Puma has unveiled new kits for its ten African national teams at the opening of an exhibition on Interpretations of Africa: Football, Art and Design, at the Design Museum in London.
African footballers such as Steven Pienaar, Samuel Eto’o of Cameroon, John Mensah of Ghana and Yaya Touré of Ivory Coast attended the launch of the exhibition, where the South Africa kit is exhibited alongside new kits for PUMA’s other African teams – Ghana, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Algeria, Namibia, Senegal, Togo, Gabon and Burkina Faso were unveiled.
South African artists Hasan and Husain Essop designed the new Bafana Bafana kit. The brothers are among a group of artists from the Creative African Network, commissioned to design kits inspired by their country’s heritage, culture and traditions.
The kit, which South Africa’s Bafana Bafana will sport when they play against the Ivory Coast in the Nelson Mandela Challenge on Saturday 12th November, includes a rainbow graphic inspired by the phrase “Rainbow Nation” coined by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
“Our design was influenced by South Africa’s diversity of cultures and how we have grown as a Nation. We worked with the PUMA design team to help us create a symbol that would reflect South African spirit. After hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup, South Africans have united across the country to support their team.
The kit represents the unity within our country and at the same time reflects our strong African identity,” said the Essop brothers.
SA Football Association President Kirsten Nematandani added: “When Archbishop Desmond Tutu coined the phrase the Rainbow Nation he captured the unique character of our country, and how our different peoples would work together to make our country great. It is appropriate that the new rainbow kit design has been launched in the year of the Archbishop’s 80th birthday. We believe we have a kit and a team which can unite our fans behind the Bafana Bafana cause.”
South African national team coach Pitso Mosimane is excited about the new Bafana Bafana look: “The new team kit from PUMA is technically advanced, looks great and tells the unique and wonderful story of our country. The players will wear it with pride.”
The shirts also feature the new Puma QR Code woven label, which directs to an online video featuring information about the making of the kits, with interviews from artists and players.
Franz Koch, CEO of PUMA SE, commented: “PUMA has been at the forefront of integrating the two disparate worlds of sport and art, and today through a celebration of football, art, colour and culture, we have shown to the world how these two spheres can be uniquely combined.”