Dov Fedler writes:

The seagull cartoon I drew way back in June when we all expected the bad news which was a media and greed circus.

I urged my editors to publish the cartoon as living tribute as I did not want to be associated with all the media predators that were hanging around waiting for our beloved leader to pass on. It reminded me of Ernest Hemingway's Snows of Kiliminjaro, where an injured hunter lies in his tent as his leg that threatens to go gangrenous as vultures gather on a tree in his plain sight. It is also a very old movie starring Gregory Pec, Susan Hayward and Ava Gardner.

I have no doubt that then, Madiba had no illusions about his future. He was, even as a a young man, prepared to die for a principal but not a media circus.

When I woke on Friday morning it was to John Robbies voice already proclaiming tributes to Nelson Mandela and being married to a doctor and having a daughter a doctor, as well as having been frequently in and out of hospitals in the past ten years, the discussions at family tables have frequently been about the realities of someone being on life support for so long.

We had all hoped that this great person would die back then with dignity as we like to see in the movies. But the finality of the news on December 6 clouded the day and the world.

My cartoon which has reached such a wide and generous audience is the single best political cartoon I will ever draw. It is that only because of the privelege I have had of the subject granted to me.

In 1994 I attended a convention of political cartoonists in New Orleans. This was two months after Madiba had been elected president. The convention was attended by three Pulitzer prize winnners - Paul Conrad, Tony Auth and Mike Ramirez. But it was I who was the one most envied as admitted to me also, by Jerry Robinson, The creator of The Joker, Batman's nemesis. They envied me my subject. All they had was Nixon and he was already gone by 1975.

Ben Shahn , one of America's great artists said in the 1920's or 30's that he wished he had been born at the time of some great world changing event like a crucifixion on which to hang his art. My gift has been, to in some small way, record a great life and not a death.
No death followed the leadership of Madiba but celebration. We remember the smile as he confronted the world in that No.6 jersey. highlighting the victory of the human spirit.

Dov Fedler

Dov Fedler

DOV FEDLER is in his 70th year and has been drawing for more than 50 of those. This is self evident in his cartoons where a skilled hand, an intuitive…>

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© Dov Fedler | Jul 05, 2013 | Independent Newspapers


MASTERPIECE: Many have hailed this tribute cartoon by DOV FEDLER as being one his finest in fifty years of drawing. Due to demand, a limited edition of 200 signed prints are available.
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