Veteran Cartoonist Gado Honoured by France

  • From left French Ambassador to Kenya Aline Kuster-Ménager, Mwapembwa alias Gaddo and Paul Kilemba alias Maddo during the Cartooning for piece Ceremony at the Alliance Francais on May 7, 2022
    From left French Ambassador to Kenya Aline Kuster-Ménager, Mwapembwa alias Gaddo and Paul Kilemba alias Maddo during the Cartooning for piece Ceremony at the Alliance Francais on May 7, 2022
    Ambassador Aline Kuster-Ménager
  • 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 promoting freedom of expression.

    Mwapembwa and Kelemba were named Knights of the Order of Arts and Letters for their role in promoting democracy through cartoons during the Cartooning for Peace exhibition held at the Alliance Francais in Nairobi.

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

    Cartoonist Godfrey Mwapemba (Gado) giving a speech.
    Cartoonist Godfrey Mwapemba (Gado) giving a speech.
    Twitter

    "Hongera (congratulations) Maddo and Gaddo on receiving the Chevalier dans l'ordre des arts et Letters, for your role and impact in championing the freedom of expression through cartooning," Ambassador Kuster-Ménager wrote.

    "Congratulations to Gaddo and Maddo for the French award for a lifetime of promoting freedom of expression in Kenya through cartoons. It’s been a pleasure following you," remarked the Danish Ambassador.

    Cartooning for Peace is a forum that brings together editorial cartoonists from across the world who use drawings to create a better understanding of social issues. Its current membership comprises 252 journalists from across the world.

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

    A creative, he is the brainchild behind the XYZ show and co-founded Buni Media, a Nairobi-based company. His artworks have earned him fame while others have landed him in bad books with the government.

    Locally, a cartoon showing President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, with dangling balls, representing the case at the International Criminal Court (ICC) did not sit well. Back home, The East African, was temporarily shut down by President Jakaya Kikwete over a cartoon he authored.

    The cartoonist has won several awards including the 2005 and 2007 Kenya National Human Rights Commission Awards in Journalism, the 2007 Prince Claus Laureate 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 address issues. He works alongside Gaddo at Buni Media, where he is a producer.

    Kelemba has been recognised internationally including residencies in the Rockfeller Foundation Bellagio Center in Italy, In 2015, he received the 2015 CNN Multi-Choice African Journalist awards.

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