Somebody’s trying to start some trouble between Kenya and Tanzania and they had better stop it.
I won’t take any malicious mischief on the part of vandals who are trying to bring discord to this our East African House. It is our prerogative to tease each other, that’s what friends do, but that’s where it ends. Teasing.
The usual ribbing between siblings during Afcon is fine, but the politicisation of the match between my own beloved Taifa Stars and Kenya’s Harambee Stars was unworthy.
There were underlying issues stirred up by extremely ill thought out statements by individuals on both sides of the border. I say: You’re grown men and women, try to act like it. Keep your neuroses in your own house.
I want to heartily congratulate the Kenyan team for their victory, it was a battle well fought during the second half after Tanzania had clearly goaded a great performance out of them by daring to finish the first half one goal ahead. Bravo. But the true Stars are indisputably my squad.
Over 30 years we haven’t even sniffed the possibilities of participating in Afcon and in 2019 we made it. We are Africans: Heroes must be sung home.
Come home my weary warriors, put down your dented shields. We’ll help you carry the broken swords, wipe blood shed on the fields. Your uniforms were gold and blue, your hearts were brave and strong and true, you carried hopes untold and managed to come through.
In a world obsessed with victory, few gracious foes remain. It takes much strength to lose a match yet retain dignity. To founder on the battlefield is just experience gained. You will live to fight another day, for we always try again.
The job of a national team is to unite a country in support of their warriors in these gladiator games that we stage to entertain ourselves.
Our duty as your supporters is to give you the unconditional love that confers special powers on a team. Winning is awesome, but I hope you know that we are here even when you lose. On a team and on an individual basis as you achieve your goals, remember that there are little girls and boys who are inspired by your struggles and your successes.
Forgive us for letting the politics get in the way of things. We let you down by sending you off in a manner most unhelpful for the psyche of the team. You don’t belong to the Grand Old Party, you belong to us always and are forever sons of the land.
They may give you support but they may not charge you with ludicrous requirements to “defend the country’s honour.”
That is their job and just because they are doing it badly doesn’t mean it is okay for them to try and outsource it. We voted them in to “do their jobs.” You, in contrast, have earned your places with true hard work. Keep it up.
Kenya isn’t going anywhere: We shall meet them and our fellow Africans again and again and we shall learn and we shall grow and we shall one day triumph.
Remember: A mob of lions might bring down a giraffe, but it only takes one blow of a giraffe’s hoof to cave a lion’s head in. Bide your time.
And lastly: It is the beautiful game, but it is just a game.
Elsie Eyakuze is a consultant and blogger for The Mikocheni Report.E-mail: [email protected]
Our wizards saw the Brave New World, but none saw coronavirus
Last year in December, Nation Media Group held its first Kusi Ideas Festival in Kigali. The festival tried to peer ahead the next 60 years in Africa.
There were many Brave New World ideas about how that future might look like, and also the perils that progress almost always brings. Needless to say, no one saw Covid-19 coming.
A futurist curtain-raiser in The EastAfrican, titled Africa in 2079, came close to outlining a mirror universe to the one Covid-19 is bequeathing us.
Between London, Zimbabwe, and the corners of Africa where Econet’s fibre optic network reaches, Strive Masiyiwa, founder and chairman of Econet Wireless and former chair of the board of AGRA wrote:
“I recently invested in a tech start-up that has created an Uber-like platform for tractors, enabling farmers to link up with a central database and order a tractor via SMS…freeing the farmer from the drudgery of the hoe. This service is particularly valued by women farmers, enabling them to circumvent social norms that might otherwise hamper their ability to hire a tractor.” From wherever we are hiding from the virus, unable to roam the farm, Uber farming could be the new way a lot of our food is produced.
From Tanzania, Aidan Eyakuze, who is executive director of Twaweza East Africa and has been confined in-country as an elegant prisoner for nearly two years because of his love of inconvenient data, painted an intoxicating but strange utopian-dystopian picture of Africa at the end the century.
By 2079, he foresaw the “vast majority of Africans earn their living through multiple micro-tasking (MMTs) ever since every ”job” was unbundled into its component tasks…leaving only those unbundled micro-tasks needing social intelligence, creativity or dexterity to be done by people. All ”taskers” are always-on private contractors who bid relentlessly for the privilege of tasking.
Incomes are kept low by the relative scarcity of tasks requiring the human touch.
“The unrelenting competition for tasks is both stressful and socially divisive — you are competing against everyone all the time…even marriages have renewable term limits, ‘in case someone better comes along.’” With work-from-home regimes, the former has come 78 years earlier.
Indeed, even for the latter, more people now probably think being cooped up with the same man or woman in the house “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part,” is a very archaic model.
Between Italy and Kenya, the Society for International Development’s Arthur Muliro, peered into a what a truly borderless Africa might look. Among others, his gaze settled on, of all places, Libya.
“Libya…was now welcoming other Africans and allowing them to settle. The peace deal that had come after a decade of civil war was holding and there was new optimism, in part boosted by the arrival and expansion of new migrant groups who had settled there and were helping rebuild their adopted country.”
On a close re-reading, turns out Aidan hinted that Turkey, which jumped in the Libyan fray as the coronavirus made its way out of Wuhan, might have something to do with it.
Stadiums progress welcome – Daily Nation
Last week, the Sports ministry’s top officials, led by Chief Administrative Secretary Hassan Noor Hassan and Principal Secretary Joe Okudo traversed the country to access the ongoing construction of stadiums.
President Uhuru Kenyatta also made an impromptu tour of the Nyayo National Stadium to ensure that all is well besides giving Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed full support. That has made sure that renovation works resume at all the stadiums — including Kasarani, Nyayo, Kipchoge Keino, Kamariny and Wote — and that everything is running on schedule.
Upon completion of some of these arenas, the country will have positioned itself to host major world events, especially in football, athletics and basketball. The ministry must, therefore, ensure that, while it has given contractors an ultimatum to finish their work, it also insists on quality delivery.
But there are concerns about work at county stadiums, especially in Mombasa, where those who redesigned the arena have done away with the internationally approved running track.
The new stadium has been designed for football only hence won’t host any track and field events. The four lane track will only be for warm up and this has raised eyebrows.
Mombasa County Chief Sports Officer Innocent Mugabe said Bububu grounds in Likoni and Kenya Ports Authority’s Mbaraki Sports Club will be upgraded for sports use. Mombasa being at low altitude, it is suitable for staging major World Athletics events, having staged the 2007 World Cross Country Championships.
Kenya is bidding to host the 2025 World Championships in Athletics and Mombasa can easily be the venue with a good stadium in place. There is still time to build a county stadium.
Ensure reopening of schools runs smoothly
When Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha announced a fortnight ago the postponement of school reopening to January next year, he gave an exception. Universities, teacher training colleges and technical training institutions were directed to be ready to reopen in September.
Consequently, they were asked to put in place safety measures prescribed by the Health ministry, including reorganising classrooms and hostels to ensure social distancing. Just a month to the planned reopening, are those institutions really prepared?
In the past few days, Prof Magoha has convened meetings with the heads of the institutions to plan for the reopening and visiting the colleges to assess their preparedness. Preliminary reports from these engagements indicate that just a few institutions are ready.
At the university level, so far, only Strathmore has been declared ready for reopening. Ensure reopening of schools runs smoothly
For teachers’ colleges, three — Murang’a, Kibabii and Kericho — have met the threshold. Assessment is ongoing for the technical training institutions.
But the broad observation is that most of the institutions are not ready. Though not surprising, most of them are ordinarily in poor state and Covid-19 has just exposed them. Beyond the situation, long-term actions are required to revamp and revitalise them.
Reopening the colleges in September will be the starting point for relaxing restrictions in the education sector. The reason for beginning with colleges is that they have mature students who understand the health protocols and can, therefore, take care of themselves and minimise infections. Their experience would then inform plans for reopening primary and secondary schools.
Closure of schools and colleges has dealt a huge blow to education. Learners in schools have lost a whole year and have to repeat classes next year. This comes with high social, economic and psychological. Indeed, this is the first time in history that schools are being closed for a year.
The last time the education sector suffered most was in 1982, when, following an abortive coup, the University of Nairobi and then-Kenyatta University College were closed for nine months. That created a major backlog and that took five years to clear. This is the reason steps should be taken at the earliest opportunity to mitigate the damage.
The challenge, therefore, is for the colleges to work on those health protocols to prepare for reopening. All other sectors, such as transport and tourism, are reopening and, therefore, colleges have no reason to lag behind. We ask the management of the institutions to expedite the required processes and get ready for reopening in September as directed.