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Sportpesa, what gives?


Let’s just get back to the script that is life.

Work, hassle and everything else we do to stay out of the broke zone. Except stripping nude of course. Did you know that there’s a national school that invited a socialite to talk to the girls and empower them?  I have no issue with people who feel empowered by nudity. It becomes an issue when we want to paint it as a career. What; you think some of us were born clothed? That says something about your mental state, I’m just saying.

I digress. Let’s talk about the new celebrity in town.

The latest game to hit the market. With a wave so furious it’s taking lives and destroying many as it swirls. Of high school kids spending their fees and university drop outs. Of grown men betting their savings and fanatical ladies trending the bets. Its the infamous sportpesa. While the rest of us argued ourselves to sleep about the EPL and all the world’s major football leagues, sportpesa dared the fans. It showed up in their faces and with all the arrogance it could muster, it demanded for space.

You know that silly statement you tell people to make them do stuff? That goes like this “put your money where your mouth is”.

I’m sure at one point in time you have used it to strong-arm a person into doing what you wanted them to. With that fervent indignance and well planned dominance, the infamous sportpesa became a part of our reality. It was not a love at first sight thing. It was however an overnight sensation. Or I dare say success. Now it has the people. For whom it works asking the questions we should have asked, albeit differently, a long time ago.

  • What could be fueling the rise and rise of sportpesa?
  • Is it a growing need for instant gratification from the millions in the jackpot?
  • Is it a growing unemployed youth demographic desperate to make it somehow?
  • Is it just a trend that narcissistic modern youth want to be a part of for fear of being left out?

Well there was a time in this country when a good education meant something. There was an education system that was run by committed and dedicated scholars who had a vision for the knowledge they imparted in their students. Students enjoyed going to school because with an education, you were sheltered from the hardship of unemployment. And then we started making coins and less notes. The five, ten and twenty denominations of the shillings came in coins.

And the musical ring of coins banging against each other made us greedy.

Suddenly, the commitment at the helm dwindled. Focus to churn well-adjusted, skill enhanced and knowledgeable human resource was secondary. This was the genesis of all the youth issues we face today.

There was a time when being a university graduate accorded you a great sense of respect. You were a revered individual and the government took notice. Upon completion, parastatals would be waiting for you with open arms. You had met the criteria and you deserved your position. To sit with them, join them at the table and see first hand what hard work in school can do. Telcom Kenya, Kenya Railways, KTDA and a host of other parastatals were once the giants every graduate wanted to work for. Even the private sector, including the multinational corporations would absorb graduates before they graduated. Because during this time, school was a respected institution and teachers were irreverent professionals.

These days we refer to socialites as role models, social media addicts as thespians and thugs as the elite.

The focus has shifted from what the youth can do for this country to what this country can give them. A catastrophic perspective. Might not seem like it just now, but the long term ramifications are detrimental if not damaging. In a society where everybody is trying to outdo each other by any means necessary, show me where gambling is not an enticing venture. That ladies and gentlemen is the hotbed of sportpesa success.

Everybody wants to be as rich as Jay Z not work as hard as him. Everybody wants to be Mariga’s friend on Facebook and drink at his local club. Yet no one wants to muster his consistency and persistence and passion to get to his standard. We all want a piece of the world’s wealth but we refuse to put in the work. So gambling presents a supposed shortcut. To easy and fast cash.  We delve in head first!

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