‘Creativity Week’ Breaks Campaign with Call to Change Stereotypes


Riding on an ongoing conversation in the creative communications circles about the dearth of materials originating from  sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) in the international awards and reputed international industry magazines, the organisers of the Creativity week holding in Lagos from 13–18 March 2017, have created an online campaign #AlternativeStories, to engage members of the industry and draw more awareness to the issue. The campaign #AlternativeStories is undoubtedly a play on the phrase “Alternative Facts” used by President Donald Trump’s adviser, Kellyanne Conway, who outraged the world when she claimed that the administration’s version of the crowd size at Trump’s inauguration were alternative facts.

Nnamdi Ndu, Cannes Lions representative in Nigeria and Managing Director of CHINI Productions, organisers of the event said: “The absence of our work in the global space is largely responsible for the stereotype we see in stories about Africa. No matter how truthful and well-meaning others try to be, no one else can tell your story like you because it’s the one that wears the shoe that knows where it pinches.

“We may think we have bigger issues of development, why should we bother with stories.  No, they’re linked. The more you accept these negative stereotypes, the more you become like that. That is why we must tell our own stories. Stories that project our values, capture and frame our aspirations.”

As part of the campaign, the audience are requested to send in their stories using #AlternativeStoriesand #CreativityWkon Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The stories will be displayed on the event website www.creativity-week.comand on the walls during the event at MUSON Centre.

Some of the Headlines in the materials already released are “Africa has no good stories” and “We’re dearth poor”. Each of the headlines is followed by an alternative positive contradiction. For instance, “Africa has no good stories” is followed by the contradiction “especially if you don’t know Wole, Nguigi and Chinua”. However, it was the line “Nigerian’s use black magic when stuck in traffic and need some good music to take the edge off” that quickly captured the excitement of the younger generation and university students as they were able association with the Hip hopand Afropop singer, Black Magic.

Creativity Week is the first event of its kind for the West African Marketing Communications industry, bringing together all sectors of the industry including advertising – PR, digital, design and brand management. The Weeks’s events include academies, seminars, exhibitions, competitions and awards ceremony. The event as organised by CHINI Productions, official Cannes Lions Festival representative in Nigeria as a regional prelude to the main Cannes Lions Festival in June.

Several big players in the region are gearing up to make seminar presentations during the event. These include The Advertisers Association of Ghana, The African PR Association, Insight Communications, Noah’s Ark, Starcom Media, All Season’s Mediacom, Brandworld Television, TBWA\Concept, Brands TV Network, X3M Ideas and many more. Registration for participation is open at the website, www.creativity-week.com.