Walking with CT United members for the entire 90 minutes of the match, from one football hall to another, I realized that this is how a community often without TVs and almost entirely without cable participates in Kenya's favourite pastime time. Every single one of the seven 20' by 30' halls we visited was overflowing with grown men, squeezing together on the shaking wooden benches in order to get a glimpse of Drogba squeezing a volley into the top right corner of the net within the first 8 minutes of the match (video here) or Arshavin's near equalizer that was denied by Cech's outstretched left foot.
Sometime after Drogba's left foot nailed the coffin shut with another blast passed Arsenal's infuriated keeper, we were on our way to a café to discuss how we could create a business out of this movement. Over the past few months, the team has been exploring income generating activities in order to become
As the players discussed over Fantas and Coca Colas, this hall would certainly be a football fan's dream, with a 10' by 10' projector, surround sound, padded chairs, high powered fans, generators for blackouts, a refrigerator with snacks, a VIP row for advanced ticket holders, a second screen to show concurrent matches, and first class customer service.
Extravagant? Perhaps. But why shouldn't Mathare have the same luxuries one would find on the opposite side of town, but at an affordable rate? As Acumen's CEO often states, poverty is about choices, and if you find a way to provide the poor with more choices, you are exploring opportunities to establish dignity and creating a stepping stone towards alleviating poverty.