The Power of Cartoons 2 - Amr Okasha from Egypt
The Power of Cartoons 4 - Kianoush from Iran

The Power of Cartoons 3 - Jerm from South Africa

This series was produced in a partnership with Dutch magazine Nieuwe Liefde. Eight of our cartoonists talk about cartoons that were controversial or that got them in trouble. The interviews run in the March issue of Nieuwe Liefde magazine, and will be published in English here on the blog. The interviews were conducted by Julia Ploum. Today's cartoonist: Jeremy Nell, aka Jerm, from South Africa


South African cartoonist Jeremy Nell (Jerm) was fired at the end of 2012 from national newspaper The New Age because his cartoons were ‘too political’.

What inspired you to make this cartoon and what were the consequences?

‘This cartoon is a reference to the painting The Spear by artist Brett Murray, that depicts Jacob Zuma as Lenin and is showing his penis. The African National Congress - and its supporters, mostly – took considerable exception to his work, besmeared it during an exhibition and attempted to have it censored. My cartoon satirises the outrage by censoring (and depicting) the president's penis. The cartoon was supposed to have been published in the Sunday national paper, City Press, but the editor pulled it at the last minute, worrying about further outrage.’

In which ways is freedom of press restricted in your country?

‘Freedom of the press isn't restricted to the point of legitimate concern (yet) because South Africa's media is still fairly free. Ideally, I would prefer the government to steer clear of media restrictions, but the reality is that the government has a desire to restrict our media more. A recent example is the ANC's attempt to legislate the "Protection Of State Information Bill" (known colloquially as the "Secrecy Bill") in which journalists would be criminalised for publishing information that the government (at its own discretion) deems confidential.’

How, in your opinion, can cartoons contribute to greater freedom?

‘By remaining vocal and critical of the government's use of force and intimidation. Cartoons appeal to all people, and have a tendency to convey messages in a very accessible way.'


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I think you should do a few cartoons of the Guptas :-)

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