Born in Cape Town in 1958, Zapiro couldn’t imagine a career in cartooning, so he studied architecture at University of Cape Town.

Couldn’t imagine a career in architecture, so…>

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© Zapiro | Apr 05, 2009 | Sunday Times


This Zapiro cartoon references a famous cartoon from over one hundred years earlier entitled "The Rhodes Colossus" by Edward Linley Sambourne (1892), which in turn referenced the famous Greek statue "The Colossus of Rhodes" (circa 280 BC). [scroll down to see the original cartoon].

Colossus of Rhodes, depicted in a 16th-century engraving by Martin Heemskerck, part of his series of the Seven Wonders of the World

THE COLOSSUS OF RHODES, was a statue of the Greek god Helios, erected in the city of Rhodes on the Greek island of Rhodes by Chares of Lindos between 292 and 280 BC. It is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Before its destruction, the Colossus of Rhodes stood over 30 meters (107 ft) high, making it one of the tallest statues of the ancient world [Wikipedia].

THE SAMBOURNE CARTOON was published two thousand years later in the 10 December 1892 edition of Punch, appearing beside a recent excerpt from The Times about Cecil John Rhodes' plan to extend an electrical telegraph line from Cape Town to Cairo. Rhodes' imperial ambitions were demonstrated by the image of him straddling the continent of Africa (in a similar pose to that of the statue); one foot in the Cape, the other in Cairo, harnessing the landmass with the telegraph cable. [Wikipedia].

ZAPIRO'S CARTOON depicts  Chinese Leader Hu Jintao instead of Rhodes, suggesting that China poses a new imperial threat to Africa. At the time, China had exerted pressure on South Africa's department of Home Affairs not to accept the Dalai Lama as a guest.The original Sambourne cartoon