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Learn More about Len Sak


Len Sak was born in Port Elizabeth in 1931. While still young he became interested in new media that was becoming widespread in South Africa such as sound films, radio, and comics. His first influence was Prince Valiant by Hal Foster followed by Beano and Dandy, and also political cartoonist, Bob Conolly. It didn’t take long for him to realize his talent in imaginative drawing and by the age of 10 knew he wanted to become a professional cartoonist.

Sak never went to any sort of art school and instead immersed himself in comics and would go on to study at Rhodes University, majoring in Commerce which was more for his parents. While he was there he did illustrations for the Rhodeo newspaper and got his first taste of publishing. He would go on to abandon his degree and move to Johannesburg.

His first big assignment was drawing cartoons for Bantu World. His style was really rare in South Africa and not well known in the black press. Later on he would start drawing political cartoons and illustrations for the Golden City Post and Drum magazine. Soon after he started producing his most well known character, Jojo. Jojo was meant to represent an everyday man whose adventures would show life in a town in a funny and satirical manner. The monthly weekly, and daily appearances have continued for over 50 years.

Len eventually relocated to London and found jobs in the subsidiary of the Daily Morror group’s children’s comic, Fleetway Publications. The work he did was well received, but Len felt like he had more of a connection with his South African readership, so he decided to go back. When he got back to South Africa, he resumed his connection with the Argus owned daily newspaper. He went on to produce both funny and political cartoons, comic features, illustrations, and educational series for newspapers such as as the World, Weekend World, Post, and Sowetan. This would last for the next 40 years.

Surprisingly, Len never chose political sides, despite being concerned about political issues. He remained objective in his work and was able to maintain the deep connection with his readers. His main goal with his cartooning has been to be engaged socially, in what was going on in South Africa. Len is now retired, but still creates illustrations and comics for various NGOs.