Motshumi comes full circle

The Initiation, cover by Su Opperman

Mogorosi Motshumi, one of South Africa's longest lasting and most tenacious cartoonists has released his first installment of his long awaited autobiographic, 360 Degrees. The CCIBA as collaborative partner in association with XLibris Publishers, AMAK and Atang Tshikare are proud to have made this endeavour a reality. 360 Degrees as a publication is one of the most invaluable graphic literature publications to date, as it is the first long form narrative in the comic art medium authored and drawn by a black South African. In just under ten years Motshumi has drawn more than 300 A1 size pages depicting his life story, all in the most impoverished conditions with the most basic artist tools, namely pen, paper and pencil and an infinite degree of patience. Using imagination and memory, Motshumi has stripped his life down to the most essential of experiences. Constructing through recollection a narrative based on those instances indispensable to his identity formation and socio-contextual understanding. In this regard, Motshumi's work is a true depiction of subjective veracity, even though it is a narrative construct in the sense that some aspects of his life is intentionally omitted or just in tems of the general fallibility of memory, 360 Degrees is the authentic portrayal of a life authentically lived. 


In this regard, Motshumi's book illustrates how comic art can bridge the gap between the various understandings of the South African context as experienced by different racial groups, since our notion of subjective reality becomes more polarised as economic inequalities continue to grow. Through reading his book, you are transported into his shoes, experiencing a life that practically embodies the post-appartheid reality as experienced by most South Africans in this country. That on the other side of the Rainbow lies a dark territory, and though freedom of oppression was achieved politically, the notion of individual liberation and understanding remains an ongoing personal struggle. This is a must read. 

Motshumi, The Initiation book launch at Bibliophilia. 

Atang Tshikare showing off his Dad's book at the Open Book Literary Festival 2016