What is a sucker punch?
There was a time in my eventful life when I boxed a little before other sports like Rugby kept me too busy to return to the ring. I believe that one has to have been a boxer or at least able to imagine themselves in the ring to fully understand what a sucker punch is. Come with me into a boxing ring where you have the upper hand and are already boxing your opponent to the corner of the ring. At this point you get pretty confident that the fight is soon ending with your opponent’s back firmly on the floor of the ring. In fact you are looking for that big knock out blow that will floor him. In other words you are moving in for the kill. But your problem is that in the process you have left yourself wide open. Suddenly your opponent who is already reeling around the ring like a drunkard masters all the strength they still have and throw one heavy punch blindly in your direction. His fist gets you square in the jaws. It is so unexpected that it hurls you back. As you fall you know that your jaw must be broken and the fight is definitely over. Sure enough, the next thing that happens is that your opponent’s hands are being lifted in the air in victory. He has won. He is bleeding and still feeling so dizzy that he can hardly stand. BUT he has won.
A sucker punch is something that is so unexpected that it catches you completely unawares and usually it comes when you are pretty confident that things are going your way.
That is how I see 2010.
And we saw an ominous sign on Christmas day 2009 that illustrates this brutally well. President Obama was on a well deserved brief holiday retreat with plenty to celebrate, including his success with a health care bill that has defeated plenty of presidents before him, including the very politically-savvy two-term Bill Clinton. Then suddenly without any warning the attempted Bombing incident by a 23 year old Nigerian. Everybody knows that this single event has completely changed the politics of the Obama administration. His big priority now has to be to prove to his critics that he is tough enough to continue the war on terrorism. Although this blog is not about American or International politics, I mention this example because it is going to have a very huge impact on local politics. If I was Mwai Kibaki or Raila Odinga I would have been popping the most expensive Champaign I could find after that incident. You see until now the two gentlemen have been under such intense pressure that breathing must have been difficult. Now we can expect a very sudden and deliberate change in US policy towards Africa and Kenya. The priority now will be fighting terror. Those Al-Shabab kids in neighbouring Somalia who swoon and get all wet at the mention of the name Al-Qaeda will now have to be dealt with ruthlessly. Reforms in Kenya will have to take a back seat for a while as much more urgent issues are dealt with first.
I believe that the year 2010 will be one full of surprises and sudden and completely unexpected political shifts. I believe that it will be the year of the under dog. Remember that it is the under dog who usually delivers the sucker punch on the over-confident guy who is already sure of victory.
I am afraid that I see a successful Al-Shabab strike on Kenyan soil in 2010. Just when Kenyan security forces thought they were in control of the situation. Rather obvious when you consider the porous nature of our borders and the fact that ours is a country of Kitu kidogo meaning that anybody can bribe their way to anywhere as long as they have ready cash.
I also see the new constitution being defeated in 2010 and throwing the country into deadly birth pangs of its’ long awaited re-birth.
I also see major political problems for Prime Minister Raila Odinga and his twin brother President Mwai Kibaki. The kind of political problems that people never recover from.
Also, like most Kenyans I see some very prominent big shots making appearances at The ICC at The Hague which will naturally cause lots of excitement and joy amongst Kenyans. Never in the history of our nation have we seen any “untouchable” in the country sweat from anything else other than from overeating at some five course meal in a big hotel or from making tribal hate speeches on a warm Kenyan weekend day. This will be the year that a handful of people will sweat and have their lawyer’s numbers available on speed dial. Don’t be surprised if the big shots of the big shots are indicted. The perfect sucker punch don’t you think? When you are confident that you are too big to be touched by Luis Moreno Ocampo… the worst happens.
If you are currently winning and on top of the situation, prepare to taste the dust in 2010. And if you were facing imminent defeat towards the end of 2009, prepare for sudden and unexpected victory. I repeat, 2010 will be the year of the underdog.
I believe that the world economy will slump just when everybody thought that recovery was here. You see you do not have to be an economist to realize that the stage-managed recovery has only succeeded in postponing the inevitable. Lets simply this further for the non-economists. A man is badly in debt and out of a job and so you decide to bail him out by handing over a lot of cash to them so that they can start their own business and get themselves out of the mess. Instead of starting the business or getting a job the person instead focuses all their efforts on their image in the eyes f their debtors. They work hard to prove to debtors that they now have a cash flow going and are therefore credit worthy and will end up paying their debts some day. BUT meanwhile this person has not addressed the crux of the problem. This is exactly what has happened with the so-called stimulus packages that have been implemented all over the world. There was even one for Kenya that has hardly taken off because the government financial year is already halfway gone and it is unlikely that a significant percentage of the stimulus package funds will be released before the budget in June. Just as well, because I don’t believe in such cosmetics things.
Of interest to most of you readers will be what I think the effect of the widely expected second dip (as some economists are calling it) will be on Kenya and indeed Africa. Call me crazy but I firmly believe that it will be the beginning of the rise of Africa. Notice that we were mostly unscathed by the first wave of the unprecedented world economic crisis that was triggered by the American mortgage market. I believe that this time round Africa will in fact start to shine. Let me go further and add that the continent to place your investments in is definitely Africa. Investors in Kenya should go ahead with their plans at full throttle but make contingency plans for sudden and unexpected violence, looting and mayhem that will hopefully pass quickly when it comes, because it will surely come. Whatever businesses you want to dive into in 2010 just make sure that Africa is firmly at the centre of your plans.
For currency speculators, I am aware that currently there are plenty of positive sentiments towards the dollar (remember the sucker punch analogy?) but personally I am shifting all my savings to Euros. I will stick with the Euro and be patient even into 2011.
Interested in specific industry by industry Kumekucha predictions for 2010? Want to know what I think will happen in your industry and how you can best prepare for it? This post became way too long and so I have put all my other research covering virtually every industry you can think of into a special report for my free email newsletter, Kumekucha Confidential subscribers. Subscribe now and get this amazing special report titled; 2010 Amazing Kumekucha predictions, via email. Remember my record so far on predictions (political and otherwise)… it is well over 85% bang on target. Ask those who have been reading Kumekucha since 2006. get your free subscription and free report via email now by sending an email to:
Other recent posts in Kumekucha by Chris:
How stupid are poor people in Kenya?
Mystery of Kibaki bloodbath?