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Kenyans sighed with relief when, in 2003, the
building returned to the State. Ten years later, the
management board has done a splendid job. The
number of international conferences and exhibitions
held at the venue are a reflection of the good work.
However, I don’t want them to interfere with the
beautiful structure by turning the exterior of the top
floors into a billboard. Not only is the resultant look
repulsive, it is ugly and spoils the intended finishing
effect that the original designers had in mind.
The money paid for the ad can never replace the lost
beauty and prestige that the building accords. There
are smarter ways of making money from the building
than such brandish efforts.
The image of the building, for instance, should be
copyrighted and its commercial use licensed. This
will bring in more money than in the current set up.
No brand would want to use the image of a building
that has another brand plastered onto it.
I was shocked that the name of the building was also
altered from ‘Conference Centre’ to ‘Convention
Centre’ during its rebranding early this year. (By the
way, Convention is a much narrower definition than
Conference). Some things are brands simply because
they should never change. It is what the Lord’s
prayer means to Christians. It is what KICC means to
I hope the Architectural Association of Kenya can lead
the way of protecting our architectural masterpieces
from commercial manipulation. For now I will take
my efforts to Twitter: #BringBackKICC.
Mr Sissey is a management and communications
consultant. feedback@marvinsissey.com

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