For the past two months, Bralirwa has been dishing out various gifts courtesy of ‘Unguka’ na Primus, to her loyal clients through the five commercial centres in the country.
The frenzy of Bralirwa vehicles, the attraction of music and beer made many of these centres look like major carnivals.
The big Bralirwa caravans that traversed the country’s towns attracted huge crowds in stadiums of Kigali, Gitarama, Rwamagana, Musanze and Gisenyi.
One of the beneficiaries of the event, Alex Munyaneza, had long given up on the dream of owning a cow in his life. The last cows he ever saw in his family were owned by his mother who has since passed away.
Four months ago, while listening to his radio, Alex heard about a competition organised by Bralirwa to reward Primus consumers.
He immediately began thinking about the various gifts on offer, and begun drinking as much Primus as possible to increase his chances of winning.
In the ultimate coincidence of fate and luck, one of Alex’s tickets had a winning number for a cow, which he said “is the greatest that has happened in his life in my life.”
While running to the podium to receive his prize, Alex was so ecstatic that he almost walked over his wife Specioza. Upon receiving the microphone for his acceptance speech, Alex could only giggle through it, barely managing to speak.
“Cold beer makes my body work perfect……It gives me good life” said Alex a resident of Ruhengeri.
He could barely hide his excitement as he was shown the cow he won from the competition dabbed Unguka na Primus (Profit with Primus).
According to Julius Nkurunziza, the brand manager of Primus, the competition attracted over 110,000 respondents with over 22000 tickets (commonly known as dollars chips) that were given out.
A total of 200,000 Primus beers were consumed.
Over Frw100 Million was spent on the campaign exercise.
Among the 22,000 tickets given to consumers, some had lucky numbers to win a variety of gifts including 20 Friesian cows, mattresses, umbrellas, crates of beer, television sets and huge home entertainment sets.
The tickets, which had earlier been given to clients, would ultimately provide the lucky number for a particular prize.
Apart from the merry of free flowing beer, loud music and louder shouts of laughter from winners and drinkers, the beer extravaganza gave an insight into Rwanda’s leaps of development in the communication sector.
A winner’s name was announced in Gitarama Stadium, but she was away in Butare, someone from the crowd called her mobile phone.
Upon receiving the call the lady immediately hoped on a taxi from Butare to Gitarama, and in 30 minutes, she was there to claim her prize-a cow.
Showing the ultimate importance of cows in Rwandan culture, or the extreme poverty-which the cows supposedly would go a long way in solving, whenever a cow was won from the draws ululations, joy filled among the crowd as people cheered on excitedly.
Nkurunziza says, “Rwandans are very passionate about cows, we could have given them money instead, but cows mean much more in Rwandan culture, which is what Primus stands for.”
The commercial director of Bralirwa Rene Kruijt said, “Rwanda shares several similarities with Holland to keep with the good tradition of Rwanda, good roads, cheese and good beer.
Cows are another thing that Rwanda culture shares with Holland. This is the reason Bralirwa made the prize of a cow very important in the campaign.”
In scenes to provide a comic interlude to the huge crowds that attended most of the road shows, Bralirwa used the services of several dancing troupes from Rwanda and Uganda, including the famous “Michael Jackson,” (the Rwandan version), Papi Safi, Miss Channel, Big Dom, MC Mahon Boney and several theatrical performances.
The mixture of music and beer created commotion in many places where the bonanza was held.
As a reward for drinking Primus, one particular consumer got a mattress and proudly called his wife from the crowd to demonstrate how they would be enjoying their new found status.
The heroic peasant was coaxed into dancing with his wife to the tune of Bobi Wine’s Bada, the crowd was equally appreciative.
John Mugisha a winner from Rwamagana said, “Bralirwa is living to the taste of its logo “sharing life, Bralirwa is my parent,” he continued by swearing the traditional Kinyarwanda expression, “Primus Y’ampayi’inka” (Primus gave a cow).