The ‘Five Whys’ to ask in Botswana Football

Molefhi Kannemeyer Obenne

Part 2: Third Why

In the last edition, we dealt with the first two ‘Whys’ of the five we should ask ourselves in Botswana football. The Five Whys were orchestrated by the late Sakichi Toyoda, who is one of the fathers and pioneers of the Japanese industrial revolution.

Sakichi was an industrialist, inventor and founder of Toyota Industries. Shortly before he died, he asked his son, Kiichiro Toyoda, to follow his dream and pursue automobile manufacturing. The son obliged and later established Japan’s largest automaker, Toyota. Sakichi’s method became popular in the 1970s, and Toyota, still uses it to solve problems today.


Concepts for coaches
The same theory has been advocated for by Michael Loftman, an academic with Masters in Sports Science, Psychology and Coaching. Loftman is also a renowned author of 10 critical psychological concepts for coaches that he sets out in books he wrote.

He lamented: “The five whys theory suggests that when dealing with a recurring problem, asking the question ‘why’ five times over will ensure you get to the bottom of what is actually happening.”

The First Why was: “Why are we always experiencing the defaulter issue” in Botswana football? Why have we normalised the abnormal by always submitting things on the last day and never beating the deadline. Why?

The Second Why was: “Why do we never learn from previous incidents?” Of late we had with the Ratanang case which was preceded by Nato, Sadiki and other but we never learnt anything from them. Why?


“Why do we never come out to educate people on lessons learnt?” Experience under the first why should teach us a lot while documentation under the second why must make us better people. But since we are never upfront about these, we are unable to come out and educate people.

Since March 2020 and during the worst time of the COVID-19 era, football matters have not been easy to understand in Botswana. In the midst of that came the FIFA Connect which, according the FIFA website, “provides the Connect Platform Registration System (PRS) and the Connect Competition Management System (CMS) to help jump-start the registration of football stakeholders and digital management of competitions”.


Anywhere, any time
This in essence says the system is at our finger tips because it is always available online and we can access it from anywhere at any time. The system is not meant only for registration and transfer of players but for our statistical data, which is important for all football stakeholders. For example, it is available for fixtures, results and referee reports, and to some extent to show players who will miss the next match.

We missed the bus and concentrated only on players’ registration. We forgot that the system is automated and that the moment you enter any data, it is captured. Any click is recorded, which in IT terms is called audit trail. It gives you who, when, how, what and why.


For instance, if you add a player today and now, the system will record who did it, when (timestamp) for who (club), what (details) were put where and how was they were put there (amateur or professional). This is a clear departure from our normal abnormal way of doing things late. The system catches you immediately.

This information about FIFA Connect should have been divulged to various administrators, those who knew and didn’t know alike. Not once or twice but numerous times so we build a new culture of digital knowledge which promotes accountability at the personal level on our action and transparency for everyone who wasn’t part of it to see. Nothing is hidden because education and more education is important.