The Standard newspaper rejected a sexy cartoon on NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga’s call to his supporters to abstain from sex on the eve of the August 8th General Election to ensure that they vote the following day.
Raila’s call – largely made in jest – was based on a superstition in many African societies, where it is believed that sex before an important engagement or competition, such as football and in this case an election, is a bad omen.
The cartoon, which has been posted on Facebook by Eric Jacob Ngammau, the cartoonist who did the caricature, depicts a wife showing her partner a calendar with the August 7 date highlighted. The husband then wonders why August 7 yet the polls will be held the next day. He proceeds to alert him that there will be no “erection” on August 7 in obedience of Raila’s call.
It is not clear whether The Standard editors rejected the cartoon on moral grounds or whether they did not want to appear to be backing the controversial call.
Most likely, however, the cartoon was rejected over the use of the word “erection,” which would be a play on the pronunciation of the word election is some Kenyan dialects where sound ‘l’ takes the form of sound ‘r’.
However, an undeterred Ngammau proceed to post the cartoon on his Facebook page to protest the censorship.
He wrote: “The idea that got “rejected,” And the final cartoon…”
After receiving messages of support and encouragement on posting the work in progress and the final product, he told one of his followers that though print media can censor such works, online platforms come in handy.
“Thanks Janet.Sadly, it didn’t make it to the print… but then again, the FUTURE (now) is ONLINE…” he told one Janet Machuka, who had given him a thumbs-up.
It is not the first time a newspaper has rejected a cartoon they deem controversial though as cartoonist Gado can attest.
Gado ( real name Godfrey Mwampembwa) was kicked out of the Nation over his cartoons on President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto angered the duo.
At the Standard, where he is presently based, a cartoon that stung Uhuru and Ruto after officials of the doctors union were sent to prison for failing to call of a strike was similarly blocked.
While making his call, Raila had noted that many men fail to vote because they are tired after a night of sex. He equated the August 8 election to war.
It follows another he made in June when he said that “while going to war, sex is a bad omen.” This is a common belief in many parts of Africa. However, Deputy President William Ruto chided him, saying abstinence cannot win one an election.
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