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Arts & Culture

FIFA World Cup Trophy Landed In Kenya And No Footballer Was Lined Up By Organizers To Receive It But Only Socialites.

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President Uhuru holds the World Cup Trophy at Statehouse.

World’s most coveted trophy landed in the country to the thrill of many. Kenya is the third country in Africa after Sudan and Ethiopia to host the trophy that will be doing rounds in 100 countries globally and only ten in Africa. This tells you how privileged Kenyans is to play host. This will be the third time this trophy has been here and only two Kenyans have held it; president Kibaki and Uhuru who’s double lucky to have held it twice.

The excitement around the trophy is something of an envy, organizers of the event sent a team to Ethiopia to escort the trophy home. Ministers, politicians and social media influencers made part of the big team that had an opportune time to lodge in five-star hotels, fly in the luxurious, private chartered plane carrying the trophy. Reception of the trophy at JKIA was nothing short of glamour, ceremonial acceptance painted an excited audience. Photos from JKIA, selfies from the plane and hotels flooded the social media streets as Coca-Cola’s official hashtag for the tour as the sponsors #ReadyFor was flooded with high-resolution photos thanks to the influencers and other social media pages.

 

Plane carrying the World Cup Trophy received with a water salute at JKIA

At one point it started to look as if this was Kenya Tourism Board’s event as they seized the opportunity and advertised the endless opportunities the countries offered. This explains why Tourism CS Balala was amongst the entourage to Ethiopia and back. While everyone was happy enjoying the luxurious trips to and back from Ethiopia with the trophy, not everyone was onboard and the saddest part, most important group. Frowning from a distance, the football fraternity in Kenya felt sidelined and isolated by the organizers who by default would’ve put them ahead.

I managed to talk to David Onjili who’s a professional match analysts featured in various platforms in the UK and in 2014, was a runners up in Europe as the most creative football blog alongside Amit Singh, Vimal Shah and Timothy Pool. He had no single nice word as far as the entire organization for the event was set up, “The treatment given to the FIFA World Cup trophy is the joke that the government & football stakeholders view the game of football. The very people who once brought glory to this nation languish in neglect as we carry socialites to hype the trophy. Football is not about hyping a nonexistent product. It’s about painfully building a product through a clear plan & structures then inviting flower girls.”

He continues, “It is a sad day to football in this land. Dennis Oliech is the least who would have been on that flight to Ethiopia to bring the trophy home and be met by a host of Legends. Currently, Football is just an Avenue to reward our concubines and Samanthas with trips & commissions. I mourn.”

Influencers posing for a selfie aboard FIFA private chartered plane.

David’s sentiments are shared by many who feel the organizers of the event didn’t do much research and left out the group that would ordinarily headline the tour. From numerous interactions I’ve had with even some top players who’ve asked for anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, organizers of the event went for socialites to headline the event while blacking out the real players.

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“Why is it that no footballer. we have Oliech, Kadenge, Bobby Ogolla and many legends, why is it that none of them is involved in this FIFA World cup trophy? yet we allow socialites.” One legend posed to me. It turns out they’re not happy that the organizers only took ‘joyriders’. “These people only listed their friends and sexual partners to this trip instead of factoring in the real deals. In that plane, we’d have had excellent young players from Mathare, football legends still alive and other stakeholders working on daily to improve football standards. What did they give us? Someone like Betty Kyalo honestly had no justification, other than being a slay queen what was her purpose and what contributions has she made on football in Kenya? What if we had someone like Oliech in that plane, wouldn’t it have had made sense? ” A top Harambee Stars striker told me incognito.

A general perception of my interaction is the football fraternity feel left out in such a lifetime event. Football standard in Kenya has been advancing towards the bottom of the barrel. For three times consecutive, Coca-Cola has done their part by bringing us this trophy but has it really motivated and helped us spring up? Currently, on FIFA rankings, Kenya is at position 111 and 25th in the continent. Despite Kenya producing world class players from Wanyama to Mariga to Oliech and many others, the levels of football remain low given existing discriminatory moves like what has been happening in that tour. We can’t improve standards in this country if we don’t recognize and appreciate our own.

Tourism CS and Sport’s unveils the official world cup trophy at JKIA when it touched down.

Greed and open corruption has to blame largely on the dwindling rates, an instance of sabotage is that there is an initiative called Jaza Stadi, during the Super Cup game between Gor and AFC in Kericho, the guys involved led by Radull demanded to be paid for bringing fans to stadium yet and AFC vs Gor game attracts fans anywhere. They negotiated to be paid 100K yet the proceeds for the game were to be shared by AFC and Gor who have no league sponsors yet the Jaza Stadi initiative could not account for number of fans it had brought to the stadium. Can’t it be possible for us to genuinely support our own or get stuck with European leagues?

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Football leadership in this country has turned out to be an enriching scheme for elected leaders who least prioritize the growth of the supersport. It doesn’t make sense why is Nick Mwendwa the FKF boss is quiet when he knows it is the footballers who need to be involved with this trophy and not socialites. More worrying is even himself wasn’t at the airport to receive the trophy. Don’t get it wrong that it was Tourism Boards affair at JKIA after all its for the general good. Mwendwa has in this instance exhibited sissy character for a football federation boss. Ordinarily, he would’ve been in the entourage and if not, ensured that recognizable football figures were prioritized.

Organizers will argue that football legends and shareholders were honored at Statehouse where the trophy was presented to the presented and treated to a dinner. It is a consolation. The peak of the tour was jetting in the trophy, it holds a symbolic significance that can’t be seen with naked eyes and that’s perhaps why organizers opted to embrace a socialite affair while leaving out football legends.

Real quick I need to make a point clear here, everyone has a role to play on the society and even though it’s convenient to hammer the socialites I’ll be fair that they help especially in hyping events. But here’s an event that needed an inspiring leading figure. You won’t find Kim Kardashian going to receive the trophy in the US or elsewhere. They’ll use legendary players because you know what? They know the value of that trophy and they appreciate their legends and the game. Social media was used in mobilizing for the ‘Jaza Stadi’ drive, it proved effective, this is why we’ve missed a chance to utilize this trophy tour. There’s nothing much to celebrate, Kenya has never qualified for world cup, the national team currently doesn’t have a coach, sponsor and our Sports CS is illiterate. We must really start taking this prestigious sport. We can’t act like we love this sport while treating out local talents as trash. For organizers making the whole thing a socialite affair while sidelining footballers in the hopes of maximizing publicity, now that have it, no one is really bothered with the trophy actually the turnout at KICC was a record low compared to the last two times, the topic now everyone is talking about is now the organization was trash and how the local football stakeholders were ignored, perhaps that’s the kind of publicity Coca-Cola wanted.

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An opportunity has once again been lost where we’d be talking about genuine issues surrounding football crisis in Kenya. Other day the women’s national team, Harambee Starlets had an international gig and not even government offered assistance, they had to turn the public for assistance, what a shame. Sportpesa threatened to pull out sponsorship and football almost froze. Local players are ever underpaid and in pathetic living standards. It at a point as a country we start viewing football as an economic activity beyond ball juggling. You only need to see how much European players are earning to know this is a serious revenue hub.

Faces of social media influencers sent to Addis Ababa to accompany the trophy home. Headlining; Betty Kyalo and Carol Raddul.

After public viewing today and selfies, the trophy will go and what will be left of us? Nothing just selfies. This was yet another opportunity for the media who by the way were never in the group selected for Ethiopia, to ask serious genuine questions. Thiery Henry came and went thanks to Guinness, what improvements or impact did it make be beyond selfies? None. We can’t survive on selfies. We need critical thinking and strategic plots. Media ought to take the authorities into the task as to why football standards are not improving, ask where the promised mega stadiums are but instead, they uphold mediocrity. It was a WTF moment watching most stations dragging decade-old clip of Raila being denied the chance to hold the trophy which is a reserve of heads of states only, such are the innuendos that thrill our media.

World Cup Trophy is supposed to motivate us to improve our football but organizers have effortlessly failed the nation by further isolating the stakeholders who’re overwhelmingly and extremely unmotivated. We must learn the art of seizing the opportunities. We have big characters in this country making big steps unappreciated in uplifting the spirit and prevalence I the game. Let’s learn and live by appreciating our legends while they’re still breathing.

I’ve learned a good number of players have been invited today for the viewing at KICC, I also know of senior players and former who’ve resorted to boycott the invites saying it is a mockery of the sports. “Why would I attend an event to legitimize a fraud scheme, if the organizers appreciated our input then we’d have had real footballers in that plane and at the airport receiving a trophy but all we saw were socialites and busy bodies who’ve done absolutely nothing to the football industry in Kenya.” A Gor Mahia player told me in anonymity. Maybe, the organizers can wake up and learn from this alternatively, they can ignore the insiders cries cried continue with normal programming but the general view is that of disappointments.


Kenya Insights allows guest blogging, if you want to be published on Kenya’s most authoritative and accurate blog, have an expose, news, story angles, human interest stories, drop us an email on [email protected] or via Telegram

Kenya West is a trained investigative independent journalist and a socio-political commentator on matters Kenya and Africa. Send me tips to [[email protected]]

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Arts & Culture

Why Lupita Nyongo’s Brother Junior Is In A Dress And Wearing A Thong

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Junior Nyong’o

Creativity is the beauty of art, for the past week nude photos of Kisumu Governor’ Son Junior in a red dress posing in a thong has been doing rounds on Kenyan media pages creating much controversies and rumors with some saying he’s gay, some alluded he was getting initiated into the Illuminati world to join Hollywood, there have been even more ridiculous ones.

However, turns out Junior who’s also a model was working with one of Kenya’s most talented photographers  Lyra Aoko on a project ‘what if Adam was Eve’ with a theme of femininity is not weakness.

She simply reversed the traditional story of the Bible that God made men first and created woman out of his rib while the man was in deep sleep. In her concept, Lyra visualizes a scenario where the woman is created first, the man who eats the forbidden fruit.

Explaining her objective of the project, Lyra say it was aimed at creating visuals challenging the
stereotypes related to gendered clothing. “This is the most powerful force perpetuating the fashion divide; the fact that we have all been trained from anearly age to regard some clothes asstrictly for men, and other clothes asstrictly for women. And anyone who refuses to follow this code is seen as
making a huge statement.”

Not only in Africa, worldwide, femininity has been seen as weakness so by visualizing a man in the exact shoes, she says, “The most telling part about all this is what it says about the value we attach to
masculinity and femininity. When a man wears pants and trousers most people will think little of it. The rules arehowever very different for men wearing clothes that are deemed to be for women.”

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“Underlying these reactions is a profound disrespect for women and all that we associate with femininity. In the end, the “rules” around gendered clothes aren’t about fashion, or taste. They’re about how we mark difference, enforcing and reiterating restrictive ideas about what it is to be a girl or a boy,
a man or a woman. Perhaps this is the real issue; that to challenge the rules of fashion is to challenge our settled ideas about gender roles.” She summarizes.


Kenya Insights allows guest blogging, if you want to be published on Kenya’s most authoritative and accurate blog, have an expose, news, story angles, human interest stories, drop us an email on [email protected] or via Telegram
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Arts & Culture

Dennis Itumbi Writes Jacque Maribe’s Son A Touching Letter

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Emotional Maribe when Itumbi surprised her live on air to wish her a happy birthday

To Zahari,

This is a letter addressed to you in future,

I know one day the Internet will show you what has been said and written about Mum, Jacque Maribe.

As the search returns the results, may you also find this message.

Mum has friends, who stood by her because they know, she is the true definition of Love.

When she loved she gave her soul and heart as it should be. She loves with all she got. Pure and true.

As a friend, she was always available, even for smaller functions where friends do not have to turn up, she always showed up. Friendship is not an after-thought for her, it is a lifestyle.

That is why despite all the defence she has, she choose to say the only reason she wants Bail was because she wanted to be with you – Her love. – that is Mum for you.

To her friends Loyalty, to those she loves, wholesome sacrifice and endless affection.

Importantly, despite all that is written, we believe she is innocent.

By the time you read this in the future, she will be free, will have written a great book and all that negativity about her will have been replaced by the reality that Mum is a lovely human being.

We pray for Justice for all involved. It has been established by final verdicts in courts that Prosecutors and investigators are not always right.

We stretch a hand of friendship and sincere prayers to and for Mum.

She was not alone, through what Google may return as results, she lived well with people, in turn, her frirnds stood with her

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I am not a perfect friend, but like all her friends, we all aim for perfection, just like her.

God strengthen Mum.

via Itumbi


Kenya Insights allows guest blogging, if you want to be published on Kenya’s most authoritative and accurate blog, have an expose, news, story angles, human interest stories, drop us an email on [email protected] or via Telegram
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NSFW: Kenya’s New Age Culture Of Transactional Sex Revealed On A BBC Documentary

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Vera Sidika, Kenyan socialite flaunting her body on Instagram for her fan base.

BBC have just released a digital series called’Sugar’ which looks at the rise of sugar daddy relationships in Kenya.

In Kenya and beyond, ‘sugar’ relationships have become mainstream. Transactional sex was once driven by poverty, but now, increasingly, it’s driven by vanity. More and more young women are using sugar daddies to fund a lifestyle worth posting on social media.

Older men have always used gifts, status, and influence to buy access to young women. The sugar daddy has probably been around, in every society, for as long as the prostitute. So you might ask: “Why even have a conversation about transactional sex in Africa?”

The answer is that in Kenya, and in some other African countries, “sugar” relationships seem to have become both more common and more visible: what once was hidden is now out in the open – on campuses, in bars, and all over Instagram.

Exactly when this happened is hard to say. It could’ve been in 2007 when Kim Kardashian’s infamous sex tape was leaked, or a little later when Facebook and Instagram took over the world, or perhaps when 3G internet hit Africa’s mobile phones.

But somehow, we have arrived at a point where having a “sponsor” or a “blesser” – the terms that millennials usually apply to their benefactors – has for many young people become an accepted, and even a glamorous lifestyle choice.

Until recently there was no data to indicate how many young Kenyan women are involved in sugar relationships. But this year the Busara Centre for Behavioural Economics conducted a study for BBC Africa in which they questioned 252 female university students between the ages of 18 and 24. They found that approximately 20% of the young women who participated in the research has or has had a “sponsor.”

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The sample size was small and the study was not fully randomised, so the results only give an indication of the possible numbers, they cannot be taken as definitive. Also, only a small percentage openly admitted to having a sugar daddy; the researchers were able to infer that a number were hiding the truth from answers they gave to other questions, using a technique called list randomisation.

Huddah, another Kenyan socialite flaunts her body on the popular network Instagram. These are the pioneers of the new age prostitution culture where young girls use such networks to sell their body.

But interestingly, when talking about others, not about themselves, the young women estimated on average that 24% of their peers had engaged in a transactional sexual relationship with an older man – a figure very close to that reached by the researchers.

Jane, a 20-year-old Kenyan undergraduate who readily admits to having two sponsors, sees nothing shameful in such relationships – they are just part of the everyday hustle that it takes to survive in Nairobi, she says.

She also insists that her relationships with Tom and Jeff, both married, involve friendship and intimacy as well as financial exchange.

“They help you sometimes, but it’s not always about sex. It’s like they just want company, they want someone to talk to,” she says.

She says that her religious parents brought her up with traditional values, but she has made her own choices. One of her motives, she says, is to be able to support her younger sisters, so they won’t need to rely on men for money. But she has also been inspired by Kenya’s celebrity “socialites” – women who have transformed sex appeal into wealth, becoming stars of social media.

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In the past, some of Kenya’s socialites have styled themselves as #SlayQueens, and have been quite upfront about the financial benefits that have come from dating tycoons. Having made it to the top, though, they often begin to cultivate a different image – presenting themselves as independent, self-made businesswomen and encouraging Kenyan girls to work hard and stay in school.

The millions of fans scrolling through their Instagram posts, though, are not blind. The sudden emphasis on entrepreneurship does not hide the fact that these women used their sex appeal to create opportunities in the first place. And many – quite understandably – are attempting to apply this methodology to their own lives.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNIbiprddHI&list=PLajyiGz4JeyOC8OldsVzqcYh45C9tQ3FK

These young women  have come of age in the last decade, bombarded since childhood with images of female status built on sex appeal. But according to Crystal Simeoni, an expert on gender and economic policy, Kenyan society encourages sugar relationships in other ways too.

If women have become more willing to profit financially from their youth and beauty, she says, it’s partly because of Kenya’s gross economic inequalities, lack of social mobility, and widespread corruption.

“The way things are constructed in this country makes it so much harder for a smaller person to make ends meet,” she argues. Hard work won’t get them anywhere. “They have to get a sponsor, rob a bank, or win a tender.”

Michael Soi, a well-known artist whose paintings satirise Kenya’s culture of transactional sex, takes a similar but more cynical view, attributing the phenomenon more to laziness and a get-rich-quick mentality than to structural injustice.

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The days of waking up early and working from morning to night are behind us, he says: “Right now the ass is the new brain, and this is what you use to get what you want.”

Dr Joyce Wamoyi from the National Institute for Medical Research in Tanzania says girls and young women between the ages of 15 and 24 have consistently been at higher risk of HIV infection than any other section of the population in sub-Saharan Africa.

Sugar relationships, she says, are contributing to these risks because the women who engage in them do not have the power to insist on the use of condoms. “With sex work, men are more likely to use condoms because it’s more explicit that this is selling and buying.”

For many young Kenyans, the values espoused in families, schools, and churches simply do not align with the economic realities of the country, or cannot compete with the material temptations that, in the age of reality TV and social media, are everywhere visible.

Even within the family, most Kenyan girls have it drummed into them from an early age that they must marry a rich man, not a poor one. It’s taken for granted in these conversations that men will provide the money on which women will survive. So for some it’s only a small step to visualising the same transaction outside marriage.

“What is wrong about sex anyway?” asks Jane. “People just make it sound wrong. But sometimes, it ain’t wrong at all.”

Adopted from BBC


Kenya Insights allows guest blogging, if you want to be published on Kenya’s most authoritative and accurate blog, have an expose, news, story angles, human interest stories, drop us an email on [email protected] or via Telegram
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