[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he second season of the BLAZE BYOB (Be Your Own Boss) TV show ended on Sunday evening, with Brian Rono walking away with the grand prize after 10 weeks of competition. The 25-year old potato farmer and actuary from Lembus, Baringo County, beat 11 other contestants to emerge the last boss standing.

Throughout the competition he stood out for his leadership and no-nonsense attitude, giving viewers a glimpse into the tenacity that saw him overcome a challenging childhood and financial constraints to graduate from university and set up his own business.

The Ksh5 million grand prize package consists of Ksh3 million in cash and the remainder in business support from Safaricom, which Rono says he intends to invest in his farm and expand his investment portfolio to diversify his sources of income.

“I am beyond overwhelmed right now,” he said. “I came in with nothing but a desire to show my grit and win this money, because I know what I’m capable of achieving. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to interact with strong, ambitious, young people; to learn from them and grow with them. Being chosen out of a group of 12 strong contestants is a very humbling experience.”

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In second and third place were beef farmer Monica Nyawira and budding public relations and marketing consultant Daisy Wanzala, who won Ksh 1 million and Ksh 700,000 respectively. Babra Chege, who was evicted in episode 5, won the Ksh500,000 Fans Choice award after garnering 9,090 out of over 32,000 votes cast through Shake & Vote on mySafaricom app.

The second season of the BYOB TV show aired exclusively on KTN between 5th February and 15th April, pitting contestants against each other in a reality TV-style competition in which each was required to show G.R.I.T, shorthand for Greatness Requires Internal Toughness.

At its peak, the show was watched by 1.2 million people, with an average of 800,000 viewers per episode.

Viewers tuned in every Monday evening to watch the contestants navigate their way through an assortment of challenges with the aim of proving their grit, endearing themselves to the judges – Caroline Mutoko, entrepreneur Trushar Khetia, rapper and businessman King Kaka – to walk away with the ultimate prize.

“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 at Safaricom.

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“The show is not just about entertainment; it is preparation for the real world of business, and Rono, Monica and Daisy proved to be the toughest of the 12,” said Mr Wanjohi.

Safaricom launched its youth network BLAZE in 2016 with the aim of providing relevant products and services to Kenyans under the age of 26 years. A sub-brand of Safaricom, BLAZE was founded on what Kenyan youth say is most important to them: freedom, empowerment and success.

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