Young people have the ability, will and time to be able to create and change lives. They also have the grit to do anything regardless of the situation. Grit is the ability to pursue one’s dreams regardless of the challenges that face us every single day. It is said, the number one judge and factor of success is not talent, title, wealth, or appearance. It is grit! The second season of BLAZE B.Y.O.B TV Show was all about having GRIT which each contestant was required to show. G.R.I.T is an acronym for Greatness Requires Internal Toughness.

This second season was aired exclusively on KTN between 5th February and 15th April with 12 contestants whom had been chosen after rigorous pitch ideas from thousands of participants in several counties across the country. The show came to an end on Sunday evening (15th April) with Brian Rono walking away with the grand prize following 10 weeks of intense competition.

Rono is a 25-year old potato farmer and actuary from Lembus, Baringo County. He beat 11 other contestants to emerge the last boss standing. Rono stood out from the others 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 KES 5 million grand prize package 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.

In a statement, Rono said “I am beyond overwhelmed right now. 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.”

In second and third place were beef farmer Monica Nyawira and budding public relations and marketing consultant Daisy Wanzala, who won KES 1 million and KES 700,000 respectively. Babra Chege, who was evicted in episode 5, 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.

Rono is an inspiration to many young people who don’t know whether they will be able to make it, especially those who live in under privileged backgrounds. He is the true measure of having the ability to look back on where we come from, overcoming all this challenges to make it no matter the circumstances. Even when you come in a world where there is no chance there is still a chance.

For the 1.2 million people who watched the show at its peak, with an average of 800,000 viewers per episode the show has inspired many young people in the country. Viewers from all over the country tuned in every Monday evening to watch the contestants navigate their way through an assortment of challenges with the aim of proving their grit. The contestants had to endure themselves to the judges; Caroline Mutoko, entrepreneur Trushar Khetia, rapper and businessman King Kaka.

The Head of Consumer Segments – Safaricom Charles Wanjohi commented “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.”

“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.

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