Veteran cartoonist Gado honored by France

Veteran cartoonists, Godfrey Mwapembwa popularly known as Gaddo, and Paul Kelemba alias Maddo, were, on Saturday May 7, honored by the French Ministry of Culture for their work in favor of freedom of expression.

Mwapembwa and Kelemba were named Chevaliers de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for their role in promoting democracy through comics at the Cartooning for Peace exhibition held at the Alliance Française from Nairobi.

The two were congratulated by dignitaries including the French Embassy headed by Ambassador Aline Kuster-Ménager and Ole Thonke, Danish Ambassador to Kenya.

Cartoonist Godfrey Mwapemba (Gado) delivers a speech.


Hongera (congratulations) Maddo and Gaddo receiving the Knight in the Order of Arts and Lettersfor your role and your impact in defending freedom of expression through caricature,” wrote Ambassador Kuster-Ménager.

“Congratulations to Gaddo and Maddo for the French Lifetime Achievement Award for Promoting Freedom of Expression in Kenya through Cartoons. It was a pleasure following you,” said the Danish Ambassador.

Cartooning for Peace is a forum that brings together press cartoonists from around the world who use cartooning to better understand social issues. Its current members include 252 journalists from around the world.

Gaddo, a visual artist from Tanzania, currently works as a cartoonist for The standard. He is a maestro in his field, known for his boldness in illustrating relevant issues spanning politics and socio-economic issues.

Creative, he is at the origin of the Display XYZ and co-founder of Buni Media, a Nairobi-based company. His works brought him fame while others got him into bad books with the government.

Locally, a cartoon showing President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, dangling bullets, representing the case before the International Criminal Court (ICC) did not please. Back home, East Africa, was temporarily closed by President Jakaya Kikwete because of a cartoon he authored.

The cartoonist has won several awards, including the Kenya National Human Rights Commission Journalism Awards in 2005 and 2007, the 2007 Prince Claus Award and the Cartoon for Peace Award.

On the other hand, Kelemba, who is behind It’s a Madd Madd World, is a self-taught visual artist who integrates comics and comedy to tackle issues. He works alongside Gaddo at Buni Media, where he is a producer.

Kelemba has received international recognition, including residencies at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in Italy. In 2015, he received the 2015 CNN Multi-Choice African Journalist Awards.


A funny trolling cartoon Education CS George Magoha printed on Wednesday, January 6, 2021

The standard

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