Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cartoonist: Paul Kelemba ‘Maddo’

A natural Artist
Born in 1962 at Jericho, Nairobi Maddo is a political cartoonist who has a satirical look at both local and world politics showcasing it in a comical way that has made many readers fond of his column. The cartoon genius is the creator of the popular ‘It’s a Madd Madd World’, a column that is published in the Standard newspaper.

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The self-taught artist whose parents wanted him to pursue a career in accounting has contributed in the Standard newspaper for over 20 years. He attended Victoria Highway Primary in Kisumu before joining Nyang’ori Secondary School in Vihiga County. After completing form four, he sought a career path in cartoon artistry and landed his career opener at Coastweek where he did a comic strip.
After life at the coast, Maddo moved to Nairobi where he joined Viva magazine as an art editor. He later worked for other magazines that included the popular Drum and True Love magazine. In 1986, he joined Nation newspaper as an editorial cartoonist before moving to Standard where he has called home for the past 20 years.
At the time he chose to be a cartoonist, the industry only boasted of a few cartoonists the likes of Edward Gitau known for his signature Juha Kalulu. His good friend Wahome Mutahi ‘Whispers’ was one who inspired him to use real people and incorporating memories in his satirical work. Together with Whispers, they established View Ltd.
Maddo will be remembered for being the first cartoonist who made a caricature of retired president Moi at a time few dared to show him in a bad light. The caricature appeared in Society Magazine cover in which Moi was shown to be unfair to other opponents in the 1992 general election. He believed in a state where cartoons could be used in advocating for democracy, leading to intimidation by politicians and lawsuits for libel.
Kelemba has had his pieces compiled into a book called ‘It’s a Madd Madd World’. Kelemba has also published other books, which include ‘Pichadithi’ a comic series that he produced with Terry Hirst and Kul Bahkoo. He has also published numerous magazines and has had his work exhibited in Dar es Salaam, Uganda, Japan, and Finland. He claims to have published an amazing 1,010,092 editions of ‘It’s a Madd, Madd World’ to date.
Maddo is working on a book highlighting his 22 years experience that is too be published soon. The publication was compiled at the Bellagio Conference & Study Center in Italy with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation.
Maddo can be found at his base at 4D Innovative Studio in Nairobi where he works with other cartoonists Gado, Kham and the Late Frank. To get a taste of Madd Satire peruse the Saturday Standard for a man with protruding eyes and greenish brain matter.


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