Slideshow: Cameroonian “Artoonist” Issa Nyaphaga

by    /  June 9, 2015  / No comments

Cameroonian “artoonist” and community organizer Issa Nyaphaga taught himself to draw at age six, using mud as paint and his finger as brush in the tradition of his community. He drew satirical political cartoons for a number of Cameroonian newspapers and publications, including his own. In the 1990s he was arrested, imprisoned, and tortured under Cameroon’s harsh media laws. Although eventually released from prison, he was fined and forbidden from drawing any more cartoons for three years. Issa tempted fate and continued drawing but had to flee the country after learning that his government was coming after him again. In France, where he sought asylum, Issa regularly contributed cartoons to Charlie Hebdo. His new collection of cartoons, Art Stronger Than Hate!, was published in the aftermath of the shootings.

Now a global citizen, Issa has founded the community-based organization Hope International for Tikar People, which works to improve the lives of indigenous people in the remote rainforest village where he grew up. His latest project, Radio Taboo, will train citizen journalists to broadcast information to the people who need it most. Proceeds from the book will support Radio Taboo. Art Stronger Than Hate! can be purchased from Alamo Bay Press.

Read an interview Sampsonia Way conducted with Mr. Nyaphaga.

These cartoons are republished with permission from Issa Nyaphaga and Alamo Bay Press.

About the Author

Sampsonia Way is an online magazine sponsored by City of Asylum/Pittsburgh that seeks to protect and advocate for writers who may be endangered, to educate the public about threats to writers and literary expression, and to create a community in which endangered writers thrive and literary culture is a valued part of life.

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