The reality television shows I enjoy have tended to have been ones that involve a real skill such as Project Runway, So You Think You Can Dance or Top Chef.  These shows do have a real impact on the lives of those who enter but none more so than The Secret Millionaire, which I recently got into. The show started in 2006 on Channel 4 (UK), and has also had four seasons in the UK and one season in the US and Australia.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWkvmqds7xo

Essentially, a millionaire goes into a community (undercover as just another person) for 10 days and identifies people and projects they feel deserve assistance. In the UK, the millionaires have given away over £1 million to community centres, homes for disabled, support groups, individual families, etc and some continue to give after the show ended.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pR-qxjZl6Sc

This weekend, I caught an episode (How The Secret Millionaire Changed My Life) where they went back after a year to check on the millionaires and found that many of them were still very involved in the communities they had been in. It just reminded me how each of us is in a position to contribute to making the lives of our fellow beings a little easier, whether it is through money or our time. It is interesting to see where some of the people are and there is some controversy around individuals like Chek Whyte, who was declared bankrupt last year.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4YfApNlgqM

What interests me most is the premise behind the show which, for me, is creating a culture of giving, a culture of staying in touch and in tune with the fact that many of us have much to be grateful for and can do something. Africa does have millionaires. Are they actively helping those in real need? However small, I sincerely believe every little bit helps.

3 Comments

  1. Nevin

    I wouldn’t say I have been following this series, but have watched a few episodes with interest and awe. In my opinion the series is not about charity given but rather putting a human face to goodwill and the people that give.

    A stark difference from the cash cows, and for myself anti-benevolents we have amongst here in SA!

  2. sage hasson

    Great thot this I also watched an episode of the secret millionaire that brought tears to my eyes and your note here made me realise we need this in africa much more esp with the nos of rising millionaires as opposed to the rate of increasin poverty and poor people..I think I ll think about talking to a few other peopl and if possible creating a platform for such here..sho

  3. Kojo Baffoe

    I couldn’t have said it better Nevin. The positive and the negative.

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About Kojo Baffoe

Of Ghanaian/German heritage, raised in Lesotho and currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Kojo is the proverbial slashie, the professional ‘jack of all trades.’ He is an entrepreneur, writer, facilitator, content architect, former men’s magazine editor and speaker. He has a Bachelor of Commerce (1994) with majors in Economics, Marketing and Business Administration from the former the University of Natal (Durban), now University of KwaZulu-Natal.

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