How a popular continental reality TV Show spawned an idea to tackle unemployment in Kenya
Watching television one cold Saturday evening last year, MKU founder Simon Gicharu stumbled upon an idea. The show on air was Big Brother Africa, a continental reality offering which inducts 12 people of different nationalities into one house for a period of three months.
They drink, mingle, make merry, enemies and friends - all in quest of the $300,000 (Ksh26million) prize money awarded to the “last man standing.”
The sage he is, Mr Gicharu could see through the grainy TV footage of Big Brother Africa to deduce Mahatma Gandhi’s Seven Social Sins:
Wealth without work/ Pleasure without conscience/ Knowledge without character/ Commerce without morality/ Science without humanity/ Worship without sacrifice/ Politics without principle.
Mr Gicharu reckoned that a better, more resourceful idea for the youth could be gleamed from the Big Brother Show. Similar idea, different results.
The outcome was the MKU Enterprise Academy, whose first nine “housemates” pocketed a total of Ksh7.2 million shillings on Wednesday 07/05/2014.
“Watching Big Brother, I asked myself, what does the future hold for the housemates once they are evicted? We could use the same concept but instead of the housemates just lounging, they would be taught on all aspects of entrepreneurship.”
Vetting for inductees into the founding class of the Enterprise Academy began last July. The University called on its alumni to send in applications, the only criteria being generic business ideas and an unwavering commitment to see them into fruition.