I suppose it’s a bit late for me to give my two-cents worth on the Olympics. So I have chosen to look into the future. Probably due to the ‘A Million Reasons to Believe in Africa’, His eminence the Prime Minister has found one major reason to believe in Kenya…its untapped potential to be the 2024 Olympics host. No matter that we are nowhere near the level of infrastructural development needed to host Olympics now, let alone in 12 years time when much more will be required of us. We could just borrow like the Greeks and plunge ourselves into debt. It would be worth it, that fortnight of fame and wonder.
Let’s not be cynical here. It can be done! In fact, my limited imagination can almost picture it. We would have to hold it in Moi Sports Centre, Kasarani (You didn’t actually believe we would build an Olympic stadium, did you?) That would also give us a chance to show the world that we could also ‘gerrit’, what with Thika Superhighway and all… High ranking officials would be hosted at Safari Park and other hotels in town.
Our main focus would, of course, be the marathon. Why bother with canoeing and karate facilities? Everyone knows that no one watches that shit anyway. Olympics makes sense IFF there are people running, preferably for long distances and with an adequate supply of Kips on the track. The 42 km stretch would be from Thika to Kasarani. I however doubt that that distance would suffice. So, to take advantage of the opportunity to market unchartered tourist destinations, and because I just spent an hour gushing about Kamulu here, I am convinced that the marathon would start in Kamulu. Being the resourceful Kikuyus my family is, we would spend days to the event (not painting our faces and finding vuvuzelas to cheer the team) making mandazis and hoarding water in the area so that we can sell it to runners and spectators on D-Day at exorbitant prices.
The runners would use the Ruiru by-pass to connect to Thika Road. Needless to say, the roads would be closed off to motorists. However, matatu drivers, being the creative fellows they are, would map out alternative routes to town in a matter of minutes. These routes would at some point bring them right in the midlle of the marathon track and I can imagine a number of speeding, hooting matatus disrupting the whole event and creating pandemonium ‘Kenyan style’. But there’s not much harm in that. After all, we have to give the world something to remember us by... (Seeing as having Makmende skydive with a Kibaki impersonator wouldn’t be original enough).
Kenya would bag all three medals in the marathon and restore the lost glory. Everyone would be happy and we would tell of our fortnight of fame to generations to come…probably as an explanation as to why the country was so heavily in debt.