I met Morak Oguntade fortuitously during the screening of ‘Fela!’ at the New Afrika Shrine, Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos, back in February. “Do you know Morak? Come and meet him,” a senior colleague called me over to their side during the intermission of the event facilitated by The British Council Nigeria, National Theatre (London) and British Deputy High Commission, Lagos. “He is one of those who started ‘Ikebe Super’ with Wale Adenuga; and a very good cartoonist,” he offered by way of introduction.
I requested an interview with Oguntade but we couldn’t meet until five months later in his house when we spoke about his life and artistic engagements.
“I don’t think I could have done anything else,” he began when narrating how he came by his unique art. “It is one of the few things I am moved by,” added the former ‘PUNCH’, ‘Ikebe Super’ and ‘Vanguard’ cartoonist who began drawing as a 17-year-old school leaver. “I used to read lots of comics; they were very influential to everything I did while growing up. My early English vocabulary can be mapped out to texts of comics like ‘Conan the Barbarian’ written by the likes of Roy Thomas. He wrote fine prose and I always had to check the dictionary for words. That was how I got to learn words. That was how I got into the arts and it is a very important part of my life.”
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