Founded in 2003, Kena Outdoor is a Sowetan triumph that has grown in leaps and bounds over the last two decades. The Kena Foundation is the entity’s way of ensuring that the communities of Soweto receive the support they need for their people’s growth and development.
The Kena Foundation is a non-profit organisation (NPO) that creates inclusive programmes with a focus on education and social development. At its core, the foundation provides the resources that support skills development in sports, the arts, and literacy-building for communities with limited resources. We are actively involved in improving the quality of life in the communities we serve, with a focus on the youth, women, senior citizens, and other vulnerable members of society.
One of the communities that the Kena Foundation has identified as an opportunity for growth and development is Orlando in Soweto. Orlando is one of South Africa’s most renowned townships with a rich history. The community of Orlando has been a part of the country’s pivotal moments, especially during the fight against Apartheid. It is here that the Soweto Uprising of 1976 and the subsequent killing of Hector Pieterson took place and the spirit of community and overcoming the odds, lives on.
In 2019, we saw the launch of the Orlando Summer Festivities , a programme whose purpose is to create an interactive platform where sports, arts and cultural activities are promoted amongst the youth and women of Soweto. The introduction of this programme has contributed to a decline in the drug and alcohol abuse problem that plagues the community of Orlando, community members have told us. The programme was launched with a soccer tournament and a music competition, Clap and Tap and its events attracted revelers not just from Orlando but surrounding townships in Soweto.
The soccer tournament was made up of 32 teams with each member coming from Orlando and other surrounding townships. An opportunity to inspire the youth guest appearances by Kaizer Chiefs Goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune, Kaizer Chiefs coach Arthur Zwane and Sundowns scout Mandla Mazibuko made for a motivational addition to the festivities.
While large gatherings were disrupted in 2020 and 2021 by the Covid pandemic, our commitment to this community continued. The Orlando Summer Festivities is in its 3rd year. Our main aim is to expose and nurture undiscovered talent. This year's Festivities were bigger and better. This was delivered in collaboration with various stakeholders in and around Orlando.
We started on Friday 16 December, with two Under-17 matches and three senior teams matches. The weekend’s programme culminated in a netball tournament. It was a vibrant celebration of what the people of this community can do.
The foundation’s relationship with the people has grown from strength to strength over the six years that we have worked together. This year the community honoured the Kena Foundation with a token of appreciation. For us this gift is a symbol of the foundation’s integration into this community, a positive impact we hope to replicate in other townships across South Africa.