Johnathan Shapiro, better known as the cartoonist Zapiro has been given the highest honour in Arts by President Emmanuel Macron and French Ambassador Aurélien Lechevallier
Cape Town, South Africa – Johnathan “Zapiro” Shapiro has been celebrated for his contribution to the arts. He was given the highest honour for Arts in France, known as the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres which translates to Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters.
The award was handed over to Zapiro by French Ambassador Aurélien Lechevallier on behalf of the President Emmanuel Macron.
Zapiro started out studying architecture at the University of Cape Town but found he had no passion for the subject and instead, moved over to the art department. He was then conscribed to the army where he refused to carry arms. It was during this time that he found his political voice.
Once his two years were up, he joined several organisations to not only end army conscription but to also combat the apartheid regime. He applied for a scholarship and was awarded one that allowed him to study as a cartoonist in New York.
He worked in New York for a short while but eventually came home to launch his career. It has spanned from 1994, starting at the Sowetan to today where his works are now featured by the Daily Maverick.
In his career, Zapiro faced many challenges, including death threats and the risk of being sued for his works. Being celebrated and honoured by the French Ambassador is a career highlight for sure. Zapiro has been added to the list of brilliant artists which includes Steven Spielberg and Johnny Clegg, to name a few.
Take a look at some of his latest and greatest cartoons below.
— Zapiro (@zapiro) November 7, 2019
— Zapiro (@zapiro) November 1, 2019
— Zapiro (@zapiro) September 27, 2019
#RWC2019 Kicks off today! Will the #Springboks bring the cup home once again?! #1995Winners @SARugbymag @Springboks @NelsonMandela Zapiro’s archival cartoon @SowetanLIVE (26 June 1995) – https://t.co/R6OIjFvNkA pic.twitter.com/6VDSOi8SlC
— Zapiro (@zapiro) September 20, 2019
— Zapiro (@zapiro) July 19, 2019