Artcaffe chain of restaurants was yesterday blasted and jeered at by Kenyans On Twitter (KOT) for offering creatives with free coffee for a year instead of “more worthy” compensations such as money.
It all started on August 4, when the Kenyan based high-end coffee eatery and coffee shop invited willing creative artists to take part in their competition to come up with a creative design for their take-away coffee cups.
According to their call for action, they were looking for a design that is stylish, beautiful, inspiring, captivating and inspiring, and one tha also illustrates what Nairobi means to you.
In their own words, three winners for the most creative designs would ‘WIN BIG.’
In exchange for their creativity, they announced the brain behind the best designed art would be rewarded with free coffee for a whole year.
Then, the netizens lost it at this point.
ANNOUNCING our #ARTofthecity competition! Calling all creatives of the city…help us jazz up our take-away coffee cup and WIN BIG with Artcaffé! Read the competition details below, and ENTER! Tag your artistic friends and spread the word! https://t.co/BZeofmSCPv pic.twitter.com/7VRZ1b1A6z
— Artcaffé (@ArtcaffeKenya) August 4, 2020
Most KOT members did not take this free coffee offer lightly and thus the trolling, implying that the “gift” was “inadequate.”
The restaurant tried to explain that the free coffee was not the ultimate prize. However, nobody really cared after reading the line about coffee.
Artcaffe stated that there were more offers such as exhibition space in one of their restaurants for two months, something that would guarantee exposure for the artist or an internship with Artcaffe’s design team for 2 months.
The following are some of the reactions from KOT on Artcaffe’s free coffee 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
Then why don't you just have your design team do it instead of asking other designers to basically do it for free?
— My Father's Legacy (@Austyn_Machel) August 5, 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
Kiss FM presenter Kamene Goro was quick to agree with this lot:
— Kamene Goro (@KameneGoro) August 5, 2020
On the other hand, her male counterpart Jalang’o and his like-minded crew thought differently of the matter:
“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,” Jalang’o said.
Another Tweep backed him up:
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
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
It now appears that Artcaffe has had a change of heart and is now offering artists with Ksh100,000 free daily coffee for a year at the artist’s choice.
The artist will also 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.
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