POPOLI WINS FIRST CARTOONISTS AWARD
Paul Nyemb Ntoogue "Popoli" of Cameroon has been given the first annual award for Courage In Editorial Cartooning by the Cartoonists Relief Network. The prize was awarded by Dr. Robert Russell, Director of the Cartoonists Relief Network at the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists' (AAEC) annual convention in Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA. While Popoli had been expected to receive the award in person, last minute visa problems prevented him from coming. Popoli also recently won Cameroon's National Press Council's Award for Editorial Cartooning for the fifth time. He has asked that they not consider him in future years to give a chance to other cartoonists.
Popoli was forced to flee Cameroon because of threats he received regarding his satirical cartoons, which depict the country's head of state and his family. While exiled in South Africa, Popoli continued to fax his daily cartoon to his paper, Messager Popoli. Funds raised by the Cartoonists Relief Network for Popoli have been spent on drawing materials, and more recently, body guards. According to correspondence with Dr. Russell, Popoli returned to Cameroon in April and has recently been offered refugee status by the Canadian government.