Things are really heating up on BYOB TV and the show has us tiptoeing around that fire that’s lit every episode.
This week we were treated to what judge Caroline Mutoko called the “Gangster Edition”, and we loved it! Contestants disobeyed orders and showed their true colours, as tension rose over whether or not more than one of them would be eliminated as happened last week.
The challenge this time was based on “benefits selling”, with brand partner Marini Naturals tasking the eight contestants with selling their range of hair care products to spas, salons and beauty shops. The catch was; they were to sell the benefits of the products rather than the features (we definitely learned something new there), and they couldn’t approach any existing stockists so they had to convert other businesses into new clients. The winner would be the team that sold the highest number of units to the new clients.
While the challenge sounded easy enough, it was clear that past experiences had taught the contestants not to underestimate the tasks.
Team Africa-nas, made up of Viney, Lynette and Sue took a gamble by having Safe Joe – who knew nothing about natural hair care by the way – as team leader. David, Wayne, Susan and Valentine made up the Marinnaires, with Susan being picked as team leader.
Mwanaume Ni Effort Founder Baraza Mwabe stepped in as this week’s mentor, offering tips on branding, sales and marketing, and really coming through for the teams by steering them in the right direction. This is definitely one guy to watch!
With only 48 hours to learn as much as they could about the products, approach businesses and walk away with as many sales as possible, the teams got down to business.
Valentine took one for the Marinnaires by volunteering to undo her hair so that she could be used during product demos (you’ve got to experience what you’re selling, you know?), and Susan was her usual feisty, highly motivated self. At one point she even rolled up her sleeves and literally washed a client’s hair, all the while explaining how the product would make her feel! She was also a hit with her team mates, who had nothing but good things to say about her approach to leadership and team work.
At the African-nas camp Safe Joe was struggling a little bit to really understand the product – you can’t blame the guy though, since most men only know how to go to the kinyozi for a wash and cut. He redeemed himself by waking up at 3am to read up on the product, and that my friends, is what I call commitment to a cause!
Salons and beauty shops within the CBD were both teams’ hunting grounds, with this challenge taking them from business to business as they desperately sought to win.
And the desperation among both teams shone through. First, the African-nas approached a beauty shop that was already an existing Marini Naturals client, and signed a deal to restock product. Those guys were like: rules for who when you need to win?
Then the Marinnaires decided to step up to their competition by slicing them out of a sale. Yaani African-nas had already gone to this salon at Reinsurance Plaza, pitched and promised to go back the next day to seal the deal, when Wayne and Susan from Marinnaires showed up at the same salon early the next day, in the same t-shirts worn by their competition, picked up the conversation where Safe Joe’s team had left it, and signed them on as clients. Safe Joe and Lynette were so livid, they couldn’t accurately express their feelings in words. They were basically a living GIF!
Come time to face the judges and you could tell that things were going to be heated. Safe Joe was busy side-eyeing the other team while Wayne didn’t even look their way because, in his words: the early bird catches the worm.
At one point even judges Caroline and King Kaka disagreed over whether Marinnaires were right or wrong in doing what they did to African-nas. As expected, Caroline took the moral high ground and expressed her disappointment over what was to her a clear breach of business ethics, saying the show was “Be Your Own Boss, not Be Your Own Gangster”. But King Kaka was all gangster with his “no hard feelings, this is business” stance. Trushar was the tie breaker in this when he sided with Caroline, telling the contestants that businesses that take short cuts have a short life.
Then the scores were revealed: Africa-nas with 29 dozen units against Marinnaires’ 23 dozen.
However, Caroline was not having it, and decided to penalize the teams for playing dirty by deducting what she felt they hadn’t rightfully earned, bringing the final scores to 17 dozen (African-nas) and 13 dozen (Marinnaires).
Come eviction time and Susan carried Wayne and David with her to the chopping block, where Wayne was evicted after the judges felt that he had gotten this far by riding on other people’s backs – something that we’re sure must have been influenced by Susan’s assertion that he didn’t bring his A-game to the challenge.
Seven contestants left: who will be next?
We’ll be tuned into the show on KTN this Monday from 8.00pm to 9.00pm to see walks out of what is turning out to be a blazing inferno.