My name is Morris Thuku, I'm the Manager and Coach of Alice in Africa Baseball and Softball Club based in Kenya, Africa. A little personal background, I was born in Kenya and I was later blessed to attend High School in the US. I then came back home to Kenya and started an IT School. In my daily running of the School and in my local excursions, I would often see very large number of young kids idling around town and up to mischief.
I started by showing up on a dusty, pebbled field next to our local slum with a glove, a bat and ball given to me a good friend. Now, since these equipment are totally foreign to the African culture, they attracted the attention of a flock of Kids from this slum who showed up in tattered clothes and no shoes. I proceeded to show them the baseball basics and they soaked it all in and took to the game with delight. After saying my goodbyes, I was surprised the next weekend by noises outside my house of these same kids who showed up at the crack of dawn to remind me to continue our baseball adventures. Lo and behold, we started a ritual of meeting every weekend for practice and delightful pickup games.This magical effect that baseball had on this kids to make them forget the misery of everyday slum life if only for the short time they were on the field really touched me.
I was invited by the Baseball Federation of Kenya to take part in a course on coaching and umpiring. The Federation brought MLB certified trainers from the US. After completing the training and receiving my certificate, the BFK was also kind enough to donate gloves, balls and bats to my initiative since there is absolutely no way to find baseball equipment in Kenya, there are no shops selling baseball equipment and even if there were, the costs could only be afforded by the extremely wealthy. This was the humble beginnings of Alice in Africa Baseball Academy which I started by simply showing up on a gravel field with my freshly gained knowledge and equipment.
Now, in order to sustain this Academy, my brother Andrew and I registered a Tour company called Alice in Africa Safaris. We decided to set aside a portion of our profits from every safari booking to fund a community outreach program using baseball as a vehicle. With the few $ that we generated, we started buying improvised baseball uniforms of t-shirts and track suits and also used track shoes which delighted our kids some of whom were wearing them for the first time. 10 years later, my kids have matured into responsible individuals and very talented baseball players who are now part of the Kenya National Baseball Team.
Ass. Coach - National Team