Rugby legend gives Zambian-made Kaleza boots the thumbs up
Published: 1st Nov 2019
Lusaka, Zambia – Former England Rugby Union International and World Cup winner Jason Leonard has been knocked sideways by the quality of locally produced Kaleza football boots.
The popular Z-12 boots made by Zambeef division Zamleather are already scoring hits with players across the country.
Now they have caught the attention of the sporting legend, who is founder of the Atlas Foundation, a non-profit organisation imparting life skills and values such as education, teamwork and discipline to children in underprivileged areas in 16 countries around the world.
He was so impressed that his foundation bought 60 pairs of the boots to distribute to youngsters in Zimbabwe.
During a visit to Victoria Falls recently, Zamleather presented him with the customised Atlas Foundation boots, and Leonard found himself on the front cover of African Business Network magazine giving the boots the thumbs-up.
“The leather rugby boots were nothing short of world class, and Jason was delighted with the quality and the brand of the leather boots which will be used for all matches and key training practices. It would make sense that all further orders go through you so that this quality boot takes its place across many more clubs and schools throughout Africa and other regions,” said tour organiser Sue Anderson.
“The Kaleza Z-12 boots were borne from the desire to have a sports boot on the market that is designed, manufactured and packaged locally as well as suited to our terrain, and is not only affordable but of international quality,” said Zamleather General Manager Richard Franklin.
“It is important for us to be involved at the grassroots as a local sports shoe brand, as a way of reinforcing our commitment and also to communicate the values of quality, discipline and determination among the upcoming generations. It is possible for Zambia to produce quality in terms of talent as well as other products and that is what value addition is all about for us here at Kaleza and Zamleather,” noted Mr Franklin.
Over the years, Zamleather, through Kaleza, has lent its support to little leagues and community initiatives by donating football boots and footballs. It supports the NGO Alive and Kicking, an HIV/AIDS and malaria awareness project, whose stitching centre is based at the Zamleather premises in Lusaka.
Zambia’s leather industry holds much promise, and growth in the sector can be spurred by building markets for local finished leather products that ride on value addition, added Mr Franklin.
“What we need is for local entrepreneurs to look at leather as a readily available natural, local product that provides infinite business opportunities for value addition to our local hides,” he explained.
Zamleather operates the country’s largest operating tannery, with subdivisions that produce protective clothing and safety boots, Zamshu school and sports shoes, and wet blue hides and finished leather material that can be used for upholstery.
“Africa, and the world at large, is striving for a green industrialisation through the use of local raw materials with a view to zero waste. Zamleather embodies this principle in that it takes raw hides from the Zambeef Group’s beef division, adding value,” said Mr Franklin.
One product fast gaining popularity in local sporting circles is its line of Kaleza Z-12 football and Astroturf boots. From the onset, Kaleza models were made to stand out on the market in more ways than one. First released in 2013 they have since gained a reputation on football pitches across the country as the Zambia’s quality affordable lightweight football boots.