By G Oguda
Today’s Daily Nation (19th August 2016) has a well researched narration of the tribulations of Kenya’s Olympic Team at the Rio Games. That article is grim reading. If you haven’t gone through it, kindly do not attempt to. You will puke on your dinner soup and ask what crime you committed to be born in this godforsaken country.
Let me tell you something.
I was among the first Kenyans who celebrated the inclusion of Dr. Hassan Arero Wario in Uhuru Kenyatta’s first cabinet, 2013. His appointment as Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture, and The Arts, was a cultural fit for a thoroughbred anthropologist. This cabinet post was Dr. Wario’s spiritual home. Whoever recommended him to the post had done their due diligence.
No one really knew how the 45 year-old made it to that Cabinet. Being a Borana, and an anthropologist, made Dr. Wario a rank outsider for such a competitive position hitherto reserved for professionals either born of privilege, or belonging to the correct ethnicity. A Borana, from far-flung Moyale, would have, 9 out of 10 times, appeared last in any list of potential appointees. But he made it. A small step for an ambitious nomad, a giant leap for the marginalised mankind.
Based on experience, and line of training, Dr. Wario deserved the call. Anthropologists, world over, are deep-thinkers. They represent a branch of philosophers who seek to holistically understand why modern man – in all their spheres of influence – behave the way they do.
The proffesional field of Anthropology is one that is deeply misunderstood. When I was called to the University of Nairobi to study BA (Anthropology), some of my village mates thought I was going to study the science of insects, some likened my career to that of a bone-digger. Many, like my mother, just wished me well and told me to do my best in whatever that course was all about. It explains why many of those who were called to study Anthropology changed their courses during the first two weeks of first year reporting.
Anthropology is a noble career, we love to keep it to ourselves because only us know how beneficial the course is in the outside world. Jomo Kenyatta, our founding father, was an anthropologist. Anne Durham, Barrack Obama’s mother, was an anthropologist. Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, the UNCTAD Secretary General, is perhaps, the most famous anthropologist in this country. The current World Bank President, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, is the most notable global anthropology figure. Dr. Arero Wario was joining a thin list of distinguished professionals who have silently changed the course of history by applying anthropological key competencies. I knew he would be our able torchbearer.
But he has failed; and he must be called out for the disappointment that he has been. Anyone who participates in the disgraceful shaming of our national flag should, at the bare minimum, resign from their positions of trust, and be subjected to the rigours of the law. As a country, this should be a non-negotiable bottomline.
We want the full unedited list of everyone who went to Rio on the taxpayer’s bill – and we mean everyone, whether you are the third sidekick to the potbellied NOCK official or the friend to the friend of the Chief of Mission. It is immoral to have 5 times more joyriders than accredited athletes making merry and sinning by the beaches of Rio while the real officials are forced to scavenge for meals using athletes’ tags. And whoever came up with the idea of diverting the official Nike kits meant for players to the local black market, you better surrender yourself before the long arm of the law hunts you down like a mad dog.
If this Rio debacle doesn’t end with one official paying the ultimate price, then nothing will ever move us. If we don’t close this pathetic chapter of corruption in our sports ministry with Dr. Hassan Wario being sent to the hangman, then we can as well fold up this country and sell it to the aliens of Pluto.
This government should be ashamed of itself.