Esteemed cartoonist, Nanda Soobben
Nanda Soobben earned his diplomas from ML Sultan Technical College in Commercial Art and Parson’s School of Design in New York for animation. He is a political activist and Black Cartoonist. He receives his honour from the Faculty of Art and Design on April 22 at 10am.
As a cartoonist, his academic achievements are judged by his numerous national and international exhibitions, his role as a political activist through his work as a Black Cartoonist and his work in local and international media. In 2007, Soobben received an Amnesty International Award for speaking the truth through cartoons, a Special Congressional Recognition Award at the World Affairs Council (WAC) and an international Certificate of Honourfor showing leadership through his work.
In 2007, Soobben was awarded the United States Congressional Award for Outstanding Achievement by Nancy Pelosi, An Amnesty International Award for using his cartoons to “tell the truth” and a Certificate of Honour from the City of San Francisco. In 2009, he won The Heritage Award for being one of six South Africans honoured for their contribution towards the preservation and promotion of South African heritage and culture.
In the Cartoonist Category in 2009, Soobben won the Vodacom Journalist of the Year (KZN) award, which he has been awarded twice before.
Nanda Soobben continues his social activism through his work and is the proprietor of the Centre for Fine Art, Animation and Design (CFAD) in Durban. Nanda uses his school, which offers a variety of courses, to develop talents of students across the racial divide. He has also been commissioned to develop an animated series on the life of former President Nelson Mandela.
Writing the Foreword to Soobben’s book, Editor, Kaizer Nyatsumba describes him as “… one of this country’s great cartoonists.” He said: “To be counted among its (Apartheid’s) innumerable sins is the fact not only that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of our darker-hued South Africans’ innate talents lay undiscovered, un-nurtured and, therefore, unutilised or under-utilised; but there is the ignoble fact that there are many others whose talents were not allowed to be displayed before a bigger audience and to flourish. It was such talents’ fate to blossom unseen, unappreciated and without being accorded the recognition and praise due to them”. In Soobben’s second book titled “Witness to a Decade”, the late Prof Fatima Meer said: “Nanda Soobben is the first cartoonist emerging from the previously disadvantaged communities of the apartheid era. His work is in itself a measure of our achievements as a democracy in the last decade.”
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Tel: 031 305 2480
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