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Loading… CAIB’s ‘OPEN CARTOON CAMPAIGN’ on the Environment to Tour Parts of Africa

CAIB Media

And the “Loading…” continues!? The above mega length editorial cartoon by Francodus entitled CONSEQUENCES, will lead many other punchy and engaging environment and health related cartoons, comics, photo stories and info-graphics contributed to CAIB project by various cartoonists and photojournalists from across the world on a traveling campaign engaging youths of Africa on sustaining the environment. Have we got news for you?

It was the third time in 6 years that art and media experts interfaced with other relevant stakeholders in development communication were gathered in Nigeria to dialogue and deploy comedic art and media in addressing socio-political health and environment issues and other social development concerns in favour of Africa’s development and productivity, within the prism of graphic humour, edutainment and creative eductions.

An interface of both the young and the old, pundits and green horns, teachers and students, media practitioners and media consumers; the general public - all were gathered at the NUJ Press Center in Benin City, Edo State of Nigeria, on November 24, 2016, to witness the formal flag off of a planned touring ‘Open Cartoon Campaign’ on “Sustaining the Environment through Youth Engagement” as  the high point of the 3rd Cartoon Africa International Biennial (CAIB), with the theme: “SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENT EQUALS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT”.  

OPEN CARTOON CAMPAIGN: “For the next couple of years or more, as the basic funding needs are fully met, we expect this open cartoon campaign to travel from select community to community, town to town and city to foster dialogues and effective public education on  achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on improved WASH, sustainable environment, etc. within the prism of graphic humour and creative education targeting youths”; Mr. Francis U. Odupute (a.k.a Francodus), the initiator and curator of Cartoon Africa International Biennial (CAIB) project informed the crowd while introducing his national award winning mega length editorial cartoon, “CONSEQUENCES” on November 24, 2016, in Benin City, Nigeria, during the 3rd edition of CAIB festival.

Public talks, debates and interactive sessions fostered by the open cartoon campaign and visual journalism training course/workshop centered on health and environment reporting as well as changing people’s attitudes and behaviours towards our environment/eco-system; and the eco-friendly premises of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), along Reservation Road, G.R.A. in Benin kingdom, hosted the historic and symbolic gathering of journalists, health and environment stakeholders and other members of the public, who took turns to comment and add their voices to the agitations of many Nigerians for a safer and pollution-free environment, especially in the Niger Delta.

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Edo State Council chairman, Sir Roland Osakue, represented by Mr. Lucky Isibor, financial secretary of the union, commenting to flag off the traveling Open Cartoon Campaign on “Sustaining the Environment through Youth Engagement”, at the premises of the NUJ Press Center in Benin City.

Before adding his protest brush stroke of black paint to the “loading” mega length open cartoon entitled “CONSEQUENCES”, the Edo State chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and chairman of the occasion, Sir Roland Osakue, ably represented by the NUJ Financial Secretary, Mr. Lucky Isibor, lauded the CAIB initiative, calling it a “novel” initiative. He said Nigerian government must show sincerity in the promise to reducing gas flaring in the Niger Delta and commitment to the cleaning of Ogoniland, stressing that the Nigerian media needed to seek more innovative and easier ways to properly report on the environment with impactful stories.

 Other eminent personalities present at the CAIB event took turns to comment on the open cartoon campaign on environmental protection, and to add their own protest brush strokes of black paints to the “loading…” open cartoon as a way of highlighting the impending consequences of the environmental degradation in Nigeria and climate crimes being perpetuated people in Nigeria, especially in the Niger Delta.  Mrs. Ijeoma G. Umeh (Chairman of NUJ, Observer Chapel) commenting on the Open Cartoon Campaign…

Earlier at the event opening, the guests were enthused with the formal public presentation and distribution of free copies of the first edition of “WASH4All (Water Access, Sanitation and Hygiene) comic books and cartoon animation series” to all guests at the event. The WASH4All comics and animation series is a part of CAIB’s public education products being produced by Horizon International, one of CAIB project media partners, in collaboration with MediaBFI, CAIB’s lead implementing body. (Download your own free copy of the WASH4All comic book and more freebies here at: and also from Horizon International’s website:

 CAIB’s Curator and convener of the event, Mr. Francis Umendu Odupute, said achieving health and wellness for all through realization of total sanitation, improved hygiene culture and access to clean water supply to secure a healthier future for all in our world is one of the most important objectives of the Post-2015 Development Agenda of the United Nations (UN), and that youth engagement was central to achieving a sustainable environment in the context of securing Africa of the future, hence the ongoing BFI WinS project  and creative education/workshops for young people on environmental protection and moral capital development.

Odupute said drawing attention to and spreading awareness on environmental protection, water access, sanitation and hygiene in favour of Africa’s productivity and sustainable development remains one core focus of the CAIB collaborative agenda since it was established in November, 2012. He told the gathering that the printing and distribution of print copies of the WASH4All comic books so far in Nigeria and parts of Africa and beyond, is a strategic milestone in the CAIB project’s many objectives –“ to deploy info-graphics, comics journalism, cartoon animation videos and other new media/multimedia digital tools, as well as strategic capacity building/recruitment of youths, to  broaden public education/awareness that can gradually trigger paradigm shifts and attitude changes on sustaining the environment in Africa, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

“…living unhygienic life has consequences; poor sanitation has its consequences…we have a responsibility to keep our environment always clean and neat to avert diseases and illnesses”, Dr. Toyin Faboya of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) briefly lectured at the event.O

 dupute used the opportunity to call on individuals, corporate bodies, NGOs and donor agencies, etc. far and near to support the BFI cause and DONATE to the CAIB project. He emphasized that the free WASH4All comic book being distributed to all is the first of a planned 13-part comic series being produced via the CAIB platform by MediaBFI and Horizon International to positively engage young people in the fight against WASH-related diseases and help them to realize what they can do for themselves, their friends and their families alone and with the help of others to lead healthy lives and protect the environment.

MediaBFI has been visiting selected schools in Edo State, educating schoolchildren and distributing the WASH4All comics for free as part of an ongoing health and wellness outreach tagged ‘BFI WASH in School (WinS) project’, thanks to generous support from Horizon International, The Pollination Project (TPP) and some individual partners. See:  It is expected that the free WASH4All comics and animated videos will get to more African youths and schoolchildren in the course of the planned traveling “Open Cartoon Campaign” tagged “Sustaining the Environment Through youth Engagement”, and thereby broaden the awareness of young people in Africa about the SDGs on sustainable environment, water access, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).   Front view of the NUJ Press Center, Benin City, venue of the 3rd CAIB festival and kick off of the ‘Open Cartoon Campaign’.

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