In Swahili, “harambee" means “all pull together.”
It’s a Kenyan motto as well as guiding philosophy behind Enda Sportswear, a new athletic brand launching a running shoe that’s made in Kenya and inspired by the legendary long-distance runners the African country has become known to produce.
Designed to get runners to land on their mid-foot or balls of their feet (the Kenyan way for generations), the 224-gram Enda Iten is named for a town that’s produced long-distance running champions who’ve won the Boston and New York City Marathons, as well as captured Olympic gold.
With a extra-wide toe box, enlarged midsole, full rubber outsole and extra pinky toe room, the lightweight Iten incorporates lessons from running in Kenya into a design that can meet the requirements of world-class runners everywhere.
The co-founders of Enda — Navalayo Osembo-Ombati and Weldon Kennedy — are hopeful that demand for the shoes will enable them to create at least 100 jobs in Kenya that will directly benefit the country’s economy.
“We wanted to channel the energy around running into something that can have much more of an impact on the people of Kenya," says Osembo-Ombati. "If you think about the magnitude of the industry worldwide, and if you think about how Kenya is used for marketing, this is low-lying fruit."
The designers have taken the first step in making that dream and reality and launched a $75,000 Kickstarter campaign that will let backers secure of the $125 shoes for a $100 flat.
They're going quick, so hop to it.