Sometime in 2013, the then Kenya Airways Chief Executive Officer, Titus Naikuni, allegedly stripped a manager of his T-shirt leaving him humiliated before his juniors.
It turned out that the former communications manager, Kepha Bosire, was wearing an English Premier League side Arsenal Football Club T-shirt branded “Fly Emirates”, which is a competitor instead of promoting his own brand.
The Employment and Labour Relations Court found Naikuni guilty. Naikuni was fined Sh10 million over the embarrassing incident. There were claims that Bosire was sacked, however, the court was told that he resigned from his position.
Naikuni appeared to have acted in the heat of the moment, and inappropriately so, the court found. It may be that even though Bosire, who owed his allegiance to KQ as his employer, may have had a soft spot for Emirates, or EPL team Arsenal. It may as well have been a coincidence that he appeared at an official function in what was considered “inappropriate attire”.
You may be wondering what is the significance of the above narrative? Well, it is related to the topic I will touch on.
A few months ago at the Bandari Football Club’s Mbaraki Sports Club in Mombasa, a gentleman who obviously seemed well-versed with the goings-on in local football did something that left a bad taste in the mouth.
He was being interviewed about the future of Kenyan football and he gave a long lecture that left us breathless. All this while, he was wearing a Manchester United shirt with the name of Japanese star Shinji Kagawa emblazoned at the back.
This made the man look ridiculous, to say the least. It was difficult to concentrate on what he was saying in the TV interview. How can he claim to be a Kenyan football fan yet he donned an EPL T-shirt while discussing the local game? Let him know that we still have misgivings about his choice of attire. We need to point this out so that next time he will be more conscious.
A while back, a senior official of the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) was spotted wearing an EPL jersey as he watched an EPL match in one of the leafy suburbs in the city, yet there was a local derby underway in one of the stadiums.
The big man sipped away at his cold drink with no care in the world. Even though it is not wrong to watch the English league, it gave the impression that he did not care about our local game!
Times are hard for the KPL. Defending league champions Gor Mahia have not even been paid the prize money for winning the league last season. At this point, KPL managers do not have a trophy for the winners this season. They are still singing about finding a sponsor yet the season is almost ending…
Things may not be rosy, but it is not right to flaunt merchandise of other leagues and show obvious affection for strangers yet our own house is on fire.