The 29th October 2009 event that took place at Hindocha Hall saw the Lions made of second years Bernard Musembi, Ismail Abdulkadir and Mohammed Hussein knock BA – second runners up – with 80 points.
“The battle was tough but we are satisfied with the second position.” Said Peter Kapingazi who lead the BA third years group made of Ibrahim Kimathi and Brian Kibet.
The first round saw Evolution knock Wolves with 640 points to 160, BA thrashed Freshmen with 120 points. Another team H39 escaped narrowly against Fulls with 40 points while Bombers failed to fuse against Lions when they were beaten 480 to 560 points.
The second round saw BA and Lions proceed to finals by knocking Evolution and H39 respectively. Evolution and BA match was hotly contested with BA coming from behind to win by only two questions. Meanwhile H39 was easily floored by Lions with point margin of 270.
Semi final was an anticlimax when H39 representing a room in New Sunrise easily left Evolution to bag number three position with a cash tag of Ksh. 4500.
The BA won Ksh. 6,000 while the indomitable lions went home with Ksh. 7,500.
This year’s quiz was unique since software used by Zain Africa challenge was tried though it brought technological hitches which delayed the competition.
“The contestants were given the experience of Zain challenge by having the questions chosen at random and they were timed” Said James Wambua the SOMU director of academics.
Mr. Wambua attributed the low turnout to the time of the semester when students were but congratulated the contestant groups which brought a high competition as brains clashed for the ultimate prize.
Kevin Ogoro who was a presenter and the chairman of University Scholars gave the Lions a chance to sharpen their wits with the Zain African finalist made up of Sammy Ogeto, Whitney Njiru, Chris Musafu and Paul Oguda.
The Zain challenge team brought the Lions to their heels by wining with 980 points to 320.
Mr. Ogoro , a former Zain Africa challenge participant when Maseno lost to Egerton by missing 60 points at national level, lauded this years Zain Africa challenge team and coaches them on sharpness required as questions are answered in seconds.
“This year’s elimination was highly challengimg as participants scored highly.” Said John Mark Rukungu who was in charge of the process “the final four where chosen from a list of 198 participants through three written exams and standup questions drawn from current affairs, history, geography, greek mythology amongst others.”
The first round on Thursday 24, Sep 09 which required candidates to answer 84 questions in 20 minutes, at an average of four questions per minute, saw only 62 to qualify for round two.
The second round 5 days later saw further elimination before the four were picked from a stand up oral exam.
Although sponsored by Zain Limited Dr. Olela, the dean of students said the varsity provided laptops, modems and equipments in aiding the team. In addition Ongaki Harriet and Ngugi Joshua who were in top six will be sponsored by the University for the sake of continuity.
The team will leave for Sarova Panafric hotel on 11th November this year where the challenge will take place as from 12th -13th of the same month.
Maseno team will battle it out with other Kenyans and countries like Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leon and Zambia in the battle of brains.
(For Equator Weekly and The Informant