Friday, July 29, 2011

Tony Namate’s work immortalized in The Emperor's New Clods: Political Cartoons from Zimbabwe

Jumbo Editorial Team

Tony Namate’s work has been immortalized in the book titled The Emperor's New Clods: Political Cartoons from Zimbabwe which was launched with great fanfare in Harare on July 28.

‘The Emperor’s New Clods: Political Cartoons from Zimbabwe’ is a collection of the award-winning Namate’s cartoons published in Zimbabwean newspapers between 1998 and 2005. The launching ceremony of the 114-page paperback, published by The Lions Press, was held during the Zimbabwe International Book Fair.

The cartoons cover his work for various newspapers including the Zimbabwe Independent, The Standard and The Daily News. In a career spanning 20 years, Namate has done sketches for various other publications including The Herald, The Daily Gazette, the Guardian (UK), the Baltimore Sun and City Press (SA).

Namate’s cartoon collection takes the reader through some landmark moments in a troubled period: the payment of gratuities to war veterans; collapse of the local currency spawning an unprecedented economic crisis; the land reforms; violent elections and Zimbabwe’s resulting international isolation.

Throughout the book, Namate has combined cartoon humour with captions that provide a historical link to enable the reader to travel back to the period. It's ironically a comical but a factual presentation of Zimbabwe's history as the author fearlessly applied the dictum; 'my pen is colour blind'.

The author believes, as reflected in this frank and candid piece of work, that politicians must be accountable in any democracy, or a country that aspires for that elusive standard.

Kevin Kallaugher of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists describes Namate’s book as a wholesome success. “The book punctures the pomposity of the powerful on behalf of the poor and the powerless,” he said.

Whether drawing a caricature of a politician or lampooning vice, few cartoonists in Zimbabwe have attained Namate’s ability to tell a story with a few words and a sketch so brilliantly demonstrated with this new book. He is a wonderfully gifted person and his courage and fearlessness, besides professionalism, merit recognition. His newly book published book should win him more friends.

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