It’s a Madd, Madd World

by Maddo

KSh 2,700

It’s A Madd Madd World, the first ever collection of cartoons by Paul Kelemba (MADD)

In the Madd Madd World collection, which covers the 2007-2011 period with its post-election violence and subsequent fragile coalition, Madd has assembled cartoons that depict one of the most volatile episodes in Kenya’s political history. But true to Madd’s exuberant style, some cartoons also take a humorous look at Kenya’s social life. The work featured in this collection was first published by The Standard Newspaper where It’s a Madd Madd World has run for the past 20 years.


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Maddo (which is the artist name of Paul Kelemba), one of Kenya’s most outstanding cartoon artists, is most known in Kenya for his weekly contributions to the Standard Newspaper. The weekly It’s a Madd, Madd World is his flagship and appears in its Saturday edition.It’s a Madd, Madd World has run continuously, uninterrupted, from 1989 when it first appeared at the Daily Nation as a black and white strip. The now full-page, full-colour, composite cartoon feature comments on political and social life with humorous but informative anecdotes. It has endeared itself with a sizeable readership (some say it has the largest regular readership of any column in Kenya) while attracting the wrath of politicians. Maddo is a natural artist, as none of the schools he attended offered art classes. Maddo started off soon after school in 1981 in an advertising agency before producing illustrations for magazines and other periodicals. He joined the Daily Nation in 1986 as an editorial cartoonist and features illustrator before moving on to The Standard. He has also done real-life, action comics (Miguel Sede) and numerous 3-frame humor strips. His work has been featured by numerous publications and TV stations in and outside Kenya. He’s been honored by a number of organizations including awards on merit. Maddo’s work produced since 1989 is awaiting publication in printing after he compiled it at the Bellagio Conference & Study Center in Italy with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation. A TV show is currently in the works from his stable as well. He is also involved in retracing and archiving East African music with Ketebul Music of Nairobi. He has mounted several exhibitions, along with other media artists, at Alliance Française de Nairobi, Goethe Institut and the Japan Information & Culture Centre in Kenya. His work has also been exhibited in other joint efforts in Tanzania, Uganda and Europe. Maddo has toured Japan under the sponsorship of the Japan Foundation to meet and interact with manga (comic) artists in that country. It’s a Madd, Madd World is the longest running column of its kind in the East African region. It is only beaten on the timeline by Edward Gitau’s Swahili humor strip, Juha Kalulu, created in the early 1960s. Maddo claims to have published 1,010,092 editions of the column – anybody doubting that? -Sasa Hivi