Safaricom’s shs 5 Million BYOB Winner is a 19 year old Valentine Nekesa

For eight weeks on KTN Home Safe Joe, David Kimani and Valentine Nekesa and 9 others went toe to toe on a race to win the coveted Shs 5 million prize money for nurturing their business ideas, and after the gruelling reality TV pitch, Valentine Nekesa, a 19 year old fashion designer, emerged the BYOB Winner.

BYOB, or Be Your Own Boss, is a Safaricom Blaze Product premised to be a boon to the youth aged 26 years and below; meant to inspire them to be their own bosses.  To live to its mission, BYOB became a reality TV show premiered on KTN Home with the aim of selecting one youthful individual to win to win Ksh.5 million. BLAZE BYOB was also designed to be relatable to the Kenyan audience. The show is in line with the youth platform’s aim to empower young people and set them on a path to be entrepreneurs by imparting them with the requisite skills and networks to enable them to earn from their passion and talent.

Of the Kshs 5 million prize money, Kshs 3 million was to be cash prize that can be used by the winner as capital, for expansion, and marketing, and Kshs 2 million was to be provided in form of business support and mentorship. This gold prize went to Valentine Nekesa.

Valentine grew up in Kakamega after her mother passed away, which saw her move in with her aunt and her family of 13. She is a student at Mount Kenya University. With the money, she plans to buy sewing machines, rent a shop, buy quality fabric and hire employees who will be particularly talented and share her passion for fashion.

See also  DCI warning to Kenyans on electronics purchasing

“I am elated for this endorsement of my growth during the time I spent on the show. I have learned how to bring out my leadership skills, and these have seen me make it to the finals. BLAZE BYOB has been an eye-opener for the Kenyan youth, and the country in general; I thank my fellow contestants for coming out and demonstrating that the country’s youth have what it takes to lead,” said Nekesa.

“I would like to congratulate Valentine on her win; the change in her has been inspiring to me, and I am sure, to Kenyan youth countrywide. It goes to show that age should not serve as an impediment to whatever you aspire to be. We have witnessed the 12 contestants grow and the experience they have attained will not go down the drain. The BLAZE team will step in if need be to offer guidance and support in terms of mentorship,” said Sylvia Mulinge, Director -Consumer Business, Safaricom.

Another BYOB winner who bagged Kshs 1 million second place prize money is Safe Joe Mugweru while coming close was David Kimani who took home Kshs 700,000. All the other contestants also took prizes and some cash home to help grow their businesses.

During the show, the participants were assigned different challenges that incorporated local unconventional businesses and brands with the judges; Caroline Mutoko, King Kaka and Trushar Khetia taking them through the paces. Waceke Nduati, Founder and CEO, Centonomy, joined the panel of judges in evaluating the three finalists.

Since its launch in May 2016, BLAZE has signed up more than 1.5 million subscribers. Over 44,000 youth below the age of 26 attended the mentorship summits in Eldoret, Thika, Nakuru, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu. Of these, 778 young men and women auditioned for the TV show, going through an intensive five-stage audition process that resulted in the selection of the 12.

See also  Standard Chartered Bank FY'2016 Results: The bank recommended payment of a final dividend of Ksh.14 per share

BLAZE is a sub-brand of Safaricom and was created to give youth aged 26 years and below products, services and benefits tailored specifically to meet their everyday needs. A first of its kind platform in Kenya, East and Central Africa, BLAZE was founded on what Kenyan youth say is most important to them: freedom, empowerment and success.

Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at KachTech Media
Odipo Riaga on FacebookOdipo Riaga on Linkedin

You may also like...