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Gado: How Tanzanian Journalist Became Kenya’s Biggest Cartoonist –






Godfrey Mwampembwa, famously known as Gado, is a Tanzanian national who has risen to become the finest cartoonist in the country, with his pieces evoking different reactions, especially from the political elites.
His works have not only stood out in East and Central Africa, but his pieces have been published in leading media channels across the globe. This include Nation Africa, Deutsche Welle – a German publication, The Guardian of London and Le Monde and Courrier International, France publications among others.
Currently, he is the editorial cartoonist for the East African Standard that is based in Nairobi. He is the brains behind most cartoon artistic works that have elicited different reactions.
Gado’s daring nature, has seen him publish controversial pieces that have had him relieved of his duties.
His troubles started with the Jubilee government. President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy, William Ruto, were uncomfortable with his gritty humour. Gado’s representation of their case at the International Criminal Court (ICC), dangling balls, was unwelcomed by the duo.
However, what almost ended his career was a cartoon he published of former Tanzanian President, Jakaya Kikwete. The piece got the East African shut down in Tanzania in January 2015.
Gado produced a cartoon of the then President half nude, eating grapes from the hand of one of seven well-endowed ladies. Each of the ladies representing the seven weaknesses in his government.
The move by the Tanzanian government came with a lot of repercussions. The East African was forced to compel Gado to take some time off for a period of close to one year.
But despite all the setbacks, Gado made a comeback still with his cartoon caricatures and even expanded his career.
Gado is now is the Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Buni Media, an independent Multi-media company based in Nairobi.
Other than that, he is also the creator of a satirical puppet show known as the XYZ show, that imitates top political figures in the country.
His courage and grit have earned him a number of top awards. He is not only the 2007 Prince Claus Laureate but also the winner of the Kenya National Human Rights Commission Award in Journalism for the years 2005 and 2007.
In 2016, Gado became the recipient of the Cartoon for Peace, an International Editorial Cartoon award. In 2014, Gado was named among the 100 most influential people in Africa by New African.


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