Safaricom yesterday kicked off the third edition of its BLAZE Be Your Own Boss youth engagements, which will this year be held in Mombasa, Kisumu and Machakos counties.
Be Your Own Boss (BYOB) features youth mentorship summits, creation camps and a reality-style TV show, all focused on empowering Kenyan youth to achieve success by providing valuable information, skills and networking opportunities in a variety of fields including: creative arts (fashion, photography, graffiti, music, film and television), agriculture, retail and manufacturing.
The first summit in Mombasa was preceded by a week of on-ground and in-campus activations and will be followed by a three-day creation camp, where 350 young, passionate BLAZE subscribers will be immersed in intensive training to equip them with skills to succeed in their chosen fields.
To deepen knowledge and skills sharing during the creation camps that will happen from Monday to Wednesday, BLAZE has partnered with Huawei, Centonomy, design thinking firm Bluesky Innovations, eMobilis Mobile Technology Institute, and Wezesha, a youth employment partnership between the Safaricom Foundation and Generation – a multi-country employment to education programme. These partners will provide a mix of content, training and employment opportunities to BLAZE subscribers who attend the creation camps.
“From the insights gained during the first two seasons, this year we will focus on empowering Kenyan youth by offering training programs designed to build entrepreneurial skills for economic empowerment, especially in unconventional careers such as the arts. We will also be partnering with Wezesha and Huawei to guide BLAZERs to entry level jobs in fashion, retail, agriculture, financial industry and technology,” said Charles Wanjohi, Interim Director of Consumer Business – Safaricom.
The first BYOB Summit was held at the Mombasa Sports Club on Friday, 27th July, and had the following mentors: John Kaveke and David Avido (fashion designers), Fena Gitu (singer/songwriter), Joy Kendi (fashion blogger), Enos Olik (video director), Catherine Kamau (actress), Eric Kinoti (Founder and CEO, Shade Systems), Caleb Karuga (farmer and agribusiness consultant), Catherine Mahugu (Founder, Soko, a luxury fashion brand), DJ Euphoric and Mombasa-based celebrity chef – Chef Ali Mandhry, among others.
The BLAZE BYOB summits and creation camps will culminate in the BYOB TV show, in which 12 Kenyan entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 26 years old will compete for a chance to win a grand prize of KES 5 million in a reality TV-style competition.
The first season of the TV show saw 19-year-old fashion designer Valentine Nekesa win the grand prize, while Brian Rono, a potato farmer from Eldoret, emerged the last boss standing in the second season. Brian was joined by season 2 runners up Daisy Wanzala and Monica Nyawira as young mentors during the Mombasa Summit.
BLAZE is a sub-brand of Safaricom and was launched in 2016 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.