Cote d’Ivoire, Mauritius Thrash Nigeria At African Cristal Festival Poster Contest

WHEN it was announced that the third edition of the African Cristal Festival Poster Contest would be held in Lagos, expectations were high that Nigerian creative/designers would have a rare opportunity to dominate the international creative award. As Africa’s biggest economy with a huge annual ad spend, it was expected that the country would show to the rest of the continent her abundance of creative works. But to the surprise of many observers, no artwork from the country even made it to final stage.

It was even more surprising that apart from one French national, other members of the 15-man jury were Nigerian Creative Directors. The jury converged last week at La Mango, Ikeja in Lagos, to select the finalists from the 103 entries submitted for the contest. After hours of rigorous analysis, three creative works from Mauritius, an island nation, and one from Cote d’Iviore were selected by the jury for the finals. Mauritius, with a population of just 1.3 million people has always remained a colossus in African creativity. Talents from the country clinched the first and second editions of the Poster Contest that took place in South Africa (2013) and Kenya (2014) respectively.

This year at the third poster Contest hosted in Lagos, Ivorian artwork—”Pencils: All Colours of Africa”—by Arnaud Bedel of Drive Dentsu, in collaboration with Eding Labatut, a Copywriter, became the first to oust Mauritius as winner of this ardently contested annual battle of creativity.

The other three artworks that also made it to the finals, all from Mauritius, were Sebastien Bayaram’s “Unleashing the African Creative Genius”; Zuhayr Kinoo’s “Big Ones”; and Romain’s “Gathering Africa’s Brightest Ideas”.

According to the Jury, the Ivorian design won the contest based on its simplicity, insight and strong communication power that reflected the colour and diversity of Africa. As expected of professionals, the jury delivered their selections on the works based exclusively on their merits.

The winners will have free pass for each person from the winning team (maximum two people) for the third edition of the African Cristal Festival in Morocco from September 30 to October 2, this year. The package includes transportation (airplane ticket for one person), transfer (from the airports of Casablanca or Marrakech), accommodation and registration (access to the festival venues, official lunches, cocktails & dinners, after parties). Also, the participants will benefit from a 10 per cent discount on the global participation fee for the winning agency. For the four finalists, a delegate pass for the Festival will be offered to them.

Although a Nigerian artwork—“Steaze”—by Johnson Folake of Creativexone was among the four finalists last year, observers expected more dominance this year. Not making the finalists of the African Cristal Festival Poster Festival and winning global creativity awards such as Cannes Lions and The Loeries Award, among others, according to analysts, exposed the limitations of Nigerian creative works.

Commenting on Nigeria’s poor performance at the contest, a member of the Jury and Creative Director, Insight Communications¸ Chima Okenimkpe said the creative industry in Nigeria has all it takes to deliver outstanding works that could compete worldwide but it takes more than just having an idea when it is not been executed.

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