The sun sets in Nairobi, but rises in the life of potato farmer and entrepreneur Brian Rono. After 10 weeks of intense competition, Brian was crowned the Blaze B.Y.O.B. 2nd Season winner on Sunday 15th April and was awarded the KES 5 million grand prize package, which consists of KES 3 million in cash and the remainder in business support from Safaricom, which Rono says he intends to invest in his farm and use to expand his investment portfolio so as to diversify his sources of income.
The show brought in guest judge Nelly Tuikong Founder of Pauline Cosmetics to add in her marks to the Season 2 judges including media personality Caroline Mutoko, marketing magician Trushar Khetia and rapper and businessman King Kaka. The nail biting grand finale was full of tough talk and emotional moments. The audience saw each of the final contestants Brian, Daisy and Monica make their final pitch to the judges before getting their last score.
“I love marketing and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Trushar Khetia told Daisy Wanzala as she gave her pitch about her business plan of DW Communications- marketing and PR Company targeting SMEs.
“You brought your A-game,” King Kaka told Brian Rono who spoke passionately about his potato farming business and why he wants to change the world.
“You’re like a comet,” Caroline Mutoko told beef farmer Monica Nyawira who explained that she always observed first and then created a strategy to handle the situation.
This thrilling season was aired exclusively on KTN between 5th February and 15th April and garnered a viewership of 1.2million at its peak with an average of 800,000 viewers per episode that were aired every Monday evening and was hosted by Eve D’souza.
The challenge was to show G.R.I.T. an acronym for Greatness Requires Internal Toughness and Babra Chege may not have made it to the top 3 but she won the KES 500,000 Fan’s Choice award after garnering 9,090 out of over 32,000 votes cast through Shake & Vote on mySafaricom app.
The audit firm PKF Kenya audited the results. “Not only did the contestants prove to audiences that young people have the willingness to work hard for what they believe in, they also stood out as role models for millions of Kenyan youth who are passionate about pursuing unconventional careers,” said Charles Wanjohi, Head of Consumer Segments – Safaricom.
“50% of the Kenyan population is young and we need to connect with them in order for us to keep transforming lives,” said Sylvia Mulinge Director of Consumer Business Unit – Safaricom. She added that people are used to microwave success but that this season showed that it actually takes G.R.I.T.
Safaricom launched the youth network named BLAZE in 2016 with the aim of providing relevant products and services to Kenyans under the age of 26 years. Brian Rono who is only 25-years-old proved that age is no barrier in getting to a profession that the youth have probably found old-fashioned. His passionate pitch and vision to be a leader in agriculture including achieving some of the UN development goals will certainly be inspiring to every Kenyan.