Kenyan restaurant chain Artcaffe came on the receiving end of heavy online criticism after announcing a competition seeking to reward creative artists in the country. You would wonder what is the problem with that; but as they say, the devil lies in the details.
Artcaffe invited artists willing to take part in the competition to come up with a creative design for their take-away coffee cups and at the same time ‘win big.’
The restaurant asked creatives to submit a design that is “beautiful, funky, inspiring, stylish, stunning, striking, capturing or illustrating what Nairobi means to you.”
And in return, the high-end restaurant chain stated it would reward the artist who designs the best piece of art with free daily coffee for a year. You read that right…! Free daily coffee for a year.
A majority of Kenyans of Twitter (KOT) were upset by that reward and immediately went into overdrive trolling Artcaffe and trashing their ‘free daily coffee for a year’ gift.
Attempts by the restaurant to clarify that “free daily coffee for a year” was not the ultimate prize and that the winning artist would also benefit from exposure, fell on deaf ears. The online bashing continued, forcing the restaurant back to the drawing board to add some icing on the cake.
Here are some of the reactions to Artcaffe’s initial offer:
Shame on you Artcaffe. No really, shame on you.
1 coffee a day for a year is Kes 91,250.
Offer that instead of a cup of coffee that no one needs. Also, you know the winner won’t be able to redeem everyday, that’s why you offered this.
Respect creatives, they deserve to be paid. pic.twitter.com/CBWrnrERZW
— Elayne (@ElayneOkaya) August 4, 2020
They’re paying in coffee.. yani ufanye hii kazi upewe maji moto na kahawa sachet ya 5bob..
Ayaya Hii ni unyama. pic.twitter.com/t4iGxYgpW8
— SHARON (@Tsharz) August 4, 2020
So I come up with a winning design for Artcaffee then go for internship with their "design team" that could not come up with a design? For what? A downgrade of skills?
— Kimaru Tepeny (@ktepeny) August 4, 2020
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Anywei, I am yet to see any other profession as frawned upon as designers and creatives. Does anyone pay docs with cheese or lawyers with goats and warus? Pay creatives in kahawa. Yeeehh!
— Fikitaa #SwitchOffKPLC Otieno (@hotshotcreative) August 4, 2020
Radio Presenter Kamene Goro said: “You cannot tell someone that for your hardwork ‘I will give you this intangible thing called exposure.’ Especially for a big organization like Artcaffe. You cannot pay with exposure. Exposure is not currency.”
— Kamene Goro (@KameneGoro) August 5, 2020
Some Kenyans on Twitter had a different opinion:
I am always conflicted with this kind of things. On one hand, creatives need payment in cash, not a cup of coffee a day and/or exposure (although payment plus that coffee would be nice ??). On the other hand, many artistes have exploded onto the world through strategic exposure.
— Charles Gacheru (@CharlesGacheru) August 4, 2020
Radio presenter Jalang’o defended artcaffe saying exposure was more important that money.
“If you are not in the creative industry, you might troll artcaffe all you want and say how exposure is not enough. But kudos to art caffe for that chance you are giving out to these artists. But I would tell you, I personally were not for exposure and being paid with a packet of chips, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” he said.
Exposure pays… In the creative industry (music, art, entertainment etc)
Money is not the only form of payment. Sometimes exposure gives you more mileage than the the current payment would. #artcaffe #KameneAndJalas @Kiss100kenya @JalangoMwenyewe pic.twitter.com/im5w9yVLSP
— BHANGi Tweets (@BHANGi_tweets) August 5, 2020
Artcaffe now says the artist who emerges top will receive Ksh.100,000 cash prize or free daily coffee for a year at the artist’s choice.
We hear you. Let's try this again…Re-launching our updated #ARTofthecity competition, where we are celebrating the creatives of our city. Design our holiday take-away cups, reach the city with your talent and more! Read updated competition details here:https://t.co/Z5qxF5dXTO pic.twitter.com/rk5sXhvv2k
— Artcaffé (@ArtcaffeKenya) August 5, 2020
In addition to that they will receive a paid internship with the Artcaffe Design Team for 2 months in addition to an opportunity to exhibit and sell their art in one of the Artcaffe restaurants for two months.
The best artists profile will also be shared out on Artcaffe’s website and all its social media platforms and also have their artwork and name printed on the take-away cups.
The first and second runner’s up will also receive varying cash and exposure prizes.
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