KINSHASA – On 30 October 1974, the Stade Tata Raphael in Kinshasa was the venue for the most famous heavyweight championship bout of the time between the reigning champion and the challenger, who had previously held the belt, Muhammad Ali. “The Rumble in the Jungle”, as it was dubbed, was the chance to show the world Zaire’s new constitution. These days the country is known as the Democratic Republic of Congo but the historic arena is now in disrepair and is no longer host to major sporting events.
A few miles from the ground lies the local Kinshasa technical state school pitch. With a sparse covering of grass, particularly on the edge of the pitch, and no floodlights, the surface has never hosted any famous sporting events but it is were 300 children from the Kokolo military camp come to play, train and have fun on a daily basis.
You don’t need stands, floodlights or a pitch as smooth as a snooker baize – it’s all about how you use the area. What at first appears a scruffy patch of bare earth becomes a place to grow thanks to the Inter Campus project. It’s where former child soldiers, orphans and military kids find new opportunities in life.