Sunday, March 7, 2021

TAYO Fatunla: Nigerian Cartoon Characters with Points of View

OMOBA and Mr TIROGO resend*Years ago I drew these two popular cartoon characters as daily columns at the back of two Nigerian newspapers Punch and Nigerian Herald respectively, before I set off to study Cartoon/Graphics at the Kubert school in New Jersey. Interestingly enough many still remember the iconic cartoon columns then and still appreciate now.

The first character was famously called OMOBA meaning PRINCE and the second, Mr. TIROGO. They were similar in character but for different demographic readership. I was approached by the Nigerian Herald to do a similar format for them, so Mr. TIROGO was created.

OMOBA was a Prince like no other Prince. He was poor and would run social, political and economic and sometimes angry commentaries on the internal affairs of Nigeria. Same with Mr. TIROGO. Some, were lighthearted and some were stinging commentaries that made for uneasy reading and brought about complaints at times.

Their commentaries were usually very short, the columns were small but the characters spoke volumes. It was a known fact that many readers would buy their newspaper to read first the cartoon columns and what the characters had to say.

The columns won me many fans. So I thought I would get OMOBA just this once here on EURWEB to comment about the US presidential election which President elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were winning before the call was made but understandably the media been cautious and EURWEB as well…..Here are formats of the two cartoon columns giving insight into their comments then, for local readership.

TAYO Fatunla
TAYO Fatunla

TAYO Fatunla is an award-winning Nigerian Comic Artist, Editorial Cartoonist, Writer and Illustrator. He is one of the participants of the CARTAN Virtual cartoon exhibition marking 60 years of Nigeria. He is a graduate of the prestigious Kubert School, in New Jersey, US. and recipient of the 2018 ECBACC Pioneer Lifetime Achievement Award for his illustrated OUR ROOTS creation and series – Famous people in Black History – He participated in the UNESCO’s Cartooning In Africa forum held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the Cartooning Global Forum in Paris, France and took part in the Afropolitan Comics virtual comics exhibition arranged by the French Institute in South Africa coinciding with its annual National Arts Festival –[email protected]




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