Nairobi ~ Kenya
Godfrey Mwampembwa, alias Gado (b. 1969, Dar es Salaam/ Kenya) Expert creator of witty cartoons, Gado provides unique insights into local and international issues. With brilliant simplicity, his pen unerringly targets underlying social, political and cultural conflicts, revealing their impact on individuals, highlighting weaknesses and frailties yet never ignoring the essential humanity of his subjects. A pioneer in testing local boundaries, Gado’s crisp analysis and revelations prod the powerful. His resistance to political interference and boldness in tackling hot issues head on are important contributions to democratisation and freedom of expression in East Africa, inspiring many who are threatened by censorship. In 1999 he was Kenya’s Cartoonist of the Year and he is the most internationally syndicated editorial cartoonist in East and Central Africa. One of 12 participants in the UN’s exhibition ‘Cartooning for Peace’, Gado’s work is collected in two books, Democrazy! and The End of an Error and the Beginning of a New One. He has also produced a comic book and a video on racism, and in 2001 graduated in classical animation and filmmaking. This award honours Gado for his courageous cartooning, for using humour to expose aspects of social and political conflicts, and for his inspirational role in the struggle for free expression.