I know my country, yes I do. I watch TV, I listen to the radio, I’m active on several social media platforms and I interact with several people one to one a daily basis. One thing stands out; nothing ‘big’ will ever pass the day to day conversations we have. Whether in the office or at school or in a matatu-so last week it’s like every Kenyan knew Victor Wanyama had joined Southampton.
Forget the ‘factual games’ dictating his position regarding who and who has featured in the English Premier League- for a fact, whether third or fourth we all must be proud our ‘son’ finally is going to grace the beautiful pitches of England we can all gaze at on pay TV.
I’m glad when I see several Kenyans praise Victor on his achievements and even wish him well for the future. For others it’s time they followed closely and even further to justify their act of solidarity, they’ve vowed to purchase Southampton replicas- something I seem not to have any trouble with.
Even though he’s a lone ranger in a forest of exciting and talented individuals the pride we’ll all feel when he finally makes that long awaited debut might only be measured to that of when his elder brother McDonald made his Champions League debut and went on to win it. It’s plausible that we take great pride in our sons and daughters who are all out there, donning various shirts but representing a great pack of humanity somewhere in the eastern part of Africa.
Everything in extreme is dangerouse and more than often blinds us from the reality on the ground.
Last week a few of us made fun of how the FA, the president and even his deputy will send congratulatory messages to Wanyama on his transfer and true to our word they did- which is a good thing.
While we must all be proud Big Vic is doing well in his career, it’s fast becoming a sad state of affairs when away from Vic and back home not much can be written of the game. The hard facts must be faced, Victor Wanyama is no product of any FKF/Government sponsored academy or programme and the words “Truly our game has grown” should all be thrown in the pit of deceit.
For how long is this country going to lie to itself that we are on the right track?
While Victor might have hustled his way to the top because of his hard work and exposure out there- the federation surely does too little to guarantee a local kid a chance to blossom to be in Wanyama’s class or anywhere close.
Wanyama has put Kenya’s name on the EPL map; can we now add more names to that glittering list he has debuted? He might be the sacrifice we needed to have our names out there as more scouts will now be interested in knowing more about other gems that might spring out of the country. Alternatively- he can also be the headline of shame that parades the whole world when Kenya is talked about; a country that has one star that’s worked his way up alone with no support and who’s later departure will herald the end of Kenya’s name beyond the borders.
Ladies and gentlemen, are we going to allow ourselves to be like Liberia who had one FIFA Balon D’or winner but have never been past the Africa Cup of Nations group stage (2002) leave alone the World Cup?
The pride is good, the over-excitement beats logic- no country increased it’s FIFA rankings just because one of their stars featured for a top European side. How much more can we strive to produce more Wanyama’s- can we be trusted with the growth and development of young talents to full levels of blossom or will we all bury our heads in the sand and assume one of our own plays in the EPL- so we are good. (image via threeandin.com)