$Working for Free$ | #NU Creatives Debate #1


working for free

Should you work for free?

Photographers, musicians, producers, graphic artists, studios, videographers, designers, well just about everyone in the creative sector, are always being asked to work for free. For exposure they say. But then, how is it exposure if you’re already established? Why can’t they pay? Why are other people on the rosta for whatever event / thing – getting money and you’re not being offered any?

This is a typical and big issue in Nairobi, from top to bottom, it keeps going on. On the one hand you have the ‘promoter’ who can’t afford to pay you (for one million different reasons) and the desperate artists, some of whom say yes.

There are two biggish facts often missed from these discussions:

  1. If the ‘promoters’ are giving exposure, why can’t they utilize it enough to just pay you? (charities, not for profits, new initiatives obviously excluded here)
  2. Exposure some times / often is worth more than the money. But it has to be the right kind of exposure – most artists (musicians especially) just take any offers regardless.

So – this is our first open cross platform discussion on NRB UNDRGRND  – we want to hear all sides of this debate. Comment on any of our channels:

Twitter @naiunderground

FB @nairobiunderground

or tag us on IG @nairobiunderground with more ‘artsy’ contributions to the debate

or use tag #NUwork4free?

or in the comments section below here

This is just a debate we will run for one week, to give it a proper dusting down – and once comments are closed we’ll collect a few key points and summarize.

Do you work for free ever ?  On what terms would you work for free ? Have you ever asked anyone to give their services for free ?  Is it a good thing to kickstart the industry into better cashflow in KE ?