- Category: TOW 2006
The celebrated and award-winning cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro, better known as Zapiro, was born in Cape Town in 1958, and studied architecture and Graphic Design at UCT before being conscripted.
While in the army he refused to bear arms and in 1983 became active in the newly-formed UDF. His arrest under the Illegal Gatherings Act led to his being monitored by military intelligence. At the time he was also involved in the End Conscription Campaign, and designed its logo.
His work as a cartoonist began in earnest with a wide range of political and progressive organisations. He was detained by security police in 1988 shortly before leaving on a Fulbright Scholarship to study media arts at the School of Visual Arts in New York, where he studied under comics masters Art Spiegelman, Will Eisner and Harvey Kurtzman.
Zapiro was the editorial cartoonist for the Sowetanfrom 1994 to 2005 and appeared in the Cape Argus (1996-1997). He has been editorial cartoonist for the Mail & Guardian since 1994, theSunday Times since 1998 and since late 2005 also appears three times a week in Cape Times, The Star, The Mercury and Pretoria News.
Zapiro has held solo cartoon exhibitions in New York, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and many in South Africa. He has also exhibited in numerous group shows locally and internationally and has been an invited participant, speaker, and presenter in numerous cartoon events and workshops locally and abroad.
In 2001, he became the first cartoonist to win a category prize in the CNN African Journalist of the Year Awards. His commitment to exposing truth through his graphic form of public comment, and his ability to make people laugh – even when it is at their own expense – earned him the prestigious Principal Award of the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development.
As a result of his hard-hitting cartoons about South Africa 's former deputy-president and ANC president Jacob Zuma, he is currently being sued by Zuma for defamation. Zapiro's latest book The Mandela Files draws on his astonishing range of cartoons of Nelson Mandela from the late 1980s to the present, and is supplemented with preparatory sketches, a concise narrative and commentary on the stories behind the cartoons, and many anecdotes.
The Mandela Files, Double Storey, 2008
Pirates of Polokwane, Jacana, 2008
Take Two Veg and Call Me In the Morning, Jacana, 2007
Da Zuma Code, Jacana, 2006
Is There a Spin Doctor In the House?, Jacana, 2005
Long Walk to Free Time, Jacana, 2004
Dr Do-Little and the African Potato, Jacana, 2003
Bushwhacked, Jacana, 2002
The ANC Went in 4X4, Jacana, 2001
The Devil Made Me Do It!, Jacana, 2000
Call Mr Delivery, Jacana 1999
End Of Part One, Jacana,1998
The Hole Truth, Jacana, 1997
The Madiba Years, Jacana, 1996