THE METIPSO PORTAL
It was September 2016 when I arrived back in the tiny highland village of Metipso, Kenya, wearing a spacesuit, almost 27 years to the day that I had first come. This time I was there with my father and my son Javan, (named after a dear friend from Metipso). My son, the same age as me when I had first come, was to be blessed in the forest by my host, 1992 Olympic Gold Medalist Mathew Birir, and his family and closest allies in a ceremony meant to bind our families together.
Soon after our arrival the idea of the portal began to take shape. From the beginning the portal was meant to be housed in a traditional Kalenjin mud house. The mix of traditional culture with modern technologies is fundamental. It was inspiring how quickly the idea grew and was embraced despite the formidable challenges, primarily how technically to bring a high speed video link into a tiny remote Kenyan village.
We ended up partnering with SAFARICOM, the national telecommunication giant. Upon doing a site visit it was established that to bring the reliable designated microwave link, we would need to build a tower to allow our dish to speak to the next dish. Mathew and his team immediately took it upon themselves to construct a 15m high steel tower. It was assembled and welded right in the village at Mathew’s and dragged over and hoisted up by local manpower.
We planned to open the portal with a ceremony between students from Kenya and Canada in June 2017. We would build the mud house at the base of the tower and would film the entire process and broadcast it through the PORTAL.
The installation proved much more difficult than we had anticipated, but after hours in a Safaricom boardroom in Nakuru, and days of technicians climbing up and down our tower, testing and retesting, the portal came to life June 13th 2017. The opening ceremony saw students from Metipso making speeches, singing songs and exchanging questions with students from Toronto, Canada.
With the birth of the METIPSO PORTAL came what we believe is the world’s first YOUTUBE channel broadcasting from a mud house,METIPSO TV. Now that the PORTAL is open we are actively looking for partners in Kenya, Canada and across the world. If you are interested please contact us.