A Harambee is a literal way of paying for administrative orphanage at a football club

It’s like an orchestra, with an absent concertmaster and a present dis-functioning conductor. The script is well rehearsed and played- but in its execution it hurts. Like an awful song, even the sweetest of voices and accompaniment of the best instruments- nothing can hide the awful truth of its ugliness.

The Harambee culture in football has been here for a long time, it’s not a ‘Tony Verma’ moment anytime a club calls for a short fundraising to help cover its costs, it’s a culture, a way of life administered on clubs by administrators.

I get so excited when the proposers weigh down on the opposers of this short term solution to long term poverty (see what I did there?) using the thoroughly calculated thought of loyalty and non-loyalty, sometimes, love and pretense.

But what’s really love and what’s pretense towards a football club?

Many suggestions in recent years have pointed towards fans having more say on the day to day running of clubs in Kenya, I would dare say in the same breath- the administrators have made sure this never sees the light of day, not even the dawn.

Today, AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia face the greatest test in keeping its names happy with reports having suggested players haven’t been paid for a while now.

It’s not even the payment or non-payment that should hurt: the ability of the situation to be corrected in the long term future is very unrealistic.

Several incidences in the past should have opened the eyes of the leaders, instead, in typical political fashion: the defense of such measures has been greeted with claps and salutes at the sight of a club chairman waving notes at a press conference confirming players have/shall be paid as the money has ‘already arrived’.

The orphans of the system have in turn exploited the system and stretched it to its best.

Gor Mahia Pay Bill Number, ( image via gormahiafc.co.ke )

Gor Mahia Pay Bill Number, ( image via gormahiafc.co.ke )

It’s not a new scenario now to see clubs losing sponsorship and displaying MPESA Pay Bill numbers to come to their aid- when did charity run football at the highest level? And even when it did- someone accounted for it, if not budgeted for it at the minimum beginning.

PAYBILL numbers are digital begging bowls, Sponsorships- a resting phase for homeless beggars and grants- a payroll determined only by football status and not administrative merit.

All the above point to a period of absolute administrative orphanage in Kenyan football clubs, especially the top two clubs. It’s hard to look beyond these two- the rest have a mixed bag of results on the same, non-predominantly long term and self-sustenance.

Generally, it’s hard to look at leaders as solution solvers, when not part of it- help aid it. The financial situation won’t end now. Fundraisings make people sick, especially when the emergency is bound to repeat itself.

This, for sure- might repeat itself.


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