For Immediate Release August 2017
Kick’n It For a Cause delivers 30K Sneakers to Africa with the support of Nike, Under Armour and Stephen Curry
2 years ago, Republic of the Congo native, Liberty University student and founder of the Ntibonera Foundation, Emmanuel Ntibonera, started a project that collected 10,000 sneakers to send back to the Congolese people to combat the spread of deadly diseases due to lack of proper footwear. Last November, Kick’n It founder and Liberty alum, Chris “COSeezy” Strachan, during a stop on his good friend and celebrity chef Ayesha Curry’s book tour at Liberty, caught wind of Emmanuel’s project and immediately felt compelled contribute to the project. That project became known as “Kick’n It For a Cause.” Kick’n It, a rising digital media company, led a social media charge that urged people to create personal videos showing the sneakers they wanted to donate using the hashtag, #Kicknitforacause. The social media movement became a viral sensation that collected another 20,000 sneakers over a 3-month span. Sneaker giants, Nike and Under Armour generously contributed 500 sneakers each to the cause and NBA Superstar, Stephen Curry, personally donated another 500 sneakers.
This incredible story of 2 young, social impact entrepreneurs leading an international movement to provide sneakers, which are generally perceived as “luxury” in American pop- culture, to a country where sneakers serve as protection from deadly disease and injury celebrated the success of the project back at their alma mater this past March. The event brought out 12,000 spectators and was Mc’d by Liberty Vice President of Spiritual Development, David Nasser who led a roundtable discussion with “COSeezy”, Emmanuel Ntibonera and special guest, Stephen Curry. The connection with Curry to #Kicknitforacause dates back to when “COSeezy” recruited Stephen’s brother, and current Dallas Maverick, Seth Curry to play basketball at Liberty University back in 2007-2008, while serving as a student assistant/team manager on Liberty’s basketball team. Curry, who has maintained a close friendship with “COSeezy” over the past 10 years, was extremely moved by the efforts of #Kicknitforacause .
#Kicknitforacause culminated this past July when COSeezy, Ntibnonera and Liberty University representatives led by David Nasser, who made the initial introduction to between COSeezy and Ntibnera, made the 24-hour trip to Africa to deliver the 30,000 sneakers in person. It was important to the entire team that the people who supported the project got to experience the impact of their donations but the trip did certainly have its share of difficulties. Due to the conflict between Rwanda and DR Congo, the safety of the team was a major issue. COSeezy and Liberty University representatives had to reside in Rwanda due to safety concerns and
Ntibonera who is Congolese citizen was not allowed into Rwanda due to his Congolese citizenship. It took hours before officials finally allowed Ntibonera to spend a mere 10 minutes with the #Kicknitforacause team at a Congolese Refugee camp on the Rwanda side of the border. The 30,000 sneakers were held up by customs on the border of Rwanda and the DR Congo with no assurance or timetable of release. After tense negotiations, a portion of the sneakers were finally released and Ntibonera, who didn’t receive his first of sneakers until he was 10 years old, was able to put the sneakers on the feet of children who desperately needed them. Along with sneakers, the #Kicknitforacause event raised money that provided medical supplies including HIV medication and Liberty University donated laptops for Congolese students. #Kicknitforcause plans to expand it’s efforts next year to provide more sneakers, supplies and has a goal to provide scholarships for 100 Congolese students to attend the University of Rwanda
Contact: Bryan Smothers 707-407-6142