By Bizna Brand Analyst

In case, you were not aware, Safaricom unveiled the ‘Blaze Be Your Own Boss’ (BYOB) TV reality show a few weeks ago. It premiered on February 6th 2017 to be exact and currently airs at 8pm every Monday on KTN. Wondering what the show is about? It’s a rip-off of ‘The Apprentice’ – the show that made Donald Trump a household name.

The contestants are evaluated on their ability to perform outstandingly well across a series of tasks that assess their business skills. They navigate carefully crafted challenges that simulate real-life situations, and work with mentors and established brands to earn the judges’ and audience’s favor. This is exactly the same playbook that ‘The Apprentice’ uses.

Rip-off Tv shows aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Last year, KCB managed to successfully rip off American reality TV show Shark Tank and started The Lion’s Den.  It turned out to be hugely popular and successful so the same might just happen with the BYOB TV show.

The BYOB show is set to be on air for a period of eight weeks. The aspiring entrepreneurs are all aged below 26 years (brilliant and unique), and were selected following rigorous auditions processes that were carried out during the Blaze BYOB mentorship summits held between June and October 2016. Contestants are eliminated each week, and the overall winner will bag a grand prize of Sh5 million that includes Sh3 million in start-up capital and the remainder in the form of mentorship, financial advice and business support from Safaricom and various partners.

I’ve watched the first two episodes and they were incredible. The only disturbing part is when the judges are introduced as “Three Young Judges” then Caroline Mutoko is mentioned as one of them. I saw a 1993 magazine cover with an adult Caroline Mutoko on it. She can’t be that young, can she? Age aside, Caroline is a really good judge. She is the more intimidating of the three, as it should be.

Another judge happens to be rapper King Kaka, a brilliant guy who manages to juggle music and business with ease. In the very first episode, he claimed that he owned the number one entertainment company in Kenya. Obviously, that’s a lie. It’s true that his baby Kaka Empire is big but it’s not the number one entertainment company in Kenya. I understand he wanted to appear more mogul-like when he said that statement. It’s okay. But he didn’t have to. The spectacular suits he wears already serve that purpose. Of the three judges, he is the one that doesn’t offer much in terms of insight. I’m guessing he was put on the show to provide an entertainment aspect that will appeal to the youth. That should work well.

The other judge is Trushar Khetia, CEO of the Tria Group of Companies. I haven’t seen anything in him worth criticizing so far. He’s a cool guy with that stare of a sharp guy who always knows what he is doing.

The contestants hold up well too. Their dedication to the tasks is remarkable. My chief concern is that the judges fired the wrong candidate in the first episode. Keith Asumba shouldn’t have gone home. He looked like one of the most-promising humans on the show.

If I was to take a guess, his undoing was his inability to suck up to authority. During the moment of truth, he kept firing back at the judges like they were his fellow contestants. Dude definitely lacks the meekness that a manager’s pet should have but has the bold attitude that all great men are made of. He is stuffed full of confidence and doesn’t shy away from conflict.

Still, Keith should have been let off with a warning rather than served with a dismissal. I am sure he would have made the show more exciting going forward. After all, Reality TV needs drama. Celebrated TV host Piers Morgan won one season of The Apprentice despite being a very arrogant bastard all through.Then he went from that to replacing Larry King on CNN and later on being an editor at Daily Mail. Imagine of he had been eliminated early just because of his character. Such offers might not have come. In that case, I repeat, BYOB definitely made a mistake by allowing Keith to leave.

Apart from that, there is nothing much to rant about. The show is great so far. Let’s hope it keeps its magic alive and continues inspiring the youth to be champions in business.

 

 

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