MASK Prize: Strengthen your creativity for a better future

Marine Life, other (Mosaic), Shree Cutch Swaminayaran Academy, Kushit Rabadiya, 13
Marine Life, other (Mosaic), Shree Cutch Swaminayaran Academy, Kushit Rabadiya, 13
Image: Kushit Rabadiya

All children and young people from the age 4 to 25, as well as all schools in Kenya, may enter MASK Prize to share their creativity with others and win prizes. Prizes, totalling Sh300,000, sponsored by Rivers Foundation and The Nobelity Project, will be awarded at the Award Ceremony in Nairobi in October in three entry categories: ‘Schools’, ‘Under-15 Years Old’ and ‘Under-25 Years Old’. Winners will be selected by a panel of Judges.

MASK Prize is a unique platform for young people. It encourages their creativity and innovation and celebrates it with prizes and exhibitions. Since 2013, more than 6,500 participants from diverse locations across Kenya, as well as Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Mauritius, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon and South Africa, took part. The works were seen by more than 650,000 people at MASK prize exhibitions at the Nairobi National Museum, Turner Contemporary and the Saatchi Gallery in the UK, and the Library of Congress in the US.

The programme is well aligned with the policy of the Education ministry, which officially recognised creativity as part of the new curriculum for Basic education. Creativity is the core skill in the 21st century. It impacts on people's intellect, personality, work ethics and behaviour. It unlocks entrepreneurship and leadership.

Neglecting education for creativity impedes people's ability to solve problems outside paradigm and, therefore, leads to high unemployment, low productivity, greater poverty, poorer health system and inadequate education.

“Survival in the 21st century will be very, very difficult, and without creativity, it is not possible,” said Kenya’s industrialist and philanthropist Dr Manu Chandaria, who has been a supporter of MASK Prize. At the Award Ceremony last year, he also proclaimed, “Art and creativity for prosperity in Kenya!”

Many politicians and business leaders around the world are yet to connect innovation and entrepreneurship to education for creativity in schools, and to recognise that art practices are critical and essential to learning creativity.

To participate in the MASK Prize 2019, just send your innovative artworks in any medium or entrepreneurial ideas on any theme before June 1 free via online ENTRY FORM, which you can find on the link

If you have participated in the MASK Prize in the past but cannot do so now because you are older than 25, you can now still enter your new works, which along with your previous entries will be considered for an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary African Art for Youth.

Young people can enter paintings, drawings, collages, prints, graffiti, installations, sculptures, digital or computer art, animations, photographs, architecture, furniture and fashion designs. They can also enter videos of dancing, acting in plays, playing music instruments or singing songs; entrepreneurial ideas (ideas that can be put to practice to improve our lives); and poetry. They are also advised to make short films about themselves and their creative process and upload those with your entries for the judges.

MASK Prize is a nonprofit programme pioneered by UK charity MASK seven years ago. Its media partners are national newspaper The Star and broadcaster Citizen TV.

MASK Prize invites individuals and business leaders to make donations to raise the prize-money awarded to winners to Sh1 million to acknowledge the outstanding creativity of young Kenyans, their teachers and schools.

Please donate on this page or by contacting MASK on email [email protected]