‘Money is the an­swer for ev­ery­thing’

CityPress - - Sport - S’Bu­siso Mse­leku sm­se­leku@city­press.co.za Fol­low me on Twit­ter @Sbu_Mse­leku

One of the most mis­quoted verses in the Bi­ble is found in 1 Timothy, chap­ter 6, verse 10. It reads thus: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some peo­ple, ea­ger for money, have wan­dered from the faith and pierced them­selves with many griefs.”

How many times have we heard peo­ple say that “money is the root of all evil”?

To make mat­ters worse, I have wit­nessed Bi­ble-punch­ing preach­ers at­tribut­ing the lat­ter say­ing to Je­sus Christ him­self.

The ac­tual text is con­tained in the First Epis­tle of St Paul to Timothy – they are not even Christ’s words.

When it comes to mat­ters of money, my favourite verse in the Bi­ble is found in Ec­cle­si­astes, chap­ter 10, verse 19, which reads: “A feast is made for laugh­ter, wine makes life merry and money is the an­swer for ev­ery­thing.”

I love the lat­ter part – that money is the an­swer for ev­ery­thing.

In fact, a wise in­di­vid­ual took it even fur­ther and coined the phrase “money makes the world go round”.

My ob­ser­va­tion has been that peo­ple who do not have a lot of moolah – those who fall in the cat­e­gory of the poor – are wont to say money is the root of evil.

In con­trast, those swim­ming in cash are more in­clined to say money is the an­swer for ev­ery­thing, and that it does in­deed make the world go round.

I fol­lowed the Kea­gan Dolly trans­fer saga with a keen in­ter­est.

What got me even more in­ter­ested was the way min­ing mogul Pa­trice Mot­sepe gave Europe the mid­dle fin­ger – in a po­lite way.

His ges­ture can be likened to telling some­one to go to hell in such a cun­ning way that they look for­ward to the trip.

The Mamelodi Sun­downs pres­i­dent ap­peared as cool as a cu­cum­ber as he ex­plained that he was not go­ing to be bul­lied into go­ing into an agree­ment regarding his prized as­set.

What Mot­sepe did is an ex­am­ple that should be fol­lowed by other local clubs. Rather than set­tle for peanuts, just put your foot down.

Some Euro­pean clubs had the temer­ity of dic­tat­ing to Sun­downs how much Dolly was worth and how they were will­ing to pay that amount in tranches.

This is a typ­i­cal Euro­cen­tric ap­proach – that any­thing African is in­fe­rior. The West is quick to point out how many dic­ta­tors there are on this con­ti­nent, but they for­get how peo­ple from their part of the world tend to dic­tate and im­pose them­selves on to peo­ple from th­ese back­wa­ters.

For the record, when Mot­sepe got in­volved in foot­ball, he came in with a plan.

As soon as he had ac­quired full own­er­ship of the Brazil­ians, he pro­nounced that the days of slave salaries were a thing of the past.

Not only did he in­crease the play­ers’ re­mu­ner­a­tion, he went out to buy the best play­ers for his club, and he still does.

It is not by ac­ci­dent that Sun­downs emerged as the best club in Africa last sea­son.

In ad­di­tion, it was not just a stroke of luck that they found them­selves com­pet­ing against the best in the world in the re­cent Fifa Club World Cup held in Ja­pan.

As Gary Player once opined: “The more I prac­tice, the luck­ier I get.” In sport, you make your own luck.

Euro­pean clubs can’t ex­pect to come here and point at a player like some­one point­ing at a ripe ap­ple on a tree. The rea­son they spot­ted him and made ad­vances means that he is good enough to play for them. So why not pay a fair price? That said, if Mot­sepe were not as monied as he is, chances are he would have been sim­i­lar to Lazarus in the Bi­ble – who lived on the crumbs from the rich man’s ta­ble.

It’s time for Africans to stop al­low­ing them­selves to be treated like Lazaruses.

Well done, Mot­sepe for show­ing us the way.

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