Maddo – It’s a Madd Madd World since 1989!
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?
Maddo, SasaHivi Media and Africa
Africa is full of talents – and full with a lack of opportunities. Talents shine and evaporate south of the Sahara desert in a very fast pace, maybe at the fastest pace in the world. Welcome to the challenge called Africa!
Maddo is one of those great talents of Africa, commenting Kenya, Africa and the whole world since 1989 through his drawing pen, but never reached further than a newspaper which is spelled out on Saturday by an entire nation and on Sunday used to pack fish.
Not just that Maddo’s work is full of humorous anecdotes of a lighter note, Maddo has over the years also set a contra point to Kenyan and African leaders who feel that Africans are not made for democracy and once in power, forget rather quickly that they are not the sole (or soul?) possessors of the people and the country they were meant to administer. While reading and looking through the editions of Madd Madd World through the years, one looks into a mirror of the history of Kenya (and the world) of these particular years!
The whole staff at SasaHivi Media was spelling out Maddo’s Saturday column since years, as the situations in his drawings are very familiar to all of us, as we all live in this unique continent called Africa.
As SasaHivi Media is not just a multimedia company, but also a publishing house in its own right, we are continuously on the search for talents to publish and to make them shine.
The big problem in Africa is not just a lack of money, but also an unwillingness of genuine local and foreign investors to invest in African culture and subsequently to invent and implement financing models where as well the investor as the artist can honestly benefit from. We felt we should take up the challenge to create new avenues for publishing African culture which lacks investors and sufficient start-up funds.
Watching Maddo over the years, we made the decision to take publishing in Kenya and Africa to a next level. We decided to digitize, categorize, classify and publish online Maddo’s entire work since 1989. That’s how the website ‘itsamaddworld.com’ kicked off!
Itsamaddworld.com is the only official website for the artworks of Maddo. ‘It’s a Madd Madd World’ in it’s printed form, was and is original published in Kenya’s ‘The Standard’ newspaper every Saturday since 1989. One can find at itsamaddworld.com the full archive of 'It’s a Madd, Madd World' since its inception. As each original edition of ‘It’s a Madd Madd World’ has to be converted into a format suitable for the internet and classified according to keywords of the content found in each particular issue, the production of the website with the online archive spans a timeframe of 2 years. At the start of the website, only the latest 10 years will be online, each month an earlier year will be added.
SasaHivi Media will update the website on a weekly base, and obliges to put the new weekly edition of 'It’s a Madd, Madd World' on the website on each subsequent Sunday.
The financial concept of itsamaddworld.com inherits that the initial production costs will be met by SasaHivi Media’s own funds, build up by surplus monies earned through the commercial productions of SasaHivi Media. The operational costs will be met by revenues earned by selling advertisement placements on the website, which can come either through third parties (in example Google) or by direct sales. The business risk will be entirely on the side of SasaHivi Media, meaning that SasaHivi Media bears all costs for hosting and maintaining the site, while all revenues earned by the website will go SasaHivi Media for the first years, to recover the production costs. After the initial years, the revenues will be shared on an equal base between SasaHivi Media and Maddo. SasaHivi Media will keep the website online, even if losses occur.
The financial concept is for us not just a model for a once-off project, we believe it can be an example for a new way of financing (cultural) (online) projects in Africa. We have to come back to a healthy relationship between economy, society and culture, as right now this relationship is missing severely. All over Africa projects either don’t take place because of lack of funding or organizations depend entirely on the funding of external organizations, and if the funding is gone, the project is usually gone too.
Itsamaddworld.com is a dynamic and database driven website. This means that the editions can be browsed in different orders, i.e. chronological, by keyword, by most viewed, most commented, by highest rated, etc. On each edition visitors can leave their comments (after logging into the site). The system can determine constantly and automatically which edition has the most comments, has been seen most and has been highest rated. Options like ‘e-mail to a friend’ or ‘print’ are included.
The website also includes a forum where visitors can discuss each week a new weekly hot item, concerning Kenya, Africa or the World, whereby the weekly subject will be derived from the actual edition of Madd Madd World. Also a webshop to order and pay online Maddo merchandise and advertisement space on the website is onboard. Itsamaddworld.com has furthermore an audiovisual archive where all kind of videos relating to Maddo and his work can be found. A highlight is a video in which the then opposition politician Mr. Mwai Kibaki is praising Maddo for his humorous and critical work towards the high and mighty!
Many years later H.E. Kibaki changed his opinion about Maddo a bit. But that's of course his democratic right to do so...
By choosing to advertise on itsamaddworld.com, you are assured of reaching a huge audience, both in Kenya and abroad, all interested in Maddo, Kenya and Africa! Seen the huge popularity of Maddo, we expect itsamaddworld.com to become one of Kenya's most frequently visited websites.
And of course, itsamaddworld.com is not just any site, as Maddo’s work attracts a readership across all ethnic, cultural, economical and political barriers, the same audience will see (and click on) your advertisement as well!
Advertisements will be visible throughout the site and can consist of text advertisements or visual advertisements. Advertisements can be e-mailed to SasaHivi Media and can be ordered as well online in the webshop on itsamaddworld.com, or by contacting the offices of SasaHivi Media in Nairobi.
Instead of donating to your favorite artist, put an advertisement on his website!
Have a look at this unique project here: www.itsamaddworld.com