Among the world’s most dangerous jobs are aircraft pilots, structural and steel workers, logging workers and fishermen. The occupational hazards associated with these jobs are well known.
A sudden airplane plunge, in all likelihood, marks the death of the pilot and once a boat capsizes, the fisherman’s life is in danger. While these jobs present clear and ever present dangers, there is one that poses ‘silent danger.’ The Botswana Football Association (BFA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) position presents a lot of obviously hidden landmines.
It is not an office for the feint hearted. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a sheep or daredevil behind the swivel chair, the dangers are dished in equal measure. Ashford Mamelodi is one of the few to complete his term as BFA CEO. While there has been no recorded fatality due to the occupational hazards of the post, the acrimonious exits certainly qualify to place the position as ‘dangerous’. Daggers are forever drawn and the smell of blood is always overpowering. A BFA CEO leaves home to the warmest hugs from the family, only to be confronted by a hostile environment minutes later. It’s the typical ‘if tomorrow never comes’ situation and it rarely comes for most.
Despite the pitfalls associated with the post, surprisingly there is no warning sign by the door leading to the BFA CEO’s office. By now, a bold ‘Danger: Enter at your own risk’ sign should have been mounted. Goabaone Taylor, Tosh Kgotlele, Kitso Kemoeng, Duncan Kgame, Thabo ‘Styles’ Ntshinogang, Ookeditse Malesu, Judge Moookodi and Keith Masters will certainly not oppose the idea of mounting the ‘danger’ warning sign. BFA presidents come and go every four years, but the CEO’s has come and gone with increasing regularly.
The majority walk through Lekidi Centre smiling and their reputations intact, but leave like a battered lion after a tenacious territorial fight. Briton, Keith Masters arrived with an impressive resume and was credited with changing the fortunes of Kent County Football Association. But that mattered little and he boarded the plane back home after his stay was cut short, amid reports he enjoyed a lot of adult movies at the office. At least Masters mixed it up and introduced some comic element to the tragic comedy.
That, then gives sign writers an addition job to add the ‘SNVL’ on the CEO’s door. They could consider painting the CEO’s office red, a colour synonymous with violence, anger aggression and danger. The job is the proverbial poisoned chalice. Other than professional credentials, applicants need survival skills and should have been exposed to war-like situations. But that will not entirely insulate them from the dangers and ultimately expulsion. It will just be just be an added advantage, as even some outspoken war-mongers (bo ntwa dumela) have left with tails between their legs. The situation at BFA mirrors Murphy’s law “Anything that can go wrong will go, wrong.” And true to form, it always does go wrong.