Friday, April 19, 2024
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Beyond Textbooks: Punch Foundation, Historians, American Corner, Academics stress importance of Cartooning on Educational Development in Nigeria

For many, the word “cartoon” evokes caricatures that tend to prompt laughter when captured with creativity and punch.

However, journalists have come to understand that while a picture says a thousand words, cartoons evoke powerful emotions that inspire or trigger both intended and unintended outcomes.

Akin Lasekan is recognized as the first cartoonist in Nigeria, having worked with the West African Pilot newspaper. It’s interesting to note that in 1908, “Fantasmagorie,” considered by animation historians as the world’s first cartoon, was released.

As the power of cartoons evolved, they became established as a vital force within the political struggle to liberate Nigeria from British colonization.

Today, editorial journalism recognizes that sketching and cartooning deserve a prime spot in Nigeria’s educational development, as captured by Jimoh’s reporting for LightRay! Media.


Jimoh Elizabeth Oluwaseyi

Knowledge is power, but information is key. This sentiment resonated deeply with students and lecturers who attended the cartooning workshop organized by the Punch Media Foundation in collaboration with the US Mission to Nigeria. Held as a week-long event at the American Corner in Lekki, Lagos State, Nigeria, the event aimed to shed light on the importance of cartooning in journalism.

Dubbed “Sketch and Satire: The Art and Impact of Editorial Cartooning,” the workshop sought to raise awareness among lecturers and students about the significance of incorporating cartooning into journalism curriculum.

Attendees at the Sketch and Satire workshop organised by Punch Media Foundation include emerging satirists, cartoonists and experts in the field. The event was held at the American Corner, Lekki on 23rd February, 2024. PC: Jimoh.

Dr. Akin Onipede an editorial cartoonist, art historian and creative arts professor underscored the resilience of journalism during Nigeria’s military era. However, he noted that even in the democratic era, challenges persist, emphasizing the need to harness the power of language and merge digital media with cartooning in contemporary journalism.

Onipede also highlighted the importance of encouraging more female students to pursue cartooning due to its potential for increased visibility compared to sculpturing. He emphasized the unique talent required to condense meaningful messages into a concise space, asserting that a cartoonist’s work must effectively communicate its message.

Mr Ed Keazor, an activist and lawyer appreciating Punch Media Foundation for their unwavering support. PC: Jimoh.

During the interactive session, Mr. Adam Suleman of Lagos State University and other lecturers advocated for the inclusion of cartooning in tertiary educational curricula, citing widespread student ignorance about the field.

The workshop concluded with an announcement by Mr. Temidayo Famotinmi, who emphasized American Corner’s mission to support young professionals, students, and lecturers by providing educational advising, professional skills development, and cultural programs.

Mr. Temidayo Famotinmi enlightening participants about the purpose of America Corner. PC: Jimoh.

Notable attendees included Dr. Akin Onipede, an editorial cartoonist and creative arts professor, as well as Mrs. Rebecca and her team from the Punch Media Foundation, who played a pivotal role in the workshop’s success.

Barbara Brandon-Croft, American Cartoonist and representative of the U.S mission in Nigeria at the American Corner. PC: Jimoh.

The event left a lasting impression, inspiring participants to not only write but also visually convey conversations through drawing. Attendees from Anchor University, Lagos State University, and the Nigerian Institute of Journalism were treated to colourful souvenirs and a sumptuous meal as the cartooning workshop came to a close.

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