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List Of The Best Cartoonists In Kenya

by John Nyabuto

The words cartoon sounds juvenile, but the art does not really look childish, maybe if it’s intended audience is young.

Kenyan cartoonists or cartoonists generally draw to pass a message, take an example the cartoonists who draw in the editorial of our dailies, their main agenda is to satirize the current political and economical bearing of our country.

Listed below are some of the the best cartoonists in Kenya from way back till now.

1. Frank Odoi
Frank Odoi, may his soul rest in peace was one of the greatest cartoonist in Kenya. He used to use his humorous cartoons to pass strong messages to his audience.
He also showcased his art across the world and gained quite of an audience. Odoi was also a writer for kids comic books like, I’ll Be Back Shortly, Akokhan and  Out Of Order.

2. Edward Gicheri Gitau
Edward Gicheri Gitau was one of the first cartoonists in Kenya. His comic strip “Juha Kalulu” (loosely translated to “Idiotic Hare”) is the longest running comic strip in Kenya. It has continued to run in Taifa Leo for more than 60 years. He died last year on May 17th.

3. Gado
Godfrey Mwampembwa, popularly known as Gado is the most renown political cartoonist in East and Central Africa. His art has appeared in newspaper all over the world like Le Monde and the Washington Times.
Gado is now The Standard Group’s editorial cartoonist. He was formerly in The Nation Media Group and was layed off after his caricature for a Tanzanian newspaper about Jakaya Kikwete drew mixed reactions and made that printing firm to be clossed.
Nevertheless, Gado is the top cartoonist alive in Kenya at the moment who has never shied away from caricaturing the Kenyan government’s failures with characteristic clarity and devastating wit

4. Stano
Stano too is a political cartoonist working for the People’s Daily. His cartoons depict the Nation’s political, social and general mood. He has won awards alongside Gado and Odoi back then.

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5. Munene Arts
After Gado left The Nation Group, Munene arts came in and has filled those shoes of Gado almost perfectly. His caricatures of the happenings in the country, especially political issues are usually captured with perfection.

6. Maddo
Maddo usually does a whole page of cartoons on The Standard Magazine on Saturdays. His work, It’s a Madd Madd World with Maddo usually captures all the major things happenings around us like road accidents, shagz life, Kenyan reaction to some products and even some international issues which are of interest to us.

7. Gammz
Gammz work hand in hand with Gado  and take turns drawing cartoons for the editorial of Standard Magazine.
His cartoons are mostly political or the state of the Nation as at that time.

8. Victor Ndula
Ndula caricatured the police brutality cartoon so perfectly that it got an enormous international attention.
He works for the Star magazine and is one of the best cartoonists in the country.

9. John Nyagah
This Daily Nation Cartoonist is a seasoned cartoonist. Maybe his famous pieces of work are done on a piece on the weekend daily “Mwalimu Andrew”.
He is the chief illustrationist for the piece and also does cartoons for the editorial.

10. Igah
This celebrated former Nation Media cartoonist had to appear on this list. His work of art is one of the best across Africa. Igah won many awards because of his art and actually Igah is a mentor to many other great cartoonists in Kenya.

11. Patrick Gathara
Gathara is a cartoonist and doubles up as a writer, a columnist and a commentator on local and international matters. His pieces of art have been published  in the The Star, Daily Nation and many others exhibited internationally. Gathara himself has organized exhibitions for showcasing a collection of cartoons in the country.

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