In the 800m men's athletics event a certain 17-year-old Kibet won, and as he was celebrating, a Kenyan steward came and gave him a bank cheque for Ksh. 50,000 written in bold felt.
I watched the highlights of the Kip Keino classic at Kasarani. In the 800m men’s athletics event a certain 17-year-old Kibet won, and as he was celebrating, a Kenyan steward came and gave him a bank cheque for Ksh. 50,000 written in bold felt.
I felt embarrassed. In other continental events: Paris, Brussels, Zurich, and other cities the winners were given flowers. Of course, there were cash rewards but the focus was not on that- something to do with upholding good sportsmanship.
I have zero experience in events planning, but what I would have done if I had the job organizing is this. In front of the cameras, I would have focused on cultural rewards.
Kenya is known for its athletes and diverse culture. I think a Kalenjin milk gourd sotet would have been perfect. Maybe a kisiet the traditional Kalenjin plate and hotpot for ugali. This was a world event. Somebody in Kyoto, Japan; Vancouver, Canada; Oslo, Norway was watching. The sotet and kisiet would have promoted Kenyan culture, Kenyan tourism.
Now a Mzungu in Austria must have googled “what is 50,000 Kenya shillings in Austrian marks”, and coming at the peanuts figures, he’s planning how to adapt young Kibet, a champion with a future. I heard Kasarani has been banned by FIFA from holding international football events due to substandard playing surfaces. I wonder how much of that has to do with the poor organization of the Kip Keino classic.
The stadium was virtually empty. The organizers could have got 20,000 people tickets free of charge. You might say what about the coronavirus? 20,000 fully vaccinated people can maintain social distancing comfortably plus observe other protective measures.
What about the sponsors? Marketing does not have to be direct. The sponsors could have got their screen-time in more subtle means. It was not a must they be seen on a cheque written Ksh. 50,000 in bold felt.
If we ever get a chance at holding such international events, then Kenya should desist from flexing meager financial muscles and instead focus on marketing Kenya’s cultural tourism on the international front.
Article by Ronster firstname.lastname@example.org