What some would see as a good course to promote Kenyan artists has unfortunately turned bitter for Artcaffe. The Kenyan restaurant chain went to social media to announce a new initiative dubbed #ARTofthecity.
The contest is meant to give Kenyan creatives to showcase their artwork. According to Artcaffe, anyone that gets to win is guaranteed of getting some prizes. But the rewards part is clearly what did not sit well with a number of people.
The Facebook post states that the ultimate winner is an exhibition space for 2 months. Alternatively, one can get an internship with the Artcaffe Design Team for 2 months. Alongside all this is wait for it…free for coffee for a year.
If that is actually annoying you already you might want to know that the runner-up is guaranteed free coffee alone for 6 months. And as you have clearly guessed it the third prize is free coffee for 3 months.
If you can’t seem to lay your finger on what exactly is missing, then let these tweets explain.
The competition, however sentimental, has been described as a degrading initiative meant to mock the efforts of Kenyan creatives.
Luckily, Artcaffe has responded personally to some of the people who have aired their disappointment.
“The whole purpose of this competition and the aim behind it is to give artists and designers in Nairobi exposure and opportunity by using our platforms to reach a wide audience with their skill and craft – through either exhibition space in our branches, an internship with our design team, and also with their name and artwork displayed on our takeaway coffee cups over the Holiday Season. This is not degrading to artists – we aim for this to be uplifting to artists of our city,” Artcaffe replied to one Facebook user.
Clearly, whoever is in charge does not seem to understand that many Kenyans are tired of “exposure” being used as a currency. As of now, the restaurant’s social media team describes the free coffee as an “additional perk to the real prize”. But what many would like to know is what exactly that “real prize” is.