In the late 90s and early start of the millennium, there was a game show that was quite popular in Kenyan households that was sponsored by Unilever, the makers of the Omo brand of detergents. It was called Omo, Pick a box. I know now that it was an almost complete ripoff or licensed version of the Australian version of the game.
Most Kenyans were blissfully unaware of the origins of the show and would probably not have cared if we did. It was a riot. The show was possibly the highest viewed in its hey day and did a lot for the Omo brand in the country.
I remembered this show as I watched the first Presidential debate that has ever been held in Kenya. This was organized by the media houses and for once, all the commercial and public broadcasters devoted their airtime to a single cause an aired the show concurrently. To be honest, this wasn’t much of a debate. It was more on the lines of a Q/A session. This was possibly due to the sheer number of the contestants, eight at the last count. No meaningful debate can be held with eight opposing sides.
As each potential president espoused their values and attempted to paint themselves as the most competent, the choice by the electorate could not be harder. I consider myself rather well informed and with good judgement as opposed to my village mates who would not even harbor thoughts of particular candidates due to their genetic make up and strong stereotyping which may or may not be true. I am however still at a loss as to whom to vote for. Now that is bad as indecision consumes a lot of mental resources that would better be utilized in another manner.
It is akin to the “Pick a box” game. You have no true rationale for picking the box or money. Just dumb luck and a gambling risk appetite. The same with voting for the candidate that convinces you. It is not an obviously good choice and most often than not it is simply a choice between two evils. Some colleagues tell me they will not vote for their preferred candidate because it will be a wasted vote seeing as he/she will not win. Well of course they wont if you don’t vote for them. Talk about a self fulfilling prophesy.
This is the biggest game show that Kenya has witnessed yet. Whoever comes out on top will have surely earned his price.