By Nana Yaa Asabea
It was a cold evening in the streets of Accra – Ghana, where I made my way up the elevator to the eight floor of One Airport Square, one of the breathtaking edifices in the capital.
I was welcome at the reception by Mayniak Sportswear boss himself, Abdul Rashid Zakari. Dressed in a pair of jeans and spectacles, the young entrepreneur chose a simple look today, like he often does.
Backed by a team two other ambitious men who took it upon themselves about three years ago to create a strong brand which would redefine the sports image of Ghana and Africa to the rest of the world. Despite being faced with a major funding issue, the team of three, “crazily” fought the odds to grow and push the idea of building a kit providing empire.
With his background in marketing and advertising, Mr. Zakari penetrated the sports sector to serve as brand marketing and advertising person for a huge football club. He was later challenged to speak to some major clothing brands outside Africa to seek sponsorship for the very sports club he worked with which in turn became the very first contract he received as a company.
As devoted as he was to his “calling,” Rashid carefully scrutinized the jerseys which were then used by the team only to realize its low quality. This ignited a spark in him to urgently get in touch with international brands like Nike, Puma and Adidas who laid out almost similar terms and conditions for Rashid to comply; this paved way for the solidification of his company. His passion and devotion in his field and desire to place Ghana on the global sports map earned him the “maniac” tag which he gladly embraced and branded his company with.
The young sports “maniac” was born and raised in Nima, and studied at the Chartered institute of Marketing (CIM-UK) and the sports Business Institute of Barcelona. Per his love for sports, he developed a passion to help grow African football clubs to become commercially marketable and stable. The sports brand prides itself of producing kits for the Liberty Professionals football club among others, which has laid a firm foundation for other achievements to follow suit.
The company aims at working in hand with other teams and brands towards achieving the common goal of selling sports from Africa to the rest of the world.