Thursday, July 25, 2024

Rachel Kundananji Launches Transformative Foundation

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rachel kundananji

COPPER Queens’ striker Rachel Kundananji, who plays for American National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) side Bay FC, has joined the growing list of affluent Zambian footballers giving back to society.

Kundananji, who broke the women’s world record transfer fee of £625,000 when she joined Bay FC in February this year, has launched the Racheal Kundananji Legacy Foundation (RKF). The foundation is dedicated to using the beautiful game of football as a catalyst for positive change.

Kundananji hopes that through the Legacy Foundation, she can inspire and support other young girls in pursuing their dreams in football. She extolled coach Wisdom Kaira for influencing her career with the simple advice to avoid becoming rough during football games.

The Copper Queens striker, who became the world’s most expensive female footballer in history after signing a US$860,000 transfer fee with Bay FC from Madrid CFF in Spain, expressed her gratitude towards Kaira for his guidance and mentorship, stating that his advice has helped shape her into the player she is today.

Kundananji has experienced first-hand the benefits of football and wants to give young players the opportunity to excel by availing them with equipment she never had.

The launch of the RKF marks a milestone and a significant step towards empowering young people and enthusiasts through skills development, mentorship, and community engagement.

Speaking at the launch of the RKF at the Olympic Development Centre in Lusaka today, Minister of Sports Elvis Nkandu said what Racheal Kundananji and her team have done is exemplary. “We need successful athletes to give back to our community and country at large.”

“My ministry is delighted to note that this foundation will collaborate with local authorities to improve football facilities through safe pitches, changing rooms, and coaching centres. The goal must be to create spaces where dreams take flight,” Nkandu said in a speech read for him by his Permanent Secretary Chileshe Kangwa.

Nkandu noted that the government has recently devolved community sport to local authorities nationwide with matching resources. “As a government, we welcome initiatives such as this one, which not only supplement the available resources but are a true demonstration of individuals who have excelled in sports desiring to see others succeed,” he said.

Bernadette Deka-Zulu, the co-founder and Global Lead at the RKF, said the launch was the beginning of a movement, a promise to empower young girls in Zambia and worldwide through sport for change, particularly the beautiful game of football.

“In the lenses of our foundation, football is more than a sport; it is a vehicle for change, a catalyst for growth, and a beacon of hope for many young girls with dreams. This is a testament to our founder, her journey filled with dreams and hopes that have come alive,” Deka-Zulu said.

She stated that the RKF’s mission is simple yet powerful: to ensure that every girl, no matter where she comes from, has the chance to play, learn, and thrive through football.

“To us, every kick of the ball represents an opportunity for growth, resilience, and transformation. The Racheal Kundananji Legacy Foundation is committed to providing young girls who dream of following in Racheal’s footsteps access to mentorship and opportunities,” she said.

Deka-Zulu added that RKF’s programmes will focus on grassroots development, coaching clinics, and scholarships, ensuring that every girl knows the football world is open to her.

“We aim to create a world where every girl has equal access to football, fostering resilience, teamwork, and personal growth. We believe in the power of dreams and the potential within every girl,” she said.

Zambia Army Deputy Director General Sports, Commerce, and Community Services Branch Colonel Priscilla Katoba said that because Racheal’s success resonates far beyond the football field, the formation of the foundation will inspire young girls across Zambia to follow their passions, break barriers, and pursue excellence.

“Racheal’s journey reminds us that hard work, determination, and unwavering commitment can propel us to unimaginable heights,” she said.

In a speech read on her behalf by Director of Sports Colonel David Lungu, Col. Katoba said the RKF transcends boundaries and ignites hope in the heart of the country’s young generation.

She noted that Racheal’s journey from the sparse pitches of Zambia’s Copperbelt Province to becoming one of the best female footballers is nothing short of extraordinary.

“As Racheal embarks on this new chapter in humanitarian work, together with her co-founder and working partner Bernadette Deka-Zulu, they both carry with them the hopes and dreams of our nation,” she said.

The high-profile launch was attended by distinguished guests, including representatives from strategic partners such as the Global Observatory for Gender Equality and Sports, UNAIDS, OYDC, NOWSPAR, the Football Association of Zambia, and the National Olympic Committee of Zambia.

The event successfully garnered increased support and engagement from various stakeholders, enhancing the foundation’s ability to impact young lives positively.

By Benedict Tembo

5 COMMENTS

  1. Total styupidity yet again. Rachel’s mother is still, now she has to be giving her salary to those predators like Bernadette Deka… unless you people tell me that all these people are Rachel’s biological sisters.
    Focus on soccer careers, don’t be a Fashion doing alot but nobody cares.
    The best Rachel can do is score at Olympics and her club. Stay away from Lusaka predators please.

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  2. Ba munyengelela I dont thik she knows what she has gotten herself into. It is too early for her to do such without establishing herself first.

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    • I totally agree with you Cephas,she has just entangled herself with predators and chancers like Bernadette,it`s too early for her to start establishing such things.

  3. Too many hangers-on. Late Michael Jackson died poor because of too many hangers-on that surrounded him. Elvis Nkandu and Chileshe Kangwa should also show us how they are giving back to their communities. Mwaice Kundananji uchenjele naba pungwa abo. Bakakupwisha!

  4. All these footballers setting up things before they secure themselves financially is laughable. The ordinary Zambians will simply applaud you because they too know nothing about investment. Invest in assets and then use the income from the assets to fund these pet projects. Any job that requires the labor of your body is short-lived. Most of these footballers are not educated, they need mentorship.

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