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Archive for the ‘Humour’ Category

Zapiro’s back. His target? 2017, aka the year of Juju’s reboot, Zille’s tweets, and a certain shebeen in Saxonwold…

No little thorn in the flesh or irritating fly in the ointment, Zapiro just cannot be ignored.

It’s been one helluva year. We’ve held our breath thinking Zuma may resign. We’ve seen Juju re-booted and Zille tweeted out. Racial tensions rise, tempers and fires flare. Still the rich get richer and the poor get Khayelitsha.

We’ve seen Trump’s megalomania, Bell Pottinger’s spin and Pravin’s fightback, cadres captured and Cabinet’s relocation to Saxonwold Shebeen.

GuptaLeaks threaten to drown us and as the flood rises the rodents scatter.

And who better to make sense of this than Zapiro, political analyst, cartoonist and agent provocateur.

He has the ability to knock the air out of us, to rock us back in our seats, to force us bolt upright with a 1000-watt jolt of electrifying shock. He makes us angry, he makes us laugh and he makes us think. He shines a light on the elephant in the room, presents the emperor in all his naked glory. Impossible to brush off, he is determined to provoke a response.

When all around is crumbling, when fake news and zipped lips conceal the truth, Zapiro comes to the rescue. With the dissecting eye of a surgeon, the rapier-like point of his pen exposes flimflam, and reveals with a line what lies behind the action.

Zapiro is Jonathan Shapiro. Born in 1958, he went through architecture at UCT, conscription, activism, detention and a Fulbright scholarship to New York before establishing himself as South Africa’s best-known cartoonist. He has been the editorial cartoonist for the Sunday Times since 1998 and Daily Maverick starting 2017. Previously he was editorial cartoonist for Mail & Guardian and for The Times. He was also editorial cartoonist for Sowetan and Independent Newspapers. He has published 21 best-selling annuals as well as The Mandela Files, VuvuzelaNation (a collection of his sporting cartoons) and DemoCrazy (his cartoon collection on SA’s 20-year trip.)

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Zapiro launches his new book Dead President Walking at The Market Theatre

Dead President Walking

Jonathan Shapiro, the cartoonist popularly known as Zapiro, launched his new book, Dead President Walking, at the John Kani Theatre at the Market Theatre in Newtown, Johannesburg recently.


The book could have been titled “Buy the Beloved Country” in reference to Alan Paton’s Cry, the Beloved Country and the alleged Gupta influence on national issues, Shapiro said.

But because the state capture report had been the biggest story of the year, with potential to ultimately topple Jacob Zuma, Shapiro had decided to focus on the president instead. And while the African National Congress (ANC) at times criticised itself, Shapiro said the party finds it difficult to deal with ridicule and differing opinions.

Shapiro produced a few giggles from the audience when he presented his most provocative cartoons, which he accompanied with sometimes cutting commentary.

Former president Thabo Mbeki was “Mr Paranoid”. His successor, Zuma, “Mr Complete Idiot”. University activist, Chumani Maxwele, “an interesting guy, but a bit psychotic”. Hlaudi Motsoeneng, now head of Corporate Affairs at the SABC “thinks he’s God”.


Another public figure to have been subjected to Shapiro’s ridicule is Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. While the pair have sorted out their differences, Shapiro believes Dikgang Moseneke, the former Deputy Chief Justice, would have made a better Chief Justice.

Asked whether he didn’t find his work hurtful to targets, invading their privacy, Shapiro said that because they are public figures, “I absolutely don’t care.”


Zuma has sued Shapiro in the past, but Shapiro stands by work – no matter how offensive. He did however single out a cartoon that “brought him grief”. The cartoon depicted Shaun Abrahams as a monkey and Zuma an organ grinder.

Black people had been offended and called him racist, he said. But people who subscribed to this view had selective memory, Shapiro insists, as his work has depicted and ridiculed those who stepped out of line regardless of race.


“The real racists are out there,” he said, adding that it was unfair to be compared to Penny Sparrow, a former estate agent who came under fire for describing black people as monkeys earlier in the year.

Themba Siwela, cartoonist with the Citizen newspaper, found nothing wrong with the cartoon. But Shapiro could have looked at the “timing” before publishing, Siwela believes.

Shapiro said cartoonists have an important role to play in any democracy, and that South Africa is one of the countries in the world that has made an impact with its cartoons.

“We put a lot of pressure on someone who is stepping out of line.”


Elections produce rich material for cartoonists, Shapiro said: “Local government elections are hot stuff.”

In one “hot” cartoon, Shapiro shows Motsoeneng approving good news footage and ignoring violent protests. But Shapiro condemns destructive protests, and believes it is counterproductive to burn things.

On last year’s statue demolitions, Shapiro said the statues had no right to be in prominent sites: “Why the hell should they be in our urban spaces?”


Zapiro also revealed his naughty side – a side his editors and lawyers have to put up with when dealing with him. “There’s a certain adrenaline fighting editors and lawyers,” he grinned.

Deadlines were a pain, he said, commenting that sometimes his cartoons would be late or just in time for publication.

Dead President Walking is Zuma’s 21st annual; “A remarkable feat for anyone to achieve,” Jacana, his publisher, said.

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The new Madam and Eve has landed

Madam and EveJacana Media is proud to present the new Madam and Eve collection: Take Me to Your Leader, by Stephen Francis and Rico:

This year we are in for a treat, with Madam & Eve back with more cartoons looking at domestic life and politics in the New South Africa.

It is hard to believe the Anderson family and their domestic sidekick, Eve, have been part of our daily landscape for 23 years. Dip into these cartoons for a much-needed chuckle.

Madam & Eve cartoons appear regularly in the Mail & Guardian, The Star, The Saturday Star, Herald, Mercury, Witness, Daily Dispatch, Cape Times, Pretoria News, Diamond Fields Advertiser, Die Volksblad, EC Today, Kokstad Advertiser and The Namibian.

I am always amazed by the energy and passion displayed by this writing-and-drawing duo that manages week after week to come up with fresh comedic ideas on which to make their point and build their powerful punchline.

- Business Day

About the authors

Stephen Francis is the writing half of the Madam & Eve team. Born in the United States in 1949, Stephen moved to South Africa in 1988. In 1992, witnessing the interesting and often funny dynamic between his South African mother-in-law and her domestic housekeeper, he conceptualised the Madam & Eve strip. Stephen Francis is also an award-winning script writer, and radio and TV personality.

Rico forms the other half of the creative team – as illustrator. Born in Austria in 1966, he now lives and works in Johannesburg, and has been drawing cartoons ever since he was old enough to hold a pencil. Besides his work on Madam & Eve, Rico also produces illustrations for a wide range of other publications.

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Join Zapiro for Two Book Signings of Rhodes Rage in Cape Town

Rhodes RageJacana Media and Exclusive Books would like to invite you to come and get your copies of Rhodes Rage signed by the one and only Zapiro.

Join the political cartoonist on Saturday, 5 December, at Exclusive Books Cavendish from 11 AM to 12:30 PM, and at Exclusive Books V&A Waterfront from 1:30 to 2:45 PM.

Rhodes Rage is a satirical recap of the year that was: Rhodes and other statues, Nkandla Pay Back the Money, spy cables, NPA shenanigans, Eskom and so much more.

Don’t miss it!

Cavendish Square

V&A Waterfront

Also read:


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Presenting Peter Church’s First Postmodern, Subversive, Sexually Charged Novella, Blue Cow Sky

Blue Cow SkyNew from Burnet Media – Blue Cow Sky: A comic novella of sexual proportions by Peter Church:

Leo can’t get no satisfaction … He’s down on his luck, he’s running low on cash, his car keeps breaking down, his uptight neighbour wants him kicked out of his apartment block, his best friend’s a wannabe gangster, and he’s been trying to write his second novel for five years, current word count: zero. Worst of all, he’s still pining after the girl of his dreams who broke his heart a lifetime ago.

What Leo can get is sex. Naughty sex, dirty sex, inappropriate sex. Sex with old flames and new strangers and old cougars and young waifs. Sex in the car and at the gym and on the beach and in fancy houses and in shithole back rooms on a dingy mattress with a girl whose name he doesn’t know while he’s trying to work out the meaning of life …

Leo is Holden Caulfield meets Dirk Diggler meets Hunter S Thompson while trying to find himself 
(and write the great postmodern novel) in the guest cottages of bored Constantia housewives, the homeless shelters of Kalk Bay and the storage barns of McGregor. And Blue Cow Sky is his story.

“It had me giggling and gasping by page nine … a thrilling read”Karen Watkins, Cape Community Newspaper

About the author

Peter Church is the internationally published author of traditional crime-thrillers Dark Video and Bitter Pill. This is his first postmodern, subversive, sexually charged novella …

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Zapiro Discusses His Favourite Cartoons (And One He Regrets) at the Launch of Rhodes Rage


ZapiroRhodes RageJonathan Shapiro, aka Zapiro, recently launched his 2015 annual, Rhodes Rage, at St Mary’s School in Waverley, Johannesburg. The artist took the audience on a visual tour of his best cartoons (and one from the archives that he regrets) and the thought processes behind them.

“Every year I do these books I look for a cover and a title that really says something,” Zapiro said in his introduction, explaining how the #RhodesMustFall movement created a domino effect of civil uprising throughout the year “that has come back in event sharper focus as the year ends”.

Rhodes Rage contains a selection of political cartoons published between September 2014 and September 2015 in the Sunday Times, The Times and the Mail & Guardian. Zapiro asked: “Where were we in September 2014? Where are we now?”

Bogus Eventualis:

Zapiro started the discussion with his depiction of the destruction of Lady Justice by Oscar Pistorius, Jub Jub and Shrien Dewani. “One of the nicest things that happens as a cartoonist is that people send you ideas,” Zapiro said of the cartoon showing Pistorius leaving his electronic tag at home:

One of the big themes of the year in Zapiro’s work and in common discourse was loadshedding. Zapiro gave voice to the energy crisis by showing how Father Christmas won’t be able to find South Africa, as well as playing with the cartoon medium to show how the artist adapts to the situation:

2015 State of the Nation:
“No one could have prepared for what happened,” Zapiro said of the 2015 State of the Nation Address, which was riddled with calamities, from signals being jammed to members of the Economic Freedom Fighters being removed by men in white shirts.

The most haunting, however, was President Jacob Zuma’s laugh despite everything that was happening. “This cartoon is a summation of where we were after words,” Zapiro said of his depiction of Zuma as the “Hollow Man”:


“It started with a bucket of poo,” Zapiro said of the campaign that took place earlier this year to remove the statue of Cecil John Rhodes from the University of Cape Town campus.

People expected him to take a position, Zapiro explained. “I don’t particularly like buckets of poo but I liked the statue less,” he said. “I want to see these statues moved from the centres of universities and from the hearts of universities. I don’t want to see them destroyed but moved from the centre.”

Responding to the rustle in the audience, Zapiro continued: “I can tell that some of you won’t agree with me – you’ll like one cartoon I do and hate the other – that’s what being a satirist is about.”
“Everyone’s a foreigner at some point,” Zapiro said in response to the scourge of xenophobic attacks that once again shook the country this year. He depicted King Goodwill Zwelithini’s inflammatory rhetoric in the following image:

“The cartoons can be funny, outrageous, whatever works to communicate something,” Zapiro said. Against the backdrop of xenophobia, the satirist commented on the absurdity of Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba’s “Migrant Awards” for “people who were coming from elsewhere” and doing good things. “That kind of thing freaks me out,” he said:

Zapiro’s cartoons comment on, among others, Omar al-Bashir’s controversial visit to South Africa, the Presidency’s uncomfortable relationship with the Gupta family and the ANC Women’s League’s unnerving response to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. He also commented on the good news, such as Trevor Noah’s international debut as the host of the Daily Show and the discovery of Homo naledi.

“Often what you do with a cartoon is take something someone said and throw it back at them,” Zapiro said, explaining how satirists expose hypocrisy.

The presentation was followed by a lively question and answer session.

“Of all the drawings I’ve done of Zuma there is only one that I regret,” Zapiro said in response to a question about his depiction of the president, “and it’s not the rape scene,” he added. The drawing in question appeared in the Mail & Guardian in 2012 and shows Zuma looking at himself in the mirror and seeing a penis. Zapiro explained that his best supporters and he himself felt that he had gone too far.

Zapiro was, however, unapologetic about his criticism of Zuma. “I drew PW Botha exactly as I draw Jacob Zuma,” Zapiro said, in reference to a 1989 drawing of Botha as the naked emperor, which he had to fight to get published in the newspapers.

Zapiro recalled an incident when the apartheid police once asked him, “Why do you draw us as pigs?” to which he replied, “I draw what I see.”


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Annetjie van Wynegaard (@Annetjievw) tweeted highlights from the launch using #livebooks:



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Join Zapiro for the Launch of Rhodes Rage at St Mary’s School in Johannesburg

Invitation to the launch of Rhodes Rage

Rhodes RageJacana Media is pleased to invite to an evening with one of South Africa’s most prolific political cartoonists – Zapiro – at the launch of his new book Rhodes Rage.

Another year has passed and no political events – locally or globally – have escaped Zapiro’s skilful hand and satirical eye.

Come and meet the artist at St Mary’s School in Waverley on Monday, 9 November, at 5:30 for 6 PM.

Zapiro will present the year that was, and the hashtags that caused all the havoc, from #RhodesMustFall and #FeesMustFall to #PayBacktheMoney, and everything in between.

Don’t miss it!

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Join Zapiro for a Dinner at Cafe Beyritz, and Get Your Copy of Rhodes Rage Signed

Rhodes RageJacana, Graffiti Lynnwood Bridge and Café Beyritz would like to invite you to a dinner event with Zapiro.

Rhodes Rage will be on sale on the night, and Zapiro will sign copies. In addition, one of his original drawings will be auctioned off.

The dinner will take place at Café Beyritz on Saturday, 7 November, at 7 PM. The cost is R350 per person. This includes a three-course meal with paired wine and coffee or cappuccino; all other beverage fees and service fees are extra. A deposit of R200 secures your booking.

Don’t miss out!

Event Details

  • Date: Saturday, 7 November 2015
  • Time: 7 PM
  • Venue: Café Beyritz
    Lynnwood Bridge
    4 Daventry Road
    Lynnwood Manor | Map
  • Refreshments: Three-course dinner
  • Cover charge: R350
  • RSVP: Café Beyritz, 012 348 2000
  • More details: Facebook

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Don’t Miss the Launch of Rhodes Rage by Zapiro at Dope Store in Johannesburg

Invitation to the launch of Rhodes Rage

Rhodes RageJacana and Dope Store would like to invite you to the launch of Rhodes Rage, Zapiro’s 2015 annual.

Zapiro will be speaking about the highlights and lowlights from another momentous year in South African politics, and how he represented the year that was in his satirical ink.

The launch will take place at Dope Store on Saturday, 7 November, between 2 and 4 PM.

Don’t miss out!

Event Details

  • Date: Saturday, 7 November 2015
  • Time: 2 to 4 PM
  • Venue: Dope Store
    95 Commissioner Street
    Johannesburg | Map
  • RSVP: Nomzamo,, 011 628 3200

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Presenting Rhodes Rage – Another Momentous Year Captured in Zapiro’s Razor-sharp Cartoons

Rhodes RageJacana is proud to present Rhodes Rage, the 2015 Zapiro annual:

Zapiro skewers another momentous year including the drama over Rhodes and other statues, Nkandla Pay Back the Money, spy cables, NPA shenanigans, Eskom and parastatal paralysis, union disunity, Charlie Hebdo, xenophobia, Juju’s boiler suit brigade, Godzille’s successor, cockroaches, Verwoerd’s ghost and other political creatures.

Sometimes it requires long treatises to diagnose the maladies of a nation, but sometimes, with the right skilful hand and satirical eye, they can be summed up in an image. This is exactly what Zapiro has been doing for two decades, capturing, criticising and making fun of South Africa’s rich and powerful in the pages of the country’s biggest newspapers” – New African Magazine (UK) Dec 2014

About the Author

Zapiro is Jonathan Shapiro. Born in 1958, he went through architecture at UCT, conscription, activism, detention and a Fulbright Scholarship to New York before establishing himself as South Africa’s best-known cartoonist. He has worked for Mail & Guardian since 1994, Sunday Times since 1998 and The Times since 2009. He has also been editorial cartoonist for Sowetan and Independent Newspapers. He has published 19 best-selling annuals as well as The Mandela Files, VuvuzelaNation (a collection of his sporting cartoons) and DemoCrazy (his cartoon collection on SA’s 20-year trip).

Zapiro’s numerous SA awards include the Mondi Shanduka Journalist of the Year award and two honorary doctorates. Internationally he has won the Principal Prince Claus award (2005) as well as Press Freedom awards from the International Publishers’ Association, the Media Institute of Southern Africa and Cartoonists’ Rights Network International. In 2011 the magazine Jeune Afrique voted him one of the 50 most influential people in Africa. He lives in Cape Town with his wife Karina Turok and his two children, Tevya and Nina.

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