The South African reggae legend, the late Philip Lucky Dube in one of his songs; “Teach the world” says that it takes a million people to build up a reputation, but it takes one stupid fool to destroy everything done. Good reputation takes time to be built but it can be lost at the blink of an eye whether by the truth or lies.
Sports in this country are on the Verge of failure as boardroom bickering and finger pointing takes shape. Blame game and blame shifting has been the order of the day in our sports management be it in football or rugby. This has discouraged sponsors to withdraw sponsorship not because of the players but due to the mismanagement of funds, lack of accountability and poor treatment of our sportsmen by the management.
Back to the recently concluded Rio Olympic Games, it is a pathetic story to imagine of what happened to our sportsmen. Our nakedness was exposed to the whole world by the Ministry of Sports and the National Olympic Committee-Kenya (NOCK). Our country has been painted as corrupt, untrustworthy, unethical and of thieves. The whole world now know our story of how officials hid sports kits and joy riders had fun at the expense of athletes who even failed to perform. The thirteen medals they came with are not what we expected. Everywhere when you say you are from Kenya, people think you are an athlete too because this is the reputation that we have had world over as a country.
Kenya’s reputation had been tainted by the 2007/08 post-election violence followed by the International Criminal Courts (ICC) cases and most western partners had shunned this country. Even the presidency has suffered that blow based on that.
However, the President has tried his best to restore the lost glory of Kenya and now it is the central nervous system of international conferences. From hosting Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to the recently concluded Tokyo International Conference on African Trade (TICAD). This is a sign that Kenya’s reputation globally has been regained and recognized after also hosting global leaders including the U.S. President, Barack Obama.
It has taken a million efforts to bring Kenya the veneration and reputation it deserves and now it is admired globally as the place to invest and do conferencing. This global repute of Kenya should now be defended enviously lest any stupid fool as Lucky Dube’s says destroy it.
Setting up an inquiry commission or team is not sufficient; let people take responsibility and heads roll from the Ministry’s top echelons. This should be the starting point and a warning shot to any public officer that whoever destroys Kenya’s reputation for personal gain, must pay for it regardless of status. As the Ministry of sports and Nock officials point accusing fingers at each other, the President should not entertain any of them but to show them the way.