Big things in forgotten corners

Kenya hit the map this week because you-know-who was fathered by a Kenyan goatherd. Coincidentally, I was there on holiday and saw both Obama fever and the impact of FAPL. 

I can report that, to date, FAPL is way way bigger in Kenya than Barack. Almost every Matatu taxi is christened with colours, many shops take their place names from it, and the world stops when FAPL’s big names take to the field.

I’m talking about Football Association Premier League. Specifically, Liverpool, Manchester, Chelsea, Arsenal. They are huge huge huge. In the middle of nowhere, you see their colours. You can buy wrist bands. And the mosque plays the Setanta coverage.

The beneficiary? GTV is one. This is a pan-African satellite network, built off a network acquired (as I understand) from Vodafone for next-to-nothing less than 10 years ago. GTV is run out of London by a 33 year old City boy, Julian Macintyre, who’s turned it into a IT, telecom and media empire, recently selling off the phone stuff for something like £600m.

Unsung in the UK media? The GTV corporate info (link above) won’t even load on my mac! This team is surely living by the french maxim: Vive bien, vive cache… live well, live hidden. This may look like a needle in a haystack win, but I’m sure for those in the know it was a period of graft, lateral thinking, seizing the opportunity and working it.

Nice work, fellas.


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