In 1983 he became active in the newly formed anti-Apartheid movement, the United Democratic Front and as a result was arrested under the Illegal Gatherings Act and, subsequently, monitored by military intelligence. Zapiro was an important participant in South Africa’s End Conscription Campaign, designing its logo. After his military service he applied for and was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study cartooning at the School of Visual Arts in New York for two years.(wikipedia)
In 2006, former Deputy President of South Africa Jacob Zuma furthered his claim of being “tried by the media” and has threatened to bring defamation action against various elements of the press for remarks that he alleges are defamatory. Approximately R15 million of the R63 million rand demanded by his legal representatives are in connection with Zapiro cartoons.
In 2008, Zapiro met with further animosity, this time from the South African ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) over a cartoon that appeared in the Sunday Times on the 7th of September, 2008. The cartoon depicts a scene where the ANC president’s (Jacob Zuma) staunchest supporters (ANC Youth League president Julius Malema, secretary general of the ANC – Gwede Mantashe, SACP secretary general Blade Nzimande and Cosatu secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi) are holding down Lady Justice, while Jacob Zuma is in a state of undress getting ready to “rape” Lady Justice. Mantashe, who is shown in the cartoon with a speech bubble containing “Go for it, boss”, labelled the cartoon “racist”, while ANC spokesperson Jesse Duarte said the cartoon is “vile, crude and disgusting”. Zapiro refuses to apologise for the cartoon. The African National Congress, the South African Communist Party and the ANC Youth League released the joint statement. as a formal response to The Sunday Times, while the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) issued a separate press statement On 21 May 2010 the Mail and Guardian published a strip from Zapiro depicting the prophet Muhammed, as part of Everyone Draw Mohammad day. On 20 May 2010, the M&G had won an eleventh-hour court bid by the Council of Muslim Theologians to bar the publication of the cartoon. A week later, Zapiro released another cartoon in response to the various reactions to the original cartoon. In it he says that he will have to accept that exceptions will have to be made in regard to ‘religious censorship’. This was seen by some as a statement that he felt that his freedom of speech would have to have been limited because of those that were insulted by his cartoon which had graphically depicted the prophet Mohamed.
Zapiro’s work appears daily on the website of South African independent news publication, Mail & Guardian and weekly on the site of the Sunday Times.
Kurt Westergaard, whose cartoon of the prophet Muhammad was the most controversial of those published, continues to be the target of death threats, as well as at least one assassination attempt in 2010. He and his wife live under 24 hour protection of police and bodyguards. Westergaard rejects censorship, and remains an uncompromising advocate for freedom of expression and other democratic values.
Reuters Article (2012) YouTube Interview (2012)
Rasmus Sand Høyer continues to paint, illustrate, and cartoon. His work can be found here
Annette Carlsen continues to cartoon and illustrate. Her website is
Lars Refn continues his work, some of which can be found on Pinterest YouTube Interview (2012)
Jens Julius continues his work, and currently draws for Horsens Folkeblad
Franz Füchsel (photo by Michael Bager) continues his illustrations and cartooning. His website is here
Erik Abild Sorenson died age 89 on March 5th, 2008, of natural causes.
We have no current updates or website information on Arne Sørensen, Claus Seidel, Bob Katzenelson, Peter Bundgaard, and Poul-Erik Poulsen at this time, though some of their work can be found here.
Since receiving our 2006 Courage Award, Ali Dilem has continued to be an important voice for human rights and justice in Algeria. He draws for Liberté, the country’s most popular French language newspaper, as well as being featured on the TV5 program Monde Kiosque.
Dilem’s work has been resulted in over 20 international prizes and exhibitions of his cartoons. You can find him online on the following sites:
Facebook Twitter Cartooning For Peace
This interview, subtitled in English, was posted by SAMAR Media, which has osted other several other excellent interviews with editorial cartoonists working under high-pressured political circumstances.
CRNI’s 2002 Award for Courage in Editorial Cartooning was given to Paul-Louis Nyemb Ntoogueé, aka Popoli (“the people”), from Camaroon. The award was given in recognition of his many years personal sacrifice in the face of repeated attempts to silence him, and as part of our campaign to spotlight his case, and bring additional pressure on those in power to relent.
Popoli’s troubles with the government of President Paul Biya began in late 1991, when he was arrested and tortured for marching in a public demonstration for freedom of the press. Popoli was subsequently threatened with arrest in 1992, for a series of cartoons about government corruption, hiding in a swamp for 20 days until matters cooled down. He was arrested and interrogated again in 1996, before all charges were dropped.
From that point onward, Popoli became the target of escalating threats of violence. In August 1998 two strangers assaulted the cartoonist at his office. A few days later Popoli fled the country after being tipped off that he would be attacked again, this time along with his younger sister. The day he fled the country, officers invaded his house and left behind the written threat that they would kill him by a thousand machete cuts if he continued to draw “disrepectful” cartoons of President Biya and the First Lady.
After briefly seeking asylum in South Africa, and then through the Canadian Embassy in Pretoria, Popoli decided to return to Cameroon. As he explained to CRNI, “I’d rather be buried by friends in my village than continue to live in fear among strangers.”
Threats and pressure continued, escalating into violence again in late 2001, when Popoli was dragged from his car and severely beaten by Security Officers. Shortly afterwards he was arrested, ostensibly for a cartoon which referenced the First Lady’s long-rumored past as a prostitute.
CRNI’S CAMPAIGN: CRNI stayed actively engaged in Popoli’s case and protection from when he first contacted us from South Africa in 1998. We established a fund to help him pay for his daily needs during exile, and assisted in his efforts to seek asylum. We also connected him with a local human rights group, which provided him an office and computer to stay connected with his family and his publisher.
CRNI then sent letters detailing and protesting Popoli’s mistreatment to the United States Embassy, Cameroon’s Ministers of State and Public Security, and directly to President Biya.
We sent similar letters after the subsequent violations of Popoli’s human rights in 2001 and 2002, strongly urging the United States Ambassador in Yaoundé to personally bring Popoli’s case to the attention of his counterpart in the Cameroonian government, which he did.
Shortly afterwards, the harassment stopped. Popoli reported back to us that the same police who had beaten him before now approached him saying, “What good friends we are now, Mr. Popoli,” a clear sign that their supervisors had advised them he was now officially off-limits for further harassment.
CURRENT STATUS: In 2004 Popoli started the Cameroonian CRNI affiliate, Coup d’Crayon. He continues to live in Camaroon, where he remains a leading voice for the people in their fight against corruption, and for a free press and the free exchange of ideas.
PROFIL – Nyemb POPOLI – Pays by AFRICA24