I DREW THIS CARTOON for my portfolio in response to what I saw as being an over commercial, heavy handed response to small cottage industries, mostly run by impoverished township dwellers, capitalising where they could on Mandela's name. I felt that Mandela belonged to the people - all of us - who love him, and that trademarking his name was the ill-advised approach of his over zealous capitalistic lawyers.
Years down the line, after seeing how con artists have abused our founding father's name for their own (very gross) profit, I understand the need to protect the intellectual property which makes up the Mandela brand. But I still feel it should not be enforced against the little guy trying to eke out a living, or the artist wanting to make a comment.
I was pleased when The Times newspaper in London picked up the cartoon and published it (hence the date a year lafter drawing it), describing the humour (if not the style) as Brookesian - likening it to the work of their resident cartoonist Peter Brookes. A great compliment.
A SNAPSHOT TAKEN ten years into South Africa's democracy, and compares it with one taken ten years before democracy arrived, finds that (for different reasons) Mandela's image remains illusive to the people who helped create it.