THE WORLD CUP DISTRACTION

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The eagerly awaited World’s most precious trophy games kicked off at the Luzhinki stadium six days ago and everyone now seems to be carried away. Everything is not normal as it was at least two days before our screens aired the picturesque opening ceremony in Russia.

The past four days have had interesting games and the gears can only be switched higher until the winning team’s captain lifts the trophy. It should not be an issue of debate on why this trophy is highly treasured. Competitive leagues such as the Premier League, La Liga Santander or even the Champions League do not preoccupy people’s schedules as the World Cup does every four years.

From Russia coming back to Kenya, the next one month could be one we will regret because of this distraction. But what exactly is this World cup effect? Recently, through the media, Kenya has been showcasing its winning ability when it comes to corruption.

Back to back graft scandals have been scrambling for limelight both online and offline,headlines on newspapers,top stories on TV and hashtags on social media have been awash with curses and calls for prosecution of those involved. Billions of borrowed cash disguised as development cash and taxpayers’ money have ended in pockets of individuals now feigning illnesses for sympathy.

With the World Cup taking centre stage , only an insignificant fraction of the public have time for prime time television news which covers the state of corruption in our country that is now part and parcel of our culture.

The Ksh 3.1 trillion budget was read the same day this mega event kicked off thus it overshadowed our budget.Despite bold newspaper headlines such as ‘this budget will hit you where it hurts’, taxes on medicine,mobile money transfers and basic food commodities seem to be nothing at now as a good number of Kenyans are yet to realise this until 17th July when life hits them really hard. Kenyans need to interrogate budget allocations as some could be scandals in waiting . Moreover, the handshake force rages on but only a few can read in between the lines that the 2022 politics is taking shape with battle lines already drawn.

A greater percentage of ladies are having such a rough time. The always available FWB has calls unanswered, any conversation amongst the gang that does not involve how Ronaldo scored a hat-trick and how his nemesis Messi missed a penalty is assumed. It would be sad to confirm that this will actually go on for some time without forgetting how important it would be to hold on. For now, the Mexican hunks and beauties will share the love at the hard to pronounce stadiums and not the usual 8 o’clock soap operas. It would be an added advantage to actually learn the game and avoid the mood swings.

If you are not on social media, and especially Twitter, visiting your PlayStore could bring unexpected happiness for some time until forever. At least three in the top five trending topics on social media are correlated to the World Cup. Every minute sees thousands of tweets sent; memes, netizens trying to swordplay and distract others from the fact that their teams lost to minute by minute update of what is happening in the exquisite Russia stadiums. From the 19 year old Nigerian keeper Uzoho making us look like infants to pictures of France’s Samuel Umtiti pulling a Lebron James, this could just be the beginning. The unwritten rule of ‘never delete Twitter’ is finally agreed to.

“Concerns grow about gambling addiction in Kenya”, a bold CNN headline read in one of their World Cup 2018 feature stories recently. Commonly known as investors, this seems to be the best time for sports betting companies to cash in. With a great number of games producing the unexpected results, it will be unsurprising to find a number of uninformed bettors skip meals to invest in the name of multiplying their cash.

Watching a World Cup match has also made people dig deeper into their pockets. Despite the hype, Kenyans feel let down by channels that promised to show at least half of the games only to leave out the most interesting of games. Groups have been formed to contribute to at least rent decoders for a month with others looking for new ‘friends’ as others sip those liver damaging drinks that will put you on the next flight to India  for ninety minutes in pubs. Telecommunication companies are also not left out as they have come up with bundle offers to help one stream the games direct from their phones.

The big question remains, what next after the World Cup?

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