Jay Asher, Author of the book: The future of us (2011) once said a few words – “You can’t stop the future, you can’t rewind the past. The only way to learn the secret …. is to press play”. Sometimes I thought his insight came from the fact that he wrote so many teen stories, always having to talk about the future made so much sense to his target audience. Well, come to think of it, not just for teens but for every sphere of life.
Today, you and I live and hope (almost 100%) sure that the World Cup will be staged in Brazil later on this year and for every four years- it’s what to expect. Imagine the Africa Cup of Nations having to skip a single edition, reason? Lack of sponsors. Imagine the Olympics having to miss a single edition, reason? A new competition was being introduced in its place because a sponsor demanded so? Unthinkable, right?
Such is the horror, such is the shame, of what has been a joy and pride for an ever ‘growing league’ right now in front of our very own eyes, threatens to crumble. Founded in 2009, The Kenyan Super Cup has had some really exciting moments, memorable to say the least and mouth-watering entertainment to welcome the new season- but now, or rather for this year; will have to be skipped.
For just a few hours, the whole country would be glued to their seats, appreciating the beauty of the cup competition and the league competition both represented by their winners taking part in a soccer extravaganza ready to welcome the new season. A season that not only promises to be more gruelling and tough, but also exciting and surprising (you are just never sure how) in due time.
The lack of a sponsor as a reason for skipping such a match must be the greatest irony of the KPL administration, one that could introduce a cup just after last season ended and promised (then) to keep the Super Cup alive. For the biggest football match in the country, lack of a sponsor would be laughable in a future publication, the question then would be- so how big then was the ‘NAIROBI DERBY’ then, if it couldn’t even attract a sponsor for just 90 minutes?
The cause of worry though shouldn’t just end with the sponsor woes, having another competition just before the season kicks off and now terming it the ‘official season opener’ in the name of CHARITY beats me.
While voting and helping fund a worthy cause should be applauded wholesomely- the idea of fair competition and a fair right to competition (keeping it all football) is thoroughly eroded. With a few clubs rarely being able to even fill their home matches, it’s impossible to expect them to make it to a ‘SMS Voting based’ soccer system. In fact the right thing to say is; it’s either boiling down into a popularity contest (I doubt if the values of football revolve around this) or a ghost voting procedure> (can you explain how Mathare United ‘existing’ fans pipped Gor Mahia fans to 2nd place overnight?).
Worry not though about that- threatening teams that don’t make it to a charity event with dire consequences caps off a beautiful show of sponsor control versus sponsor submission.
For a few millions and a short lived entertainment that might stop when the sponsor seems disinterested- our history might have just been sold. What our future generations would have smiled about and tirelessly fought to preserve seems to be going down the drain.
Yes, we can build a new tradition, thoroughly in line with the old- but we must never allow the new to replace the old, especially when the old did no harm to our football.
Here are a few tips on how to create traditions that can be kept
Keep it simple
Keep it affordable; traditions built around activities or items that are costly may not last for long or may cause extra stress
Keep it real; let’s not try to be what we are not, discover what we value and let’s try and build traditions around them.
Keep it focused; Lasting traditions are built around the eternal.
Just say NO; by saying NO to the unnecessary, you can provide opportunity to say YES to the most important matters.
Have a peaceful weekend, won’t you?