Saturday, 15 November 2008


Despite the many challenges we face, we South Africans nevertheless have the unique capacity to laugh at ourselves and our situation, even if it's often a somewhat dark form of mirth. This is clear from the popularity of the Zapiro and Madam and Eve cartoon collections, which are eagerly awaited at the end of each year.
Jonathan Shapiro (aka Zapiro) and Stephen Francis & Rico (who pen Madam and Eve) are our very own Court Jesters, and what a great job they do! Nothing escapes them, and we're privileged to have them casting their critical eyes over the swirling tide of events that laps around us every day.
Hot off the ironing board, as Francis and Rico put it, Madam and Eve Unplugged takes on everything from exploding ATMs to Mbeki, Mugabe (and his shopaholic wife, Grace), fuel prices, potholes, corruption, xenophobia and, needless to say, "load shedding".
It's been a dark year in more ways than one, but at least we can still have a laugh at it all (even if there is a touch of hysteria to it!).
Zapiro's new collection, Pirates of Polokwane, which is being launched this evening at Constitution Hill, is similarly fearless (and, yes, it does contain THAT cartoon - the one of Jacob Zuma preparing to rape Lady Justice). You'll notice, for instance, that Ship ANC on the cover has the trademark Zuma showerhead as a masthead, despite the endless huffing and puffing about the use of this comedic device from the Halls of Power. And 'nuff said about what that means for the party's future direction.
Zapiro has been called a national treasure, and keeps us all not only on our toes, but on pointe. His sharp and achingly funny critique remains unbowed in the face of law suits from Mr Love Pants (thanks to the ever-imaginative Andrew Donaldson of The Sunday Times for another superb political moniker), and - yes - death threats from Zuma supporters.
If you'd like to meet Zap himself, and hear from his equally fearless editor at the Sunday Times, Mondli Makhanya, pedal up to Constitution Hill this evening - or to Pollsmoor Prison next week - for the launch of the book. The new super-collection The Mandela Files will be launched at Pollsmoor at the same time.
Just remember to RSVP so that the organisers can know how many chortling people to expect - and, because of the nature of the venue in Cape Town, you'll need to give them your ID number to book a place at that event.
Johannesburg Launch
When: Monday, 17 November 2008
Time: 6:00 PM for 6:30 PM
Where: Women's Gaol, Constitution Hill, Joubert Street, Hillbrow (see Map)
Guest Speaker: Mondli Makhanya
RSVP: / 011 628 3204
Cape Town Launch
When: Thursday, 27 November 2008
Time: 6:00 PM for 6:30 PM 
Where: Recreaction Centre, Pollsmoor Prison, Steenberg Road, Tokai (see Map) 
Guest Speaker: Antjie Krog
RSVP with your ID number by Monday 17 November to: Carmen Timm, / 021 763 3538

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