There is no glitter, diva-like tantrums or brilliantly lit stages, but the emotions on show are no less genuine for that.
A Nepalese school principal, a Pakistani lab assistant and a Liberian janitor are among this year’s finalists in an international contest that aims to do for honesty in public office what primetime talent contests have achieved for aspiring pop stars.
Integrity Idol, a television show that began two years ago in Nepal, has expanded far beyond south Asia. Finals are impending in Liberia, Mali and, for the first time, Pakistan. Later this year, Morocco, Nigeria, Indonesia and Mexico will be added to the roster.
Typical contestants include Patrick Goffah, a janitor at Liberia’s education ministry, who was nominated for his work ethic and popularity among colleagues.
“A man of integrity is someone that people can rely on, who they can trust,” says Goffah, who…