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Learn more about Thomas O. Honiball


Thomas Ochse Honiball (1905–1990) was a well known South African cartoon artist. Honiball was born on 7 December 1905 in Cradock, Eastern Cape, South Africa. He attended the well known high school for boys in Stellenbosch, Paul Roos Gymnasium. He originally studied architecture at the University of Cape Town. However, he soon realized he needed a less structured way to express his artistic capabilities, and from 1927 to 1930 he studied commercial art in Chicago. During this period he was introduced to American cartoons.
Upon his return to Cape Town, Honiball worked in advertising and later as freelance caricaturist and cartoonist. In 1941 he became the political cartoonist for a major Afrikaans newspaper group, and quickly became one of the best known South African cartoon artists.

In addition to political cartoons, Honiball also published the Oom Kaspaas (Uncle Kaspaas) series, wherein Uncle Kaspaas boasts about his colorful past to his “nephew” Nefie – always to be reminded by some unfortunate event of what had really happened.

Honiball loved to portray animals as having human personalities and qualities, and he produced two series to that effect. Jakkals en Wolf (Jackal and Wolf) told the good and bad times of two friends, a jackal and a wolf, while Adoons-Hulle related the experiences of a baboon family from the Magaliesberg.

On retiring in 1974, Honiball held his first solo exhibition in Pretoria and continued his political caricatures and cartoons until 1978. He died on 22 February 1990 in Montagu.