Managing fame is Kiprotich’s next task
Posted Saturday, August 18 2012 at 01:00
No conversation is complete without the mention of London Olympics hero Stephen Kiprotich. Ugandans aren’t sure how he will manage his new life.
Before last Sunday, Stephen Kiprotich was like any other ordinary runner trying to make a name on the world stage. Not today. Not after defying odds to win Uganda’s first Olympic gold medal since the late John Akii-Bua’s four decades ago.
The 23-year-old is now the most prominent sportsman in Uganda. That is the fame Sunday’s gold in the 42.195km marathon at the London Olympics has brought to Kiprotich. Since that victory, he has hardly had quality time of his own as everyone wants a piece of him. That fame has also come with money and opened gates for even more to flood in, but first he must learn how to manage both the fame and money in order to build on this success for further years to come.
Managing fame & fortune
Fortunately for the Assistant Superintendent of Prisons (ASP), he is already under a reputed international company, Global Sports Communication (GSC) based in Netherlands. “The truth is this the first time this whole fame thing and money is happening to him,” admitted Godfrey Nuwagaba, GSC’s country representative and Kiprotich’s manager. “But the good thing is Kiprotich is not the first we are managing. We manage even bigger stars, so he will handle it.”
Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele are some of the top athletes managed by GSC. One extreme story of an athlete that was allegedly destroyed by sudden fame and money is of Kenyan gold medalist (marathon) from the Beijing Olympics Samuel Wanjiru.
The runner had resorted to multiple relationships with women, a habit that is connected to his death last year when one of his wives, Triza Njeri, found him in bed with another woman and locked them in the bedroom. Wanjiru then jumped off the balcony to his death but police could not confirm at the time whether he had intended to commit suicide or jumped out of rage. “The good thing with Kiprotich is he is one of the well behaved boys we manage,” said Nuwagaba.
“After his victory we met with our company in London and agreed that we shall set a program to keep him focused. “For the start we agreed to let him celebrate with his people, the good thing is he understands and listens. Before he meets anyone, for example, he first consults.”