The zimbawe exile gvt and ant-zanu-pf movement …. awards Mr Tony Namate with a bravery hat. with The Nehanda-kaguvi zimbabwe bird emblem
well-done, true Zimbabweans are behind you…Tony,we give you this award for the bravery you did in expressing the feelings of the hearts of every zimbabwean in the hands of the opressors. thanks also for ignoring these murderers, they only know how to put fear and take possession. instead of them attacking Tsvangirai , Ncube, Dabengwa or Sikhala.. those are the people who are next to the thrown not you TONY. .. The Zimbabwe exile govt honors you with a blue hat of bravery with The Nehanda-kaguvi zimbabwe bird emblem. …keep it up in the trenches. thanks Rt Martin DaWilliam.
THE ZIMBABWE BIRD .. It probably represents the bateleureagle The famous soapstone bird carvings stood on walls and monoliths of the ancient city of Great Zimbabwe built starting in the 11th century and continuing for over 300 years by ancestors of the Shona. The ruins, which gave their name to modern Zimbabwe, cover some 1,800 acres (7.3 km²) and are the largest ancient stone construction in Zimbabwe. When the ruins of Great Zimbabwe were discovered by modern civilization in the late nineteenth century, FIVE of the carved birds they found were taken to South Africa by Cecil Rhodes. Four of the statues were given to Zimbabwe by the South African government at independence, while the fifth remains at Groote Schuur, Rhodes’ former home in Cape Town.
I PUSHED THE BOUNDARIES OF CARTOONING… AND LIVED
By Tony Namate
In January 1999 I started work at Associated Newspapers (publishers of the Daily News) as editorial cartoonist, during which time I would unleash some of the baddest humour in post-independent Zimbabwe.
It was a critical time in Zimbabwe politics, which saw the formation of the MDC and Constitutional Commission later in the year, and the emergence of Constitutional spokesman Jonathan ‘the people have spoken’ Moyo as a political farce… er…force. The following year witnessed deadly farm invasions which led to several people being killed and tortured, with 500 000 farm workers fleeing for their lives into the cities (they would later be uprooted in Operation Murambatsvina, a brutal nationwide destruction of people’s homes and businesses).
The state-sponsored pre-election violence of 2000 is still unprecedented in its brutality. A record number of Zimbabweans fled the country. Several MDC supporters were burnt alive in their huts. Rape was a favourite weapon against women.
The Daily News switchboard was inundated daily by callers commenting on the cartoons, while some wrote in. The readers’ reactions led to a Daily Telegraph interview in which they claimed that my cartoons had become a barometer to the events unfolding in Zimbabwe at that time.
Who doesn’t remember the Old MacDonald Had A Farm cartoon during the farm invasions: “with a war vet here, and a war vet there, everywhere a war vet…”?
During my tenure, Chenjerai Hunzvi’s War Veterans Association threatened to deal with me, while the Women’s Action Group promised to invade the newspaper’s offices in protest at my ‘sexist’ cartoons. Everybody seemed to be in war mode!
A large group of war vets would later besiege our Samora Machel Avenue advertising offices and throw stones at its glass windows in a massive show of mob rule; and several staff members fled in terror before we managed to barricade ourselves in. ZTV reporters were present, urging them on. Twenty years after our 1980 independence, war vets were still gunning for their forty acres and a mule.
Several frantic calls were made to international journalists, who descended on the scene within minutes.
At one time, the late Minister of Defence, Moven Mahachi, held a press conference to denounce me as unpatriotic. A few years earlier, Joice Mujuru (then Minister of Information) had suggested that I be locked up and the key thrown away! Weighing in was my favourite ‘fanatic’, Tafataona P. Mahoso, who declared in his Sunday Mail column, African Focus, that I was a dangerous tool of the imperialist whites. I could never have asked for better feedback than this: in 2001 I received a runner-up certificate for the 2000 UN Ranan Lurie Political Cartoon Award from none other than UN Secretary-General Koffi Annan.
In 2004, at the annual convention of America’s top cartoonists in Lexington, Kentucky, I received the CRN Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award, all for my work at the Daily News.
I believe these awards were made possible by those readers who stood by me and my team.
I even received a bizarre call from the notorious Harare Central Police station: a senior police officer wanted me to know that she and her colleagues were fully behind my work!
I was totally flummoxed.
The Daily News team received unprecedented threats during its short life. They were arrested, beaten up and threatened with death, yet soldiered on. We couldn’t let the people down. We became Zimbabwe’s first reader-friendly paper, Twitter and Facebook in print. Stories dropped on our laps. MDC supporters’ houses were attacked while they slept. Wives, daughters, mothers were raped in front of their families. The news teams went home in the early hours every day, too sleepy to stand upright…
To show how “serious” the ruling party was with their threats, the newspaper’s office and printing press were bombed. Despite the press being blown to smithereens, the newspaper did not miss a single issue!
It soon became the biggest selling independent daily in the history of Zimbabwe. The paper would later be banned – twice.
Finally, it was AIPPA(Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act) – crafted during Jonathan Moyo’s watch as Minister of Information, ably assisted by the media hangman, Tafataona P. Mahoso – which finally brought the Daily News to its knees, along with The Weekly Times, Business Tribune, and The Weekend Tribune.
On reflection, those were exciting times, in an odd sort of way.
It showed the resilience of one of the finest journalism teams I had the fortune to work with. What a team. Some of the colleagues I’ve worked with have since passed on: Tarcey Munaku, Julius Zava (Zimbabwe’s finest investigative journalist), and others I can’t remember off-hand.
Others like Sandra Nyaira, Basildon Peta, Eunice Mafundikwa, Rhoda Mashavave, Lloyd Mudiwa, Mduduzi Mathuthu, photographer Urginia Mauluka etc, left the country while some joined the NGO sector as PR officers, and one or two went into the printing business.
PLEASE GET HIS BOOK ABOUT HIS CARTOONS AND BIOGRAPHY…SEE COVER PICTURE BELOW
SOME OF HIS CATOONS WORK