Sunday, May 27, 2018
Honoured: Lifetime achievement award to Pioneer Nigerian Cartoonist in Philadelphia
Photo caption - Cartoonist TAYO Fatunla and prints of his OUR ROOTS feature
The ECBACC Pioneer/Lifetime Achievement award was inaugurated in 1984 to honour men and women and many unsung who have made innovative, dynamic and lasting contributions to the Comic Art industry and who have paved the way for others. Nominations are solicited from and submitted by a select ad hoc consortium of comic book historians, writers, artists and aficionados who make their own independent submissions. The 2018 Awards will be awarded to five veteran cartoonists who are modern- day creative pioneers and who have maintained a consistent presence in the industry for over 3 decades.
Former iconic Punch cartoonist and comic artist TAYO Fatunla is one of the awardees. The award is for his contributions to Black history through his cartoon feature OUR ROOTS. TAYO began his cartooning career in Nigeria, drawing for local and mainstream newspapers and magazines including the popular cartoon commentary column OMOBA for the Punch newspapers and TIROGO for the Nigerian Herald. He attended the prestigious Kubert school, an art school based in Dover New Jersey. It was in the US that he created OUR ROOTS whilst in art school. OUR ROOTS is an illustrated educational feature by TAYO through which he has drawn and highlighted the achievements of Black people in the diaspora and has also highlighted Africans and Nigerians who have made great contributions to world history but have gone unrecognized. Some are well known but then TAYO believes that there are others who should be appreciated.
TAYO and four other well-known and established African American cartoonists and awardees namely Ray Billingsley, Barbara Brandon-Croft, Jerry Craft and Ralph L. Stevenson, cartoon who are pioneers of Comic art in their own right and will be presented with awards in Philadelphia.
OUR ROOTS has featured in Newspapers in the UK such as the Voice newspaper and in US based newspapers such as the New York Amsterdam News, Sacramento Observer, Miami Times, the Chicago Defender and the Atlanta Voice. Many African Americans so much relate to OUR ROOTS and have embraced it through the years. OUR ROOTS was also published briefly in the editions of Nigeria’s Sunday Times and ThisDay newspapers. TAYO has done projects for the BBC World service and the British museum, being spin-offs from OUR ROOTS. He has also contributed cartoons to Sketch Online.