Basketball’s popularity in Africa is growing, especially with NBA engagement on the continent.
This month would have seen the inaugural Basketball Africa League finals held in Kigali, Rwanda. But they has been postponed indefinitely.
Nigerian club Rivers Hoopers is one among the 12 teams within the 2020 Basketball Africa League.
They, like most basketball clubs in Africa, are state-owned and run – and this suggests some basketball players take up side jobs to supplement their monthly pay.
In Cameroon, as an example , basketball players also double as PE teachers.
State-run basketball clubs in Nigeria earn a hard and fast salary, as they’re deemed “civil servants.” This pay ranges from an estimated $185 to $210 monthly.
However, for personal run clubs in Nigeria like Raptors, there’s a pay-by-play clause during competitions. Out of competition, they defend themselves while still training.
“In a month it depends on your contract together with your team, it are often or $79 or $92. the cash we get from basketball isn’t even enough to try to to anything,” explained Ginikachukwu Ofuegbu, a 17-year-old rookie with Raptor Basketball club of Nigeria.
Charles Ibeziako, Head Coach and owner of Raptors Basketball Club of Nigeria, said that the teams are heavily hooked in to sponsorship – and “when the league finishes, no more payment.”
“You’re managing 12 players’ average 50,000 ($137.00) monthly; good players 70k ($191) 80k ($218) monthly. It’s not like football.
“The extra money sponsors give, the extra money we’re getting to give the players. But immediately , there’s nothing we will do.”
Basketball’s financial woes have spread globally, affecting African players across the planet .
Evelyn Akhator may be a forward for Flammes Carolo within the French Women’s league , winner of the FIBA Women’s AfroBasket with Nigeria.
Playing in France means signing a replacement contract per annum , and pay is estimated to be a mean of $20,000 monthly. the worth to pay thanks to the pandemic is that the fall in revenue from matchday ticket sales and merchandise.
“I’m still getting paid but from next month (June) our money are going to be cut. the govt is paying 86% so we’re losing 14% percent from the club.
“The other 14%, it’s the team that balances out. needless to say they’re losing,” says Akhator who was drafted by the Dallas Wings of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) because the 3rd overall pick within the 2017 WNBA Draft.
The French Women’s league has been stopped with no winner, and no relegation places.
“I’m mad – we alleged to get bonuses, but this pandemic came and now we don’t have bonuses. If you’re top four (of the league) you get bonuses, if you get to finals or semi-finals – that’s how you get your bonus.
“It’s depressing but we can’t control that aspect. we will only control how we answer it.
“It’s tough staying positive. This pandemic will mess the entire women’s sport generally.”
South Africa is that the most successful African country – in rugby union and rugby sevens.
But the rugby industry in South Africa is probably going to ascertain a huge revenue drop thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
“In the worst-case scenario – that being no rugby played again in 2020 – the industry as an entire could see revenues drop in R1.2 billion ($65m)” notes Eugene Henning, CEO of MyPlayers, an organisation for professional rugby players within the country.
“Contingency plans are made to soak up revenue shortfalls of between R700 million and R1.2 billion.”
Rugby stakeholders – South Africa Rugby, players, employers and staff – will all take pay cuts starting at the top of this month to, potentially, 31 December 2020. These cuts are going to be scaled consistent with the quantity earned.
According to Henning, the salary reductions will contribute only 25% of the industry’s savings – that’s 12.5% for players and 12.5% for administrative and training staff.
“The industry’s primary objective was to safeguard the professional game against an entire collapse post the Covid-19 pandemic – ie to collectively absorb the maximum amount of the revenue losses as possible during a responsible manner that might leave the industry during a position to resume “business as usual” once our players return to play,” he added.
Water sports have also taken an enormous hit as centres dedicated for events like swimming, diving and rowing are closed. Professionals have had to develop unlikely home routines like showering for extended just to experience water, and lifting weights.
“I already lost 10,000 euro – an enormous percentage of my allow this year,” said Privel Hinkati, a rower from Benin who had already qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
“The thing is, corona has changed everything. Everything is postponed now – cancelled, we don’t know yet – so I lost tons of cash on flight tickets and accommodation for this year,” he added.
Hinkati’s competitions are in Europe or the USA during spring.
“Some you’ll have refund maybe 50%, or even you’ll have a voucher – but still you don’t know what the corporate may decide, so it’s tons of cash .”
The money lost was a part of his of yearly budget of 85,000 euro ($92,400) meant for training, travel and equipment – mainly the boats.
Hinkati isn’t knowledgeable rower, and works part-time as an IT engineer.
“It may be a very expensive season due to preparations normally – but it’s tons of cash , so my challenge for next year are going to be to seek out an equivalent amount of cash .”
South Africa’s Lejan Lewthwaite may be a Ladies European Tour golf pro . In February she won the SuperSport Ladies Challenge.
“I miss the golf links – I feel my best at the golf links , it’s where I find my motivation to stay going,” she told BBC Sport Africa.
“I am having huge withdrawal symptoms.”
Lewthwaite was ready for a really busy golf season. The prize fund for Sunshine Ladies Tour events range from R200,000 ($11,000) to R700,000 ($38,000). She had a schedule that included eight to 10 events in South Africa and an extra 26 events had been scheduled in Europe – a much bigger number compared to last year.
“Prior to the pandemic, i used to be planning on being faraway from home for many of the remainder of year,” she explained.
“It is tough to mention how the remainder of the year getting to pan out. we’ve about 10 events that are moved or postponed. Six of these are moved to next year already. that’s a pity but an enormous big positive is that we haven’t lost those events albeit they getting to happen next year.”
Sunshine Tour in South Africa offered support to professional men and ladies golfers like Lewthwaite starting April.
“I know that our Sunshine ladies Tour and Womens golf association here have helped us professional golfers for subsequent two months with a touch little bit of stipend to assist us with our expenses, so we appreciate that considerably ,” she said.
“Our biggest worry though during this point is that the people in our community own earn money on each day to day basis or weekly basis that are unable to try to to that for now and don’t have food.”
The 2019 SA Women’s Masters winner is additionally worried about sponsorship cuts.
“I am sponsored to visit Europe to play in these events and perhaps i’m not getting to be playing in as many events this year. i’m making provisions for that and just trying to plan now for later.”
Unlike South African rugby, Cricket has not had reductions so far . An annual income for a cricket player is roughly ranges between R200,000.00 ($11,000) to R1 million ($53,500).
Primarily, this is often because the cricket season in South Africa happens over the winter – and it had finished by the time the coronavirus arrived within the country.
However, the franchise income doesn’t include centralised contracts from the national team or other leagues round the world, nor Endorsements.
Kaya Zondo, a South Africa international who plays for the Dolphins, said covid has still had a “major impact” on the season and price players their form.
“The uncertainty makes one consider post-career planning – which in itself may be a positive as we should always be planning for that anyway,” Zondo added.
“As players, we taking our guidance from the franchises and government but we remain hopefully that the sport will return. i might not say that I’m scared but what I can say is that this has been a serious awaken call to all or any sportsmen.”
Even the life-style sport of polo has not been spared.
The sport, which is one among the few where a mixed team of men and ladies participate , has taken successful whilst it struggles to draw in knowledgeable status in Africa.
Neku Atawodi-Edun, the primary black female professional polo player, said that watching her finances “the only thing I could do was laugh – to prevent me from crying.”
“We’ve got an outsized percentage of players for whom it’s very hand-to-mouth: hand to your mouth; to your horse’s mouth; to your grooms and your pilot, everybody that’s a part of your organisation.
“If you would like to earn money, you’ve got to stay playing.
‘’With polo, it’s quite tough because normally if you’re having financial difficulties, you’d just sell a horse – but who’s buying horses right now?”
The 32-year-old, who has been knowledgeable for 12 years, added that polo has special difficulties because the prices still mount whether there’s play or not.
‘’The sport is sort of unique in its financial structure,” she said.
“As against perhaps football where if I’m not playing football my cost stays at zero – i’d not be earning but a minimum of I’m not spending – with polo, as long as you own a horse, you’re always spending. It’s a animate thing .”
The dynamic further differs with female polo players who, until a couple of years ago, had never had a selected tournament dedicated to women’s polo teams.
‘’We earn but the lads on the other hand the value is just about an equivalent because the men.
‘’If you’re female player and you’ve got five horses and there’s guy with five horses he’s being paid, don’t know, five times what you’re being paid. Your cost for those five horses is strictly an equivalent so it’s really difficult for female players that are playing full time professionally.’’