, festivities begin tonight, Thursday 10 June, with the inaugural FIFA World Cup Kick-Off Celebration Concert. Amongst the performers will be Zeitz Foundation Ambassadors for Culture (Art), Amadou & Mariam, whose song “Celebrate the Day” was the official anthem for the previous World Cup in Germany in 2006.
The show will take place at Orlando Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg, beginning at 8PM SAST (6PM GMT/ 2PM ET) and will be streamed online at worldcup.vevo.com so that fans across the globe can partake.
All proceeds from the show will go to the 20 Centres for 2010 Charity, which aims to build football centres for ‘hope’ across Africa, in a bid to help improve living conditions and healthcare for young Africans.
Tree planting and Conservation agriculture key themes in Central Laikipia
Nairobi, 8 June 2010… As the world’s attention focuses on South Africa this Friday with the start of the month-long FIFA World Cup TM, the communities in Central Laikipia District will be gearing themselves for their own football fiesta – the inaugural Laikipia and beyond Unity Cup (LUC).
Starting on Friday, 11 June, a few hours before the Official Opening Ceremony at Soccer City, Johannesburg and the first match between host nation South Africa and Mexico, tops seeds Laikipia Air Base and Nanyuki Combined will take the field in the first of four regional tournaments, at Nyakio Primary School, Lamuria from 11am. This will be preceded by an Opening Ceremony to be addressed by acting South African High Commissioner, Thulani Nyembe, a partner of the event and the Honorable Mwangi Kiunjuri, MP Laikipia East.
With the aim of creating unity and understanding amongst the diverse communities of Laikipia and raising awareness of environmental issues amongst Kenyan youth, tree planting and conservation agriculture will be the main theme for the environmental activities that have been planned for the eight teams and communities this weekend.
Pool A is headed by Laikipia Air Base and includes Ol Pejeta, Mutara and Tigithi Combined. Nanyuki Combined will head Pool B and will play against Lamuria Combined, Segera and Sirima Combined to qualify for a place in the semi-finals, Sunday.
The Semi-finals play off will decide the teams for the finals, after which a composite team will be selected to represent the Central Unit to be pitted against Mathare Huruma, making a guest appearance.
Matches will start on Friday morning, with a half-day set aside on Saturday for tree-planting and demonstrations of conservation agriculture methods. All the pool matches will end on Saturday afternoon. Environment talks and activities will be interspersed with mini-football for children throughout the weekend co-ordinated by the Laikipia Wildlife Forum and United Nations Environment Programme. (UNEP) And to tie-in with Africa’s celebration of the World Cup, the organisers have arranged for live screening of the matches during the regional events.
Conceived by the Zeitz Foundation and sponsored by Safaricom, the Laikipia and Beyond Unity Cup it is being organised to unite the district’s communities through football and environmental activities for the next six weeks, under the patronage of Cameroon Football captain, Samuel Eto’o, who will attend the finals at the Nanyuki Municipal Stadium on 21 and 22 July 2010.
Members of the Laikipia Wildlife Forum are hosting the regional events, starting at Lamuria for the Central Unit. The Western Unit tournament will be held from 18-20 June at Sosian Centre; whilst the Uaso Nyiro Unit tournament will take place from 2-4 July at Kimanju Primary School with the last of the four event to be held at the North Kenya Polo ground from 9-11 July.
The Laikipia and beyond Unity Cup is also supported by other institutions, including the British Army who are providing the infrastructure for the players accommodation and pitches; the Kenya Airforce base and Nanyuki District Hospital are running free medical camps at each tournament.
For further information please contact
Liz Rihoy, Programme Director,
Zeitz Foundation, Nairobi Office Tel: +254 73 650 3249
Andrew Mudibo, Yolanda Tavares Public Relations,
Tel: 020 272 4383/5/7, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: +254 725 346 936
Note to Editors
The Laikipia and Beyond Unity Cup is an invitational event. A total of thirty two teams will compete at the four events for regional honours, with each region then selecting the best players from the eight teams within their region to form a Combined Team to represent the region in the Finals in Nanyuki. The teams are drawn from rural communities, local institutions, local government authorities and commercial ranches. Also invited are the Mathare Youth Sports Association who will send a team to each region to play the Combined Regional team in an exhibition match. The visiting teams from Nairobi will be treated to game drives to experience wildlife and wilderness on a firsthand basis.
Laikipia District has one of the most diverse, cultural and tribal groupings in the country. The unique Laikipia ecosystem encompasses unblemished wilderness, the mighty Mount Kenya, arid drylands savannah and forest and thus provides unique football venues.
The Zeitz Foundation
The Zeitz Foundation for Intercultural Ecosphere Safety (I.E.S.) is inspired by a vision of the Ecosphere – our planet and all of its life-sustaining regions – maintained in the healthiest possible state, and is committed to promoting an inclusive, holistic paradigm of conservation that enhances livelihoods and fosters intercultural dialogue.
The mission of the Foundation is to create and support sustainable, socially and ecologically responsible projects and destinations around the world to achieve long lasting impact and sustainability through the holistic balance of conservation, community, culture and commerce (the 4C’s) in privately managed areas.
The Laikipia Wildlife Forum (LWF)
LWF is a member driven organisation that brings together land owners and resource users of all kinds including large-scale ranchers, small scale farmers and pastoralists to tackle the challenges in the Laikipia ecosystem. They work together to achieve a common goal: Conserving the integrity of the Laikipia ecosystem, by creatively managing it’s natural resources to improve the livelihood of its people.
Laikipia Wildlife Forum is the first institution of its kind to develop a significant capacity to foster development and conservation goals on a district-wide level in Kenya.
As all eyes turn to the tip of Africa this month with the World Cup, Friend of the Zeitz Foundation and best-selling author Michael Poliza captures the country’s richly diverse land and people in his stunning ‘South Africa’ coffee table book.
The Rainbow Nation comes alive under the lens of Poliza and some of South Africa’s most famous photographers invited to contribute to this book: Vanessa Cowling, Chris Fallows, Justin Fox, Craig Fraser, Chris Kirchhoff, Mandla Mnyakama, Obie Oberholzer and Thomas P Peschak.
The result is a reminder of the country’s stark natural beauty and an invitation to protect it!
Laikipia and Beyond Unity Cup football tournament kicks off on 11 June - Cameroon star, Samuel Eto'o, is patron
Conceived by the Zeitz Foundation and sponsored by Safaricom, it is being organised in conjuction with the Laikipia Wildlife Forum.
The Laikipia and Beyond Unity Cup is under the patronage of Cameroon Football captain, Samuel Eto’o, who will attend the finals at the Nanyuki Municipal Stadium on 21 and 22 July 2010 accompanied by a former Cameroon captain, Roger Milla.
With the aim of creating unity and understanding amongst the diverse communities of Laikipia and raising awareness of environmental issues amongst Kenyan youth, the Laikipia and beyond Unity Cup, and members of the Laikipia Wildlife Forum will host the regional events in Sosian, Uaso Nyiro, Kisima and Lamuria from 11 June until 9 July 2010.
Full story on: the Laikipia and Beyond Unity Cup facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?gid=109130542463301&ref=ts