THE TOUCHLINE COLUMN

Petty envy and jealousy killing Kenyan sports

On Monday, Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Amina Mohamed urged Kenyans to shun unscrupulous foreign journalists who harbour a malicious agenda against the nation.

In Summary

• It's quite disheartening some foreigners have reciprocated Kenya's kindness and generosity with ingratitude by deliberately pushing an agenda apparently aimed at tarnishing the country's image.

•Amina made the strong remarks after officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations nabbed a suspect accused of having furnished a foreign correspondent with falsified information.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed.
Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed.
Image: FILE

A bird with beautiful feathers is the target of many hunters.

Those are the scintillating words of celebrated writer Matshona Dhliwayo.

Today, allow me to highlight at length a sin that is gradually killing our sports — envy.

Envy develops when individuals compare themselves to others and find themselves inferior.

It is an emotion triggered by the desire to have what another person has — material possession or perceived success or stature.

Psychology Today columnist Neel Burton writes: “The pain of envy is caused not by the desire for the advantages of others per se, but by the feelings of inferiority and frustration occasioned by their lack in ourselves.” says Burton.

Let me share with you a post Kenya Rugby Sevens star player Collins Injera wrote on his Facebook page on Monday.

“As you focus on the new week, remember sometimes people try to destroy you, precisely because they recognise your power. Not because they don't see it, but because they see it and they don't want it to exist,” he wrote.

Injera is most likely battling some forces of envy. If so, he is not a lone ranger given a host of Kenyan athletes suffer in silence.

On Monday, Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Amina Mohamed urged Kenyans to shun unscrupulous foreign journalists who harbour a malicious agenda against the nation.

“We wish to state that the ministry has noted with great concern that whenever Kenya is about to participate in a major international sporting event, unscrupulous characters embark on a mission to disparage Kenya’s decades of well-deserved sporting repertoire and our leadership in the global anti-doping efforts.”

Amina made the strong remarks after officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations nabbed a suspect accused of having furnished a foreign correspondent with falsified information.

The journalist in question is Christian Rohde, who claims to work for a German Television Network known as ZDF.

“Our attention is drawn to an email sent by an individual known as Christian Rohde. In the email, Mr. Rohde alleged he received information that Kenya, through ADAK and Athletics Kenya [AK) are engaged in a systematic coverup of doping cases among Kenyan athletes,” said Amina.

Amina pointed out the allegations were a well-orchestrated move aimed at portraying Kenyan athletes negatively in the eyes of the world.

“We can trace this trend to the eve of the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games, 2016 Rio Olympic Games, the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London, 2019 World Athletic Championships in Doha,” observed Amina.

It's quite disheartening some foreigners have reciprocated Kenya's kindness and generosity with ingratitude by deliberately pushing an agenda apparently aimed at tarnishing the country's image.

Kenya fully supports efforts being put in place to fight substance abuse in sports.

However, rivals should not whip up anti-doping laws arbitrarily to clip the wings of high-flying Kenyan athletes.

Amidst all the slack and barbs aimed at them, Kenyan athletes should remember that a smooth sea never made a skilled mariner. A rose does not answer its enemies with words, but with beauty.