In Summary
  • An important lesson is that the twin cancers of ethnicity and corruption are what pull us down, and prevent us from really achieving our true potential as a nation.
  • If we elected our leaders on the same principles we demand on the selection of our sporting teams, we would be a superpower in more than just the running track.

It’s that time when we put aside endemic political vitriol and turn our attention to the things that really matter.

The recent World Championships in Athletics held in Doha, Qatar, provided the perfect tonic for a country that on a daily basis has to suffer greedy and selfish political leaders who thrive only in dividing the people on ethnic lines.

In Doha, we were reminded of what it really means to be Kenyan. We saw the indomitable spirit of world-class runners, who proudly carry the Kenyan flag to universal adoration across the world.

We take pride in their victories, applauding and celebrating our athletes as Kenyans — not as Luo, Kalenjin, Giriama, Kikuyu or any other community.

We can all stand tall and proud on the world stage, knowing that we are a superpower competing alongside the likes of the United States and China, and by far eclipsing Russia, Germany, India, Britain and other ‘big’ countries.

PATRIOTISM

It’s instructive that whenever a team is named to represent Kenya at the World Championships, Olympics or other global sporting event, we do not hear the usual voices crying foul and demanding some ethnic or regional balance.

We all recognise that, in the sporting arena, the ‘Face of Kenya’ is represented simply by excellence, not politically inspired false balance.

Whether it’s in athletics, rugby, football, volleyball or any other sporting discipline, we understand without question that we will only be competitive when the best men and women are chosen to wear the national colours.

If sporting excellence is one of the things that defines Kenya and earns us global recognition, there must be lessons towards making this a better country.

One is that we must celebrate success rather than mediocrity. Another is that victory only comes from hard work, determination and planning.

Also, we must no longer allow ourselves to be divided by politicians only in pursuit of their self-interest.

COMPETITIVE

An important lesson is that the twin cancers of ethnicity and corruption are what pull us down, and prevent us from really achieving our true potential as a nation.

Selection trials for Kenyan athletics teams are about the most competitive in the world. They are open and transparent, with no room for bribery, favouritism and other shenanigans.

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