Yesterday, the news that the recent Dar Es Salaam derby grossed five times what was witnessed in the AFC Leopards- Gor Mahia one here in Kenya came out.
That was despite the match being played on a Wednesday evening.
As a person who prides himself in knowing and planning the details of such an events, was I surprised?
Not at all.
Plan very well
The Dar derby is one that is planned to perfection.
In Tanzania, this match is one that creates barriers and divides families and friends.
It is not a small matter and when it is two months away, everyone talks about it like it is tomorrow.
Over a month ago, I was in Dar and the talk in town was about the derby. Back then, Husbands and wives started sleeping in different beds because they have allegiances that are different.
They were looking forward to it because it is a big event there.
Just a football match
There, it is not just a football match, it is an event on their calendars and if you saw how packed the national stadium in Dar was in a match that had no significance whatsoever, you understand how big it is.
You see, because it is not just a football match, they plan for it earlier and carefully.
They ask for opinions from the public on how to do things and the internal security office in the country takes over on the security issues.
The match is on all radio, national t.v, newspapers...... over a month to the clash and you wonder why it collects the millions.
It is prior planning.
Change of dates
Here in Kenya, we treat our derby as a football match first , to be watched and attended by football fans and no one else.
If we took our time and developed it like the way they do the Safaricom sevens, where it is an event, not a rugby tournament, then maybe we can talk about the figures we hear about elsewhere.
We do not plan for our derby, care less about the safety of our fans, do not advertise it and then we complain when someone says our derby match is insignificant.
There is no seriousness in planning, a good example of which is the changing of the match date from a Sunday to a Saturday a few days to the match.. That can't happen anywhere in the world, Check if you like.
Unless we put importance to our derby and treat it like a big match and actually plan for it, we will continue dreaming of the revenues made in Tanzania, a lesser country than Kenya.