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Oliberté Helps African Athletes Achieve Their Competitive Dreams

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Sportanya athlete Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong (\”The Snow Leopard\”) trains for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

A portion of sales at go directly to athletes

October 15, 2013 (OAKVILLE, CAN.)—Oliberté, maker of the world’s first Fair Trade CertifiedTM footwear and sustainably produced leather bags handmade in Africa, is launching Sportanya, a program that supports and celebrates African athletes as they pursue their athletic dreams. Oliberté is based in Oakville, Ontario, Canada, but has strong ties to Africa, where all of its leather products are produced by skilled craftsmen and women in Oliberté’s footwear factory in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which was recently declared Fair Trade Certified by Fair Trade USA.

Oliberté will feature a different athlete each month on, during which time, five to 10 percent of online sales will go directly to the athlete to fund their competition and travel expenses.

 “We wanted to feature inspiring African athletes who deserve recognition for going above and beyond to lead their countries by pursuing their passions,” says Tal Dehtiar, founder of Oliberté. “Sportanya is a collection of inspirational stories that will give unique insight into the athletes’ aspirations, everyday lives, goals, motivations, successes and homes.

Kicking off the monthly rotation of athlete features is Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong, a.k.a. the “Snow Leopard,” who is head of the Ghanaian Ski Team and the first person from Ghana to take part in any winter Olympic Games. He competed in the slalom at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, and is currently training for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, next February.

November will feature Sifiso Nhlapo, a multi-time South African BMX national champion who was the only South African to compete in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The Red Bull, Thule, Skull Candy and Oakley-sponsored athlete won the All Africa Challenge in Zimbabwe in 2011, and in 2012, he scored third at the UCI BMX World Championships. “Skizo” as he’s known, continues to be a force to be reckoned with on the international stage.

December is the month for Olympic swimmer Eric Moussambani, who had been swimming for only eight months when he received a wildcard slot for the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Eric earned the nickname “Eric the Eel” for his now-infamous 100-meter freestyle heat, which made him a fan and media favorite. Having since honed competitive edge in the pool, he now coaches the national swimming squad of Equatorial Guinea, which competed at the 2012 London Olympics.

Oliberté expects to sign another five to seven African athletes to the Sportanya program over the coming months. In the meantime, follow Kwame’s journey to Sochi and Sifiso and Eric’s ongoing adventures on Oliberté’s Sportanya microsite, Tumblr, Pinterest and Facebook pages.


Tal Dehtiar founded Oliberté in 2009 to create sustainable jobs for skilled artisans in Africa building rugged casual leather goods and footwear using natural rubber outsoles and hand-picked natural leather. Each pair of hand-crafted shoes uses an average of 1000 stitches and materials sourced from Mauritius, Kenya, Tanzania, Congo and Liberia and is produced in Oliberté’s Fair Trade Certifiedfactory in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Oliberté is headquartered in Oakville, Canada, with warehousing in Mississauga, Ontario, Buffalo, New York, and Rye, UK. Oliberté is sold throughout the world at specialty retailers and available online at