Former Mainz player Bakary Diakité (middle, with glasses) and some of the tournament's participants. - © DFL
Former Mainz player Bakary Diakité (middle, with glasses) and some of the tournament's participants. - © DFL

Bundesliga x Safe-Hub Series kicks off in South Africa


29 April 2024 – The Bundesliga x Safe-Hub Series started last week in South Africa, initiating an eight-week series of football events for young individuals aged 16 and above. Emphasizing its dedication to social impact, the series integrates discussions and activities focused on gender equality and empowerment at Safe-Hub locations in Tembisa, Diepsloot, Jabulani, and Alexandra. The program aims to foster a supportive environment for personal growth and community development, leading up to the series finals in early June.

As part of the series, former 1. FSV Mainz 05 player Bakary Diakité attended the Safe-Hubs in Alexandra and Jabulani, where he spoke with the participants on key topics around the overall theme of gender equality. The former Mali international is one of the speakers invited to provide team talks each week. Accompanying these talks, the players participate in life skills sessions and workshops that focus on gender parity, dismantling stereotypes, and the importance of creating opportunities for everyone.


The series will also feature a challenge for all participants, titled #InYourShoes, aimed at highlighting – and tackling – the social challenges young people face in South Africa, and empowering them to overcome each obstacle.

Bundesliga International Chief Marketing Officer Peer Naubert said: “South Africa is the home of millions of Bundesliga fans and the excitement captures more and more people. In fact, it is the fastest growing European league in the country and interest has increased by 13% from last year alone. However, the Bundesliga has always been about more than just sport. It stands for bringing people together in communities across the globe. We believe that football can be a vehicle to positively impact these young people’s lives. It is a privilege to launch the Bundesliga x Safe-Hub Series and contribute to tearing down barriers.”

Florian Zech, Founder & Joint-Managing Director, AMANDLA / Safe-Hub said: “We are excited about the launch of the Bundesliga x Safe-Hub Series as it underscores our dedication to football and its social purpose. With backing from Mainz 05 and ambassadors like Bakary Diakité, we’re tackling critical social issues head-on, while promoting our core mission of holistic youth and equitable community development.”

Bakary Diakité said: “The Bundesliga x Safe-Hub Series is a great and important initiative. It was a privilege to be part of it. To speak to young boys and girls who are passionate about soccer brings so much joy. It is impressive to see the great impact the safe hubs have especially for underprivileged youth.”

In December 2023, Bundesliga International announced its partnership with Safe-Hub, launching the series with the aim of ensuring a safe space for teenagers to enjoy football, as well as supporting them with additional educational and sporting programmes. Safe-Hub creates communities in collaboration with local partners so that young people and communities can thrive. The aim is to realise a vision for an equal world by improving access to support and opportunity in under-resourced neighbourhoods.