Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Congratulations to Zapiro (Jonathan Shapiro), the South African cartoonist who this week won the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Media Freedom Award.

Zapiro was in Swaziland to pick up the award on Saturday and to be praised for his political cartoons which have appeared in newspapers including the Sowetan, Cape Argus, Mail & Guardian, Sunday Times Johannesburg, Cape Times, The Star, The Mercury and Pretoria News.

He also has a website here.

While congratulating Zapiro on his award, let’s also give five marks out of ten to the Swazi Observer for its coverage of the event.

The newspaper in effect owned by King Mswati III gave a detailed account of the life of Zapiro (see here) and made reference to his courage in lampooning important politicians in South Africa, including Jacob Zuma, its president.

But (alas) the Observer was silent on the work Zapiro has done about Swaziland, and in particular a certain absolute monarch.

I’ve written about Zapiro’s cartoons before (here and here). He is no lover of King Mswati III, and has sharp things to say about Mswati’s ability to attract women as his cartoon below demonstrates.

Long may he continue. Zapiro that is, not King Mswati.

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