By Jin Zheng,
Christine Lagat NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Joseph Runyenje
Lopeyok was born in Likii village located on the outskirts of
Nanyuki town in the central Kenyan county of Laikipia at a time
it was a byword for squalor, crime and alcoholism.
The 50-year-old administrator is
nevertheless proud to have witnessed the transformation
of this rural hamlet at a record pace thanks to
investments in modern access roads, clean water,
electricity, schools and health facilities.
Lopeyok’s administrative unit that
covers the entire Likii village and its environs is a
beneficiary of Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African
villages sponsored by Chinese and Kenyan governments and
implemented by StarTimes.
The father of five was in his element
earlier this week when he said to Xinhua how
installation of a StarTimes decoder has been a game
changer since he is able to watch current affairs and
the ongoing 2018 FIFA World Cup devoid of interruptions.
“I have always loved football and
StarTimes has triggered an unprecedented passion for the
beautiful game during this World Cup season because the
images and sound are both clear and crisp,” Lopeyok told
Xinhua in a recent interview.
-- StarTimes employees install the satellite
television device at the Likii village in the central
Kenyan county of Laikipia, July 3, 2018.
XINHUA PHOTO: JIN
His mid-sized flat television screen
can air dozens of channels hosted by the StarTimes
digital platform to keep him abreast with current
affairs and latest developments in the world of sports
The ardent soccer lover said watching
the World Cup tournament has been a refreshing experience thanks
to clear signals guaranteed by the StarTimes decoder installed
at the backyard of his house.
“The StarTimes digital platform has
motivated me and the larger household to watch the World Cup
matches with a renewed zeal. Even my wife and daughters who are
not your typical soccer fans are now enticed by the game,”
He is among 20 households in Likii
village that have been selected for the rollout of China
sponsored digital television project that aims to promote access
to educative and entertainment content to Kenyan rural
Launched in early June, the Kenyan
version of China-sponsored digital television project targets
800 villages and StarTimes intends to install 18,400 satellite
dishes to homes and public institutions at the end of its
implementation in November.
The Chinese government provided a
grant to implement the project that seek to connect 16,000
households in 800 villages across Kenya with satellite
television service while 2,400 public institutions will be
connected through a satellite projector system and 32 inch
At the bustling Likii village,
StarTimes decoders hang over the rooftops thus providing a new
lease of life to low income dwellers who endured the agony of
poor reception that was synonymous with analogue television.
Mercy Wanjiru, a 63-year-old trader
confessed that the StarTimes digital television platform
increased her appetite for local news, entertainment, sports and
foreign programs like Kung Fu.
“We used to experience reception
challenges before StarTimes came to our rescue. I love watching
vernacular television channels and recently have been watching
Kung Fu movies which are very entertaining,” said Wanjiru.
“Previously, I was not so keen on
watching football but now I closely follow what is happening in
the world of soccer. I have been watching the World Cup matches
with zeal,” She added.
The mother of seven grown-up children
said she looked forward to mastering the intricacies of digital
television that unleashed immense benefits compared to the
Wanjiru’s neighbors appeared to have
relished the installation of StarTimes decoders in their homes
given the diversity of entertainment and news it guaranteed them
on their television sets.
Anthony Munyiri Munene, a 40-year-old
father of three said a free to air StarTimes digital television
platform has accorded him an opportunity to explore new
frontiers in the world of sports, entertainment and current
“Even my wife and children have
developed a love for soccer now that we have clear signals on
our television,” said Munene.
“During this World Cup, we have been
cheering African teams that were edged out but now our focus
will turn to France which happens to be our favorite team,” he
He said Likii village is currently a
model of modernity, harmonious co-existence and renewal thanks
to the digital television project that has enhanced access to
information that empower and transform people.
Nancy Njeri, a single mother of four
and small-scale trader agreed that StarTimes digital television
platform has inspired her neighbors to change their outlook
towards life thanks to unfettered access to channels that
entertain and educate.
“I have never regretted the decision
to install StarTimes decoder in my house since it has provided
me with a large pool of television channels to watch,” said
“My television set is now very clear
and have been watching World Cup matches in the evenings,” she