Manufacturers are rare characters nowadays in Kenya where we have become an importing economy but I had the fortune of sitting with one of them at a dinner table.
He was eccentric and did not speak much. From the little he said I vividly remember one sentence: “I manufacture envelopes, if you knew how envelopes are made, you wouldn’t lick them.”
I didn’t ask him why but kept the poignant remark in my head and you dear reader should try to decipher it.
It seems that if the world knew how the football gods in this country treat the national team coaches, nobody would apply for the post.
The present coach has had to serve ‘pay or I quit’ notices to the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) every three months for them to remember that he and his team need to be paid.
FKF must be too busy or too forgetful or just incompetent and ineffective to remember such a ‘small’ matter.
They can choose from the above a reason to explain this insanity!
And yet it appears to be a curse to the organisation regardless of who is at the helm.
It is an inherited disease as old as Kenyan football.
There are former coaches that have never been paid and have died being owed millions by the national football body.
Their ghosts lurk in the FKF offices as a constant reminder of the dues they are owed.
There are those who are still alive and have taken their cases to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas).
A few chose to write off their dues as a bad loan and moved on. Yet every office that takes over at FKF finds it hard to change that flaw.
There is nothing more annoying than this attitude. Those in charge tell us over and over that the organisation has no funds.
What is the use of running a bankrupt organisation?
If the office has no money, why does it even bother to employ professionals it cannot pay?
Why doesn’t Nick Mwendwa just become the manager of Harambee stars and combine both the roles and get his own salary as he does on time?
Does he also go for three months without pay?
Is there any plan to get some sponsorship for the national team? These are questions that shall never be answered in this country.
We must consider that the national team has for the first time in 15 years qualified for the African Cup of Nations finals. This is the time the boys need the utmost pampering and motivation to get the best result in the continental competition.
It is not time to frustrate and bother them by not granting them their rights as flag bearers of 45 million plus Kenyans.
It scares us that if this trend continues, we shall never actualise the dream of ever becoming a football powerhouse in this continent.
The government must also see to it that such hiccups do not occur in future. Treat the coach and players well. That is all we ask for.
‘If you knew how envelopes are made, you wouldn’t lick them.’’