Comic Characters Fight to End Gender Violence in Africa
A private mini museum of cartoons and comics has been set up in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria, by the organisers of the ongoing Cartoon Africa International Biennial (CAIB) festival. Arguably Africa’s premier cartoon and comic art museum, and definitely Nigeria’s first ever cartoon museum, the private humour art space is projected to metamorphose into a world class institution for the promotion of contemporary communication art researches in Africa and for cultural exchanges and creative education.
The yet-to-be-launched “CAIB Cartoon Museum” is sequel to the successful opening of the 1st Cartoon Africa International Biennial (CAIB) festival/exhibition on 23rd November, 2012, at White Space in Ikoyi, Lagos State, Nigeria. All selected cartoons by the event’s jury were collected into a temporary space at house number 4, Oghagbon Street, Evbuotubu in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria, by FICDATA, a community based, art and media organization in Benin City and the main facilitators of the CAIB programme.
It was indeed one of the most challenging creative and intellectual tasks of their lives in one sitting - selecting the best from a bunch of bests!
But for some 5 complete hours in a stretch, a steep eight-man jury led by international awards-winning cartoon journalist and artist, Francis Umendu Odupute, the initiator and curator of the first Cartoon Africa International Biennial Festival (CAIB), graded and selected what they regarded as the “ground-breakers” in a history-making communication art strategy deploying cartoons and humour Art to collaboratively push for sustainable development in Africa, and to promote African cartooning culture, artistic excellence and cultural exchanges in a global context, within the prism of humour.
The National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM), through the National Museum, Benin City, Edo State, provided the venue/space for the CAIB-2012 jury exercise with some of its Exhibition Unit staff fully involved to ensure the comfort of all jury members and that the selection process went in line with international best practices and in conformity with the thematic framework of the CAIB 2012 programme. Finally, the following results emerged from the office of the CAIB-2012 Central Working Committee:
Within the frame work of the Protocol to the African Chapter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (a.k.a the A.U. Protocol on Women’s rights), and in the context of advancing the Millennium Development Goals (MGDs), the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) Edo State chapter, and the FIC Development Advocacy Through Art (FICDATA) last week strategized to garner more media and artistic support and participation in the African regional comic series project aimed at spreading awareness of the AU Protocol as well as information sharing on other areas of the gender agenda in Africa, especially in Nigeria.
In a ground breaking planning meeting held in Benin City last week at the instance of FICDATA and the African Press cartoon syndication company (APC), in respect of the forthcoming CARTOON AFRICA International biennia festival /contest (CAIB) in Lagos, the leadership of NAWOJ Edo State, represented by the association’s chairperson, Comrade Ijeoma Umeh, noted that gender balance, justice and equality remain central to any efforts for meaningful democratic progress and social development of any society, hence the need for increased massive awareness creation, interventions and actions to ending all forms of violence against women and girls in our society.