I am pleased to find that the Kenyans’ favourite cigarette is still called “Sportsman”. Recently in neighbouring Tanzania the name of that same smoke was changed to “Portsman”. The cigarettes remained unchanged as did the rest of the natty orange packaging with its equine branding. The fags are still universally known as “Sports” in both countries.
So what about a rather bizarre new name? Well of course it didn’t just happen. It was a victory for Western health busybodies. No doubt the name change will have been the “output” of some bossy master plan. Goals will have been achieved, targets surpassed, KPIs will be buzzing, a thousand dreary powerpoints will be launched across the development world. And the game won’t be over there, a year on business class to Africa will packed as more “consultants” jet in to justify their existence with evaluations and data gathering. Reports that no-one will ever read will be tapped out on expensive laptops. That’s where your aid money goes, banishing an “s”.
Meanwhile a weary Tanzanian will seek a moment’s solace after a day’s labour cleaning the consultant’s offices or wiping the consultant’s children’s arses or other such services to development, and reach for a “Sports”. What a difference an “s” makes.