In my sports travels globally, very few Kenyan diplomats have struck me as having keen interest in sport, or in motivating the country’s sportsmen and women.
At the 2011 IAAF World Championships in Daegu, Kenya’s then ambassador to South Korea, Ngovi Kitau, stood out for his dedication to the Kenyan athletes’ welfare, also investing quite some time making sure journalists covering the action were comfortable.
Our man in Stockholm, Joe Sang, is also an avid follower of sports and will always be trackside whenever Kenyan athletes are on show in Sweden.
Kenya’s High Commissioner to Australia and New Zealand Isaiah Kabira has gone the extra mile to ensure the comfort of Team Kenya at these 21st Commonwealth Games here in Gold Coast.
The easy-going, humble former television journalist has literally relocated his office from the diplomatic capital Canberra shuttling from venue to venue to ensure Kenyan athletes are well motivated.
On Saturday, Kabira, a former head of the presidential press service during President Mwai Kibaki’s tenure, hosted dinner for the contingent of six journalists covering the games at our Surfers Paradise residence, giving us interesting insights into life Down Under.
It’s probably the first time for Kenyan journalists to move into a common residence, which we have promptly converted into an unofficial “Team Kenya Media Centre.”
Many Gold Coast locals have moved away on holiday, seeking to stay away from the hustle and bustle of these April 4-15 championships, and also to make some money by hiring out their residences.
Save for the few hardcore sports fans who have purchased tickets in numbers to cheer their favourite athletes.
Many of the vacated homes have been rented out to foreigners, including newsmen, here for the games.
We too seized the opportunity just to have a feel of life Down Under by checking into a local homestead.
At the “Team Kenya Media Centre” on Sunset Boulevard, rules demand that there should be no noise or loud music after 10pm, while garbage has to be well sorted out into bins of green organics, general waste and recyclable waste.
Should one defy these rules, hefty financial penalties are applied.
These are the sort of rules we need to adopt in Kenya to silence noisy neighbours!