James Kamawira, who uses the pseudonym Kham, began his career in cartoons in 1988, when he joined the Kenya Times newspaper as political commentator/illustrator. Before that, he worked in an advertising agency, Hill Ayton, where he honed his skills as a graphic designer. In 1992, Kham won a USAID Training for Development scholarship for an animation course in the United States of America. Before this course, Kham contributed cartoons for the Detroit Free Press and the San Francisco Chronicle on a working tour. He trained in animation for four months at the School of Electronic Art in San Francisco.
In 1994 Kham left the Kenya Times and joined a weekly newspaper, The East African Chronicle. In 1997 he left the Chronicle and joined the East African Standard, where he became Group Editorial cartoonist/illustrator. Kham created a comic book with a Swahili story written by Ruth Wairimu Karani, called Macho ya Mji and published by Sasa Sema Publications. Kham has had a long time running comic strip, ‘Bongoman’, which first appeared in the Kenya Times and runs every Sunday in the Sunday Standard’s Life Magazine. Kham produced two books of Bongoman stories. He also runs the strip Babu and JJ in the same newspaper. Kham has had his work exhibited in Italy, in the exhibition Matite Africane organized by Lai-momo and NGO CEFA in 2002.