“I had got used to the complaints from those in positions of power because I knew my employer, above all else, had my back” — Gado
Observers feared the worst in March, 2015, when Gado’s political cartoons disappeared from the pages of Kenya’s largest newspaper, The Daily Nation, and all the other East African papers owned by the Nation Media Group. Rumors were that the powerful politicians relentlessly skewered in Gado’s cartoons had finally succeeded in getting the renowed cartoonist fired.
Gado himself believed he was on a mutually agreed upon, year-long sabbatical, until he tried to make an early return in October. Journalist John-Allan Namu talks to Gado about being fired after 23 years with The Daily Nation, and talks to the man who fired him, here.
On his blog Patrick Gathara, writer and cartoonist for the Nairobi-based newspaper The Star, looks at the bigger picture: “Kenyan media is going through a torrid time. Once described as one of the most vibrant and critical on the continent, it is today looking like little more than a shadow of its former self. From the firing, reportedly at the behest of the state, of editors and journalists at the country’s two leading newspapers, The Daily Nation and The Standard, to the anodyne and superficial coverage of governmental malfeasance, media in Kenya appears to have raised the white flag of surrender.”