High-landing Highlanders FC- The dear owners

Let us call a spade a spade. Highlanders Football Club is supported by people both full of jealousy and lacking in vision. They do it by heart and less brain. It is time that we have a reality check and to thoroughly examine ourselves with total honesty.

One of the best commercials ever on TV, feature a desperate beggar on the street. As much as sentimental the only available item is to the SUV lady driver who stops at the traffic light, out of pity, she thinks twice before she gives away the very lovely designer dress. The begging tramp lady takes it in her hands, fascinated and bewildered, admiring the artistry of the apparel before looking back at the giver with a scornful look.

‘Thanks madam, but RED!!!!. I’m sorry, it’s not my colour.’ throwing it back to an unbelieving proud owner. As a club fan, so are you.

The over-rated notion that Bosso will supernaturally over-ride its financial woes solely based on goodwill is grossly exaggerated. If those harbouring the idea that Highlanders deserves everything from everyone for free is nothing but malicious mischief and fallacy.

Brandishing the concept of the larger than life Bosso brand as a casino slot-machine where throwing cow-dung coins out millions at the flick of a finger took the team nowhere since 1926. In that point in history, all else did not matter or count. This is a different era.

Doubtless to say that the name has power, the institution requires classy thinking to harness its power and strength as a meaningful brand to reap from its potential. Most of the blame has always been thrown at the management, with due reason of cause.

Coming from the fatalist-fan group, they are the product of a poverty complex buttered with cheesy undertones of not underselling the club. The killing of that backward mentality began with a strong start of the season by the team, and usually, at that point, the disease engulfs everyone on board with a saddening grip that lasts well after the doom becomes a permanent resident of the system.

For instance, the team engaged in that ancient routine begging bowl antic after the alleged usual financial doldrums. Many thanks to the donations and pledges made by the invited guests. I trust many were willing to give but their circumstances did not allow. It was sad that some preferred to donate anonymously for the very reason that ‘re is not our colour’.

If the club’s bank balance read zero, it is never in the mind of the management and worse off the fans, that a man, a body, who has a family first to risk his fortunes and then rescue a public property.

The process comes at a price to both the fans and the club. No one accepts this. Only after other clubs from Harare have engaged in some insightful projects do the Tshilamoya supporters feel left behind. They must be commended for the loud talk but action speaks louder than words.

The man risks $10 to generate $20 for the club and the traditional thinking is that the $20 belongs to the club. Noble as it sounds, the Mantengwane growth has been nil and will continue in that vein until Dynamos use BF as the home-ground.

‘Delusionaries’ tried to enter into such ventures, albeit for a while and the club is still begging for funds. All people can do, is acknowledge and applaud the love for the team by those who enjoy the limelight of appearing to be assisting Highlanders.

It is not right for Bosso to be a perennial donor recipient. Charitable organisations have their mission to fullfil in other social circles. Sustainable financial stability and independence materialises only on business concepts that are either long lasting or permanent.

The $10 that the man risks is sacred but as for the other $10 generated by the man-Bosso partnership, it becomes the cake for both parties, and in a way that promotes symbiosis. Only that way, will the team realise its financial potential.

The idea is to make the man keep generating cash using the Highlanders brand in a very serious business and not charitable way. Donor funds dry, but enterprises like Nokia have been around since the 1800s.

To many people, this is faulty and I can tell you right now, that it is that kind of thinking that is very faulty. Highlanders have depended on the emotionalisation and sensationalist behaviour to override logic, not just because of the behaviour of fans venting out their anger invading the pitch and the like.

All relationships with the corporate world come to naught at one point or another. The sugar-coated truth is that the club belongs to the people. How unlucky can an elite institution like Bosso be to belong to such people?

The calamity of this club ends with the death of the prescription that any individual or business benefiting from the name of the club is bad. That idea is very bad. As soon as focus is on the individual or person and not the club, we are in the wrong business.

To think of the of this club with a small mind is to kill the club slowly. In financial terms, the club has been wheel-chair bound since birth. The much needed surgery always gets aborted on the notion that the procedure hurts the patient. What a lame protectionist measure of disproportionate barbaric nature.

Looking at the club potential, match-fees at basically $2 a week by a few thousands of people could be ‘moneygrammed’ or ‘Western Unionied’ monthly or annually, but lack of trust kept threatening the concept of those in the diaspora. The club reportedly accepted assisting those calling the office with funds going directly into its account.

More ways and means of injecting cash are being coined and the means of transacting may be a challenge, but then, those with noble intentions get a way to forge ahead and materialise their pledges.

That does not leave out my book that was meant to permanently boost the club cash as an ongoing income. To many, use of credit cards and accessing the book online is a huge challenge. To others, it is the calculation that after selling a million books, $10million will be realised. With more than 50% publishing costs, it is the $2.5 million that goes to my pocket that is a bother. Nobody looks at the $2.5 million Bosso is missing. Typical rural mentality that always killed Bosso.

In South Africa, the marketing strategy aggression saw people going to great length digging deep to unearth hundreds of millions of rands to finance the game, first from ABSA Bank, then Nedbank and Supersport. The success of the deals was borne out of rewarding that negotiating excellence generously. Figures of up to R80 million per individuals are normal and the relationships between the game and sponsors flourish

Orlando Pirates operated on the model that Highlanders are constituted until sober minds prevailed. It does not necessarily mean that  Bosso should change based on that, nor should the come, that it be in the model of the Bucs.

The team has not lost a single match and the brand of football so far exhibited has been refreshing. To think that after the players’ magnificent shows they have nothing much to show for it, is just but pathetic. Al we want to do is hear the results, cheer and sing praises. Thanks for that but it does not feed the players.

At this point, to cultivate enthusiasm in the players and team management, would it not befit the worth of your salt, not only to pay the necessary lip service, but think like a businessman whose company is Highlanders Football Club?


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