By Bodo Simon
Sports industry has many facets to it from which every shareholder can not only benefit immeasurably, but participate in it (whether directly or indirectly) for the greater good of the country.
It is a conglomeration of several sporting games; most of which – if not all – are not taken seriously by the country’s sports management. It is such a vast vineyard from which every shareholder would wish to sip from its flowing nectars; a vineyard whose lead vinedresser as at now is none other than Hon. Ababu Namwamba.
According to the Statistica – a global statistical analytical body, the Kenyan sports and outdoor market revenue reached US$0.78 million last year -2022.The compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) for the next four years is pegged at 9.54 percent which would translate into a projected market volume of US$ 1.31 million by 2027 – the year of the much hipped African cup of nations (AfCON) extravaganza that Kenya will co-host.
In comparison South Africa rakes in US$97.94 million with a CAGR of 8.07 percent resulting in a projected market volume of US$133.6 million by 2027. In most of the countries that take sports seriously such US, the projection for this year is set at U$520 billion revenue on sports alone topping the world.
From the presented statistical facts you would realise that the puny supplies of Kenya sports revenue is dwarfed beside those of serious countries that have made sports as an economic priority. Much as the infinitesimal collection may form a point of questioning, great hue is in the appropriation of the revenue/ the departmental allocation by the exchequer for the management and the betterment of the sports fraternity in the country.
Hon. Ababu, from your outward comportment, your muscles pronounce that you are agile and your steady strides present you as the most physically fit Cabinet Secretary within the brood.
Whether this is what endeared you to the appointing authority for the docket is for them to confirm; what remains is for you to transmute the physical mien to deliverables. On our part, we touted you as the most favoured to occupy Foreign Affairs docket after carrying the foreign policy files for your master in the run-up to the general election.
On the contrary they seemingly opined that your physique could be of great relevance to this arena where the mundane call is burning of calories to remain lean, clean and intelligent. You may not want to disappoint!
The posterity of the sport industry does not only depend on the dexterity of the sportsmen and women, but the tenacity by the steward to always purpose to do what is ethically good for the entire sports fraternity.
The gist of this line of thought is provoked by the casual way in which matters sports have ever been handled blithering abandonment. Many athletes – especially in the hills of Chebarbar (Kalenjins) struggle to stardom by themselves without good training equipment. Who trains them? They are just left at the mercies of natural selection; gene and nature devoid of nurture! After they have thrust themselves into the thralldom of fame is when the government would want to identify with them and collect revenue from their hard-earned wins.
If you were to reflect on Angela Okutoyi, Ferdinand Omanyala, Kenya Rugby Sevens aside team, and Women’s football team – Starlets, are entities that have trailed the blaze in their own way to prove to the government that where there is a will the frustrations are just but fuel for determination.
Hope you are privy to the frustrations that Kenya Rugby Sevens aside team (they missed their Dubai Sevens series few days ago because of negligence by Sports Ministry) and the Starlets were subjected in the recent past but that did not deem their hope of stellar performance.
The banning of the Kenya Swimming Federation by the World Aquatics still has a foul soar test in the mouth of sports lovers. Not to mention the recent Olympic Games in Berlin Germany that was riddled with accusations and name calling of mismanagement.
At least you were called upon to shade light on the same if at all you only preferred pampering your mistresses at the expense of the team. Whether it was true, your conscience should prod you. All these allegations arise because of the many “foxes” that we have in the vineyard – sports industry. These foxes need to be dealt with especially thus time when the country has won a co-hosting responsibility of the AfCON.
If at all you are part of the destructive foxes, then these coming years preceding the 2027 AfCON extravaganza are going to be a free for all and the AfCON is going to end in disarray. Until then, we will continue to sing together with the Song of Songs 2:15 – “catch for us the little foxes that ruin our sports industry that is in bloom.”
Choose whether to be a prudent lead “vinedresser” or the lead fox that demonstrate how worst to ruin our “vineyard.” How I wished that you chose the former! If it is a herculean task then tag along the EACC