The Real Achievers are in Sports!

As as a matter of principle and practice, I do not usually republish my pieces published elsewhere in my blog. However, I will make an exception for this particular opinion from the Daily Nation of Friday 11th April 2008. So here goes:

THE 14th US CHIEF JUSTICE, Earl Warren, was quoted by Sports Illustrated in 1968 as saying: “I always turn to the sports pages first, which records people’s accomplishments. The front page has nothing but man’s failures.”

Of late, with the political temperatures in the country at fever pitch, I have come to a new appreciation of both the quote, and the truth in it.

And after paying closer attention to the back pages of the papers, I was pleasantly surprised to note  that a great deal is happening in the world of sports. But, naturally, these have been eclipsed by the cat-and-mouse game played by politicians as they figure out how best to run our country down. It is as though they have not already done us the worst possible damage with their two month-long blame game.

In fact, I now hold the view that even if the Cabinet issue is finally resolved, it won’t be too long before they find something else to disagree on with equal gusto.

You will be amazed at the tomes of useful information tucked away in the last pages of newspapers.

Believe it or not, the much derided Kenya Football Federation may be making more progress than our Government has done in the last four months.

The Kenya Premier League matches are now being beamed live to a continental audience thanks to a unique partnership with continental pay-TV channel, Multichoice. This will be on for the next four years, at the end of which, the standard of Kenyan football is expected to be much higher than it is today.

CLUBS ARE EARNING MONEY OUT  of the deal, and locally, football is now going professional. Coaches, players and fans are all upbeat about this development and the only reason why it probably didn’t make headlines is because we were all transfixed on the words ‘‘stalemate’’, ‘‘collapse’’, and their respective derivatives.

Kenya’s rugby has never been better. The Bamburi Rugby Super Series just ended a very successful run last weekend with the Lions franchise taking home the crown.

Not that it wasn’t contested; it was bitterly fought over. The newly-formed Nguvu Sharks side that brought together Nairobi-based universities posted  an impressive showing to emerge third overall. Now, that is what I call achievement.

Internationally, the Kenyan seven-a-side team made great showings at both the Hong Kong and Adelaide outings. They fought gallantly, taking some deep bites and cuts and giving a few of their own in games that were certainly entertaining.

It is for all of these reasons that the whole idea that President Kibaki and Prime Minister-designate Raila Odinga are unable to agree on a Cabinet appears like pure balderdash.

After having hammered out the more contentious National Accord that ushered in peace, the small matter of who gets appointed to help in healing this country should be a walk in the park.

At times like these, calls like those appearing on Facebook to privatise government are not only plausible, they may even turn out to be desirable.

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