Kenyan-based Tanzanian caricaturist Godffrey Mwampembwa (Gado) and the Malaysian cartoonist, Zunar, are the winners of the 2016 International Editorial Cartoons Prize. The award comes a few months after Gado was fired by Nation for being too critical of the governments of Kenya and Tanzania.
The Cartooning for Peace award was presented to the two by the Honorary President of the Swiss Foundation Kofi Annan on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day, which was marked on Tuesday, on behalf of the Cartooning for Peace Swiss Foundation and the City of Geneva.
“Gado and Zunar remind us how fragile this liberty remains in Africa and in Asia as well as in other regions of the world,” said Mr Annan. “Through their commitment towards open and transparent societies, Gado and Zunar, who have received threats in their countries of origin and can no longer practice their profession, confront us with our responsibility to preserve freedom of expression and act in order to support the combat of those who cannot express themselves through their art.”
The cartoonist Patrick Chappatte, Vice-President of the Swiss Foundation Cartooning for Peace and jury member added: “For having had the courage to draw the king n***d, Gado and Zunar are faced with a power machine that seeks to silence them. What this Prize seeks to do is just the opposite: to amplify their voices, which are those of democracy and justice.”
This prize, awarded every two years in Geneva, rewards a cartoonist for his/her courage, talent and commitment to the values of peace, tolerance as well as for his/her fight for freedom of expression.
The event goes with an exhibition presented along the quai Wilson in Geneva until June 4, 2016. The Cartooning for Peace Foundation was born in 2009 with support from the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations Office at Geneva. Co-founded by the cartoonists Patrick Chappatte, Jean Plantu and former Kofi Annan spokeswoman, Marie Heuzé, the Foundation also gathers Frédéric Fritscher, Guy Mettan and Françoise Sampermans.