Nyong’o endorsement comes in the midst of Enda’s crowdfunding campaign to build best-in-class daily trainers in Kenya.
Nairobi, Kenya – Academy Award winning actress Lupita Nyong’o strongly endorsed Kenyan running shoe brand Enda in an interview with Complex released Monday. Her support comes one week into Enda’s crowdfunding campaign for their 2nd model of shoe, named the Lapatet.
“I was so excited to learn that they exist,” said Nyong’o. “It’s about time that we had a home-grown sneaker. So I like the innovation behind it, and decided to support it.”
Enda started a crowdfunding campaign for the a daily trainer, the Lapatet, last week. If successful, it would be the first ever daily trainer produced in Kenya.
“I was really impressed,” said Nyong’o about her pair of Enda shoes.
Nyong’o’s “Us” co-star Winston Duke added, “Kenya and Africa is not a place where people usually identify where sneakers come from. And it’s really great to just change that narrative.”
“It’s so exciting to have Lupita supporting us,” said Enda CEO Navalayo Osembo. “We’re still a small company, but with a big vision of having runners around the world wearing Kenyan made shoes. If our shoes can impress Lupita, we hope more people will give them a try and see just what a small company working closely with athletes can do.”
Enda, “go” in Swahili, launched with a successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in 2016 by co-founders Navalayo Osembo and Weldon Kennedy. The first model, the Iten, is a lightweight trainer and has been worn by more than 4,000 people around the world, including Nyong’o.
“We’ve spent 18 months designing and testing the Lapatet with elite Kenyan athletes. After all that work, it is exciting to see so many people eager to get a pair,” said Co-Founder Navalayo Osembo. “We imagine a world in which running is a part of everyone’s culture. Making the world’s best running shoes in Kenya for runners around the world is just the start of that.”
Enda, which means “go” in Swahili, is seeking to raise USD $80,000 in an effort to make running shoes that are not just inspired by Kenyan athletes, but actually made in Kenya. The Lapatet, “running” in some Kalenjin languages, is the company’s first entrance into the daily-trainer category and the mainstream running market
Enda launched with a successfully Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in 2016 by co-founders Navalayo Osembo and Weldon Kennedy. The first model, the Iten, is a lightweight trainer and has sold more than 4,000 pairs.
“I love running in the Iten, but know lightweight trainers are a small part of the running shoe market,” said Kennedy. “The Lapatet is a bigger challenge as we’re entering the biggest segment of the running shoe market, where the competition is fiercest. Thankfully, we’ve made a shoe that’s lighter, better cushioned, lower drop, more ethically made, and a better value than anything else out there.”
The company is driven by a social mission to connect runners around the world to the culture of Kenyan running and to increase the amount of income Kenya generates from its running reputation.