Missionary Cartoonist: An Exhibit of the Cartoons of the Rev. Dr. Morgan Johnson (Spring 1993)

In the Spring of 1993, the Archives Department of Pitts Theology Library presented an exhibit of the cartoons of the Reverend Doctor Morgan Johnson. In addition to the cartoons which Rev. Johnson deposited has deposited in the archives, he allowed the library to exhibit a number of cartoons from his private collection. The staff of the Pitts Theology Library wish to express our thanks to Rev. Johnson for his generosity and assistance in preparing that exhibit as well as his willingness to allow this exhibit catalog to be mounted on our WWW server.


Umbowo'S Talking Cartoons. A forward by Esekiel C. Makunike, the former editor of Umbowo

The Rev. Dr. Morgan Johnson


Illustrations for Umbowo before the beginning of the cartoon series.

Umbowo, Vol. 22, No 10, February, 1963.

The masthead and cover design of a cross superimposed over the outline of Africa made use of linoleum blocks.

Umbowo hwe Vana, Vol 1, No. 1, May, 1963.

Umbowo hwe Vana (Children's Witness) was inserted in the adult Umbowo. It was written and illustrated by Morgan Johnson using the pen-name Tsuro, the Shona word for Hare. The picture of Mr. Tsuro made use of linoleum block. Inside this children's section is a Bible story comic strip written and drawn by another missionary artist, Mr. Hall Duncan, then stationed in Johannesburg, South Africa. The back page is a maze to help two children find their way to church, also making use of linoblocks.

Umbowo, Vol. 22, No 8, October, 1963.

The illustration makes use of linoleum blocks using three colors based on a design for a stained glass window produced by a participant in the 1963 Arts Workshop, Moffat Mandisodza. Dr. Johnson led the visual art section of the annual arts workshop from 1963 through 1974, and from 1983 through 1990. Elsewhere in the same issue are reports from the music and drama sections of the workshop. More than half of this issue is in English.

Umbowo, Vol. 22, No. 9, November, 1963.

The illustration makes use of a linoleum block to illustrate the Bible story from St. Mark 10:17-22 about the Rich Young Ruler. About half of this issue is in Shona.

Umbowo hwe Vana, Nov. 1963.

Inserted into the above issue was a page of the Children's Witness. The illustrations make use of lino-blocks illustrating a poem written by a teacher training student, John Chauke.

Umbowo hwe vana.

Linoleum block illustration for a picture-puzzle. The text below the smiling face described a happy person with a positive personality. When the page was rotated, a frowning face was revealed, and the text below the rotated illustration described an unhappy and angry person with a negative personality (original issue and date not available).


Cartoons by Morgan Johnson about the Rhodesia Crisis, U.D.I., and Britain's efforts toward a negotiated settlement.

Umbowo, Vol 48, No. 2, April, 1965

This was the first cartoon Morgan drew for the new editor of Umbowo, Mr. Ezekiel Makunike. The cartoon supported an editorial on page 4 about the recent visit to Rhodesia of Mr. Arthur Bottomley, the then Commonwealth Secretary. The cartoon made use of a famous landmark near Rhodesia's capital, the balancing rocks, that appear frequently on tourist brochures, and even on currency notes. Bottomley is pictured bringing these rocks back to Britain's Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, as his report from his visit (February 21 - March 3). The largest rock is pictured teetering dangerously between the weight of Rhodesia's Prime Minister, Ian Smith, and a traditional chief representing the chief's council that Smith had been able to persuade to support him in his desire to unilaterally declare independence (U.D.I.) from Britain, and the weight of the African nationalist parties, represented by Joshua Nkomo (P.C.C., the caretaker organization for the banned Z.A.P.U.), then in a restriction and Rev. Ndabaningi Sithole (Z.A.N.U.), then in prison.

Umbowo, Vol. 48, No. 3, May, 1965.

The second cartoon made use of Cecil Rhodes' unfulfilled dream of a railway from Capetown to Cairo. Ian Smith, the Prime Minister and Leader of the Rhodesian Front Party is driving the train towards Hendrick Verwoerd's South Africa where African nationalist aspirations appeared to be effectively bound and gagged. Nationalist leaders look helplessly towards the north where African leaders Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, representing the Organization of African Unity, and Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia appear distressed at Rhodesia's southward direction, undeterred by more moderate Europeans in Rhodesia supporting the Rhodesia Party and Wilson's threats from the signal tower.

Umbowo, Vol. 49, No. 9, October, 1966.

Even after U.D.I. (November 11, 1965), Britain still took initiatives in trying to obtain a negotiated settlement. The cartoon Hark, Hark, the Dogs do Bark was in response to the first official visit of a British minister to the rebel regime after U.D.I., Wilson's newly appointed Commonwealth Secretary, Herbert Bowden. The choice of barking dogs was inspired by African nationalists' disappointment in the toothless bulldog in Britain's unwillingness to use force to break Smith's i llegal rebellion. Their barking represented what one British parliamentarian referred to as talks about talks. The editor, Mr. Makunike, extended this phrase by stating talks , counter-talks, and talks about talks have been the order of the year. Bowden's talking with Smith did lead to talks aboard the H.M.S. Tiger in December, 1966, which produced proposals which were rejected by Smith's government.

Umbowo, Vol. 49, No. 10, November, 1966.

Britain's promise of no independence before majority rule was the background for this cartoon in which the African majority is represented as riding a donkey which Wilson tries to tempt forward with an apple and Smith tries to hold back by holding on to the donkey's tail.

Umbowo, Vol. 50, No. 7,July, 1967.

After six months of silence, Wilson took another initiative by sending Conservative peer and former High Commissioner for the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, Lord Alport, to Rhodesia for further talks. This cartoon represents Alport's arrival as a large question mark.

Umbowo, Vol 50, No. 11, November, 1967.

Four months after Alport's June visit, another envoy from Britain arrives in Salisbury, Britain's new Commonwealth secretary, Mr. George Thomson. He is pictured ringing the doorbell and holding a brief case which includes the names of former spokesmen from Britain.

Umbowo, Vol 51, No. 5, May, 1968.

Smith's efforts had been directed towards designing a new constitution that would satisfy his party's goal of holding on to White minority rule in Rhodesia and also include some mechanism for gradual African involvement in government. A constitutional commission was created and its report was published in April, 1968, referred to as the Whaley Report. Mr. Makunike wrote a critical editorial of the report entitled Nationalists say No to Whaley Report. The cartoon supporting this re port pictures the proposed constitutional parity between the White minority and the Black majority as the balanced see-saw, the balance being achieved by extending the leverage of the White minority.

Umbowo, Vol. 51, No. 10, October, 1968.

A year later another envoy from Britain Mr. James Bottomley, under-secretary for the Commonwealth, was sent to try to reopen talks. The cartoon pictures him with a brief case out of which is seen a tiger's tail, the subscript reading, Is the tale still the tiger?, referring to the Tiger talks if 1966. The cartoon was a linoleum cut.

Umbowo, Vol 51, No. 11, November, 1968.

(The cartoon was reprinted in the September, 1975 issue of Umbowo, Vol. 58, No.9). Continuing talks appear to have no influence on the direction still pursued by the rebel Smith Regime. In the November cartoon, Wilson is pictured as a silent but worried owl perched on a sign pointing upstream towards unimpeded progress towards Majority Rule. Smith is pictured paddling furiously down the Zambezi towards Victoria Falls. The cartoon makes use of Smith's famous phrase referring to majori ty rule as not in my lifetime! The proximity of the Falls suggest that the lifetime of the Rhodesia Ship of State may not be long if it continues in the direction it is going.

Umbowo, Vol. 52, No. 3, March, 1969.

The Rhodesia parliament presented the 1969 Constitution for a referendum. A constitution based on the Whaley Report would have included Two stages, i.e., a constitution that would look toward a future restructuring to incorporate greater African participation. The 1969 constitution would incorporate in one stage the kind of parity or balance of power between the White minority and the Black majority and did not envisage any future majority rule at all. That was what U.D.I was a bout. It would be a referendum of a basically white electorate for the white minority, so the cartoon suggests, the new constitution would be like the axe used to kill the chicken.

Umbowo, Vol. 65, No. 4, April, 1972.

Renewed efforts by Britain for an honorable settlement to the Rhodesian crisis came as a result of the Conservative Party's victory in 1970. The new Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary, Sir Alec Douglas-Holmes, had been Britain's Prime Minister before Labor's victory in 1964, and so took up the Rhodesia issue with previous experience. His efforts led to a settlement with Smith in November, 1971 which required endorsement by the Rhodesian people as a whole. The procedure adopted to satisfy this last requirement was to set up a Commission under the Leadership of Lord Peace, a respected senior judge. The commission made a massive effort to interview a broad spectrum of the Rhodesia population, contacting more than 100,000 people before the exercise was completed in March of 1972. The cartoon pictures the overwhelming no vote predicted by the A.N.C., the Africa National Congress. This prediction was proved correct with the majority African vot e registering a 36 to 1 proportion of votes, compared to the European, Coloured, and Asian minority (less than 5% of the total population) registering a 14 to 1 yes vote.

Cartoons about Worldwide sanctions against Rhodesia's U.D.I, Rhodesia's newspaper censorship, and efforts to suppress opposition.

Umbowo, Vol. 48, No. 10, December, 1965.

On the 16th December following Rhodesia's U.D.I of 11th November, 1965, the Security Council of the United Nations declared worldwide mandatory trade sanctions against the illegal regime. The December cartoon depicts Smith unable to fill his tank, the heads of states supporting the U.N. sanctions are pictured blocking the world oil supplies tanker from replenishing the supply. DeGaulle representing France stands with the others, but looking the other way with some doubt, France being one of four nations on the Security Council abstaining from the vote. South Africa and Angola (then still a colony of Portugal) are seen coming to the rescue.

Umbowo, Vol. 49, No. 2, March, 1966.

In this cartoon, Smith is pictured pumping up the tire of a bicycle. Tied to his bicycle is a drooping flag with his well-known slogan, Forward Rhodesia, the bicycle leaning against a speed limit sign.

Umbowo, Vol. 57, No. 3, March, 1974.

Eight years later the gasoline embargo was still being felt, though with the help of South Africa it was never crippling. The cartoon makes play of offering an alternative to gasoline transport, the traditional african sledge used for carrying grain, called a sandanga in the Shona language. This cartoon was drawn and first used in 1967 (Umbowo, Vol. 50, No. 3, March, 1967).

Umbowo, Vol. 49, No. 1, January/February, 1966.

Sanctions against the sale of Rhodesia tobacco was more effective. Before U.D.I. tobacco represented about one-third of Rhodesian's exports. After U.D.I, unsold tobacco was even used for fertilizer. Rhodesia tobacco was too easily identified to be smuggled out through a third party trader. The cartoon is a response to a government directive to substitute other crops for tobacco. It makes use of United Methodist Church's teaching of abstinence from tobacco use which is well known in R hodesia. (United Methodist Women in fact forbid its members to work in tobacco fields.)

Umbowo, Vol. 49, No. 6, July, 1966.

Spanning the gorge just below Victoria Falls is a railway bridge completed at the turn of the century. Before U.D.I., it was a major supply line for Zambia. In 1966, Zambia cut off the use of this railway line in support of U.N. sanctions, seeking alternate routs through Angola and Mozambique through Mali. To assist Zambia, China constructed the famous TanZam railway from Dar esSalaam, Tanzania, to Kapili Poshi, Zambia. The traditional African name for the Victoria Falls (in the Lozi language) is Musi O Tunya, which has been translated, the smoke that thunders.

Umbowo, Vol. 50, No, 1, December/January, 1967.

After more than a year of sanctions, it was clear that Rhodesia's rebellion was still not showing any signs of collapse. African leadership was losing patience with any hope of peaceful negotiation and were planning more seriously for an armed confrontation with the White settler regime. In this cartoon, the then Secretary General of the United Nations, UThant, is pictured bringing a Christmas present of a ticking time bomb.

Umbowo, Vol, 49, no. 2, March, 1966.

Within Rhodesia, U.D.I brought censorship in an effort to control internal opposition to the rebel regime. The cartoon drawn for the November, 1965, issue announcing U.D.I. was the first of Morgan Johnson's cartoons to be censored. The procedure involved taking all proofs of text and pictorial materials to the local censorship office for approval. That which was censored was confiscated (and filed away) never to be published. The editor of Umbowo, Ezekiel Makunike, followed the examp le of the Rhodesia Herald, which left blank areas where censored materials, pictures, or text were supposed to appear. In this cartoon, the Minster of Information, Mr. P.K. Van der Byl, is pictured examining blank newsprint which he has mistakenly thought was a censored publication printed entirely blank.

Drawing for a cartoon that was censored.

In the interest in economy, it became the practice to take preliminary drawings to the censorship office for approval, thus saving the time and expense of inking in and making a block for cartoons that were not approved. One of the cartoons turned down by the censor was in response to legislation introduced in parliament to legalize racial segregation in Rhodesia, the Property Owners (Residential Protection) Bill. the drawing pictures Partridge bricking up the divisions between the official racial classifications then prevailing: the European (white), Asian and Coloured (Oriental and those of mixed parentage), and African (black). Censorship was ended in April, 1967. However, laws related to subversive statements continued in force. Two Umbowo editors, Mr. Emerson Chikwanha and Mr. Caleb Mukasa, were convicted and given suspended sentences, and Morgan Johnson was eventually tried and exported, and Umbowo finally banned as a subversive publication.

Umbowo, Vol. 48, No. 6, June, 1965.

The Smith regime continued the practice of previous governments of restricting and detaining without trial persons considered to be a threat. Restrictions originally required that a person's movement be restricted to a designated area surrounding the place where the person lived. In an effort to control the growing political aspiration of the African majority, a new form of restriction was introduced in which politically active persons would be removed to an isolated region of the country and restric ted to a restriction camp. Morgan Johnson visited two of these camps in January, 1965, one at Ghona Kudzingwa in the Southeast (for members of the ZAPU party) and one at Hwahwa in the center of the country (for members of the ZANU party). Johnson was a pastor of a circuit adjacent to Old Mutare at that time and the first visit was to see an officer in his circuit UMYF who had been so restricted. The cartoon was based on this visit. Ghona Kudzingwa was located in the land set aside as a g ame reserve. It was said that the fence around the camp was to keep the elephants out. The Minster of Law and Order, Desmond Lardner-Burke is pictured reading out the restriction notice. The repository to his right contained items banned for having politically subversive meaning, fur hats and carved walking canes. The second visit was to see other United Methodist members, who were restricted at the other camp.

Umbowo, Vol. 56, No. 2, February, 1973.

As moderate African leaders were detained and restricted, the possibility of negotiated progress towards majority rule began to seem futile. Nationalist parties turned more and more to planning a violent overthrow of the minority European rule. Invading guerrilla units began to pass over into the border regions of the country. One means used to persuade the village people of the legitimacy of a war of liberation was to make use of traditional mediums who could speak for the ancestral spirits, the midzimu. The cartoon pictures Smith consulting a traditional doctor, a nganga, as to how to deal with the midzimu.

Umbowo, Vol. 56, No. 4, April, 1973.

It was difficult for leaders of the Rebel Regime to believe that the African people could have thought up the idea of majority rule on their own. They, therefore, looked for subversive influences from outside and foreign missionaries were considered a prime suspect. United Methodist missionary Dr. Norman Thomas, then a teacher in the United Theological College in Rhodesia, was declared a prohibited immigran t (P.I.) while on furlough in the United States. As in all such cases, deportation or prohibited return, the reasons were not given. But it was known that the week before the Thomas's left for furlough he included in a prayer given at the Theological College graduation exercises prayers for African political leaders in detention and restriction. The Rhodesia Herald made this prayer item the front page headlines. The scroll lists others, mis sionaries, journalists, and other ex-patriots who had been declared prohibited immigrants.

Cartoons about Race Relations, Land Apportionment and Separate Development.

Umbowo, vol. 50, No. 8, August, 1967.

The Rhodesian Front party came to power in Rhodesia in 1962 on a platform based on reversing the trend towards reducing racial segregation practices and giving increased power to the African majority. One campaign ad used by the Rhodesian Front during the 1962 election was a photograph of the feet and legs of school children of different races walking together with a caption, Are we ready for this? The caption for this cartoon for Umbowo had the caption, Why can't we live together?

Umbowo, Vol. 50, No. 12, December, 1967.

Segregation had been a feature of Rhodesian society from the very beginning of European settlement in the 1890's. The first Native Reserve was established in 1894. The Land Apportionment Act became law in 1930 which divided the whole country into African and European lands. Following this legislation Africans who were living on lands designated European became squatters even if they had lived on the land for hundreds of years before the white settlers entered the country. By 1964, ed African (95% of the population) was 45% of the land, and land designated European (5% of the population) was 37% of the land. Areas designated African were usually poor land for farming, the highlands with better rainfall being reserved for Europeans. In years of drought the African farm lands were the hardest hit, and this cartoon attempted to dramatize their plight. (The same cartoon was printed again in Umbowo, Vol. 53, No. 4, April, 1970.)

Umbowo, Vol. 51, No. 6, June, 1968.

In times of sever drought the government did make arrangements to help get food to drought stricken areas. In 1968, a work for food program provided rural work projects to be paid for in food. In the cartoon, the African farmer asks the government administrator of the program, Ko, Mari yechikoro? (Shona for, And what about money for school fees?) (The cartoon was used again in the December issue.)

Umbowo, vol. 52, No. 9, September, 1969.

In keeping with the country's pattern of racial segregation, there were separate hospitals for Europeans and for Africans. When the University of Rhodesia and Nysaland was established by Royal Charter in 1957 it was established as a multi-racial institution. The University's medical school was opened in 1963 and as it grew it became necessary to establish a teaching hospital for its multi-racial student body. In 1969 the new teaching hospital was opened to both African and European patients, but to a llay the anxieties of European patients who feared being treated by African doctors, all patients were given the privilege of indicating their preference for the race, and sex, of the doctors attending them, hence the question the nurse asks the patient in the cartoon.

Umbowo, Vol. 52, No. 10, October, 1969.

Chief Rekayi Tangwena was not recognized by the Rhodesian government because his people lived in land designated as European. In 1969 the government tried to evict his people as 'squatters' from the Gaerezi Ranch in Nyanga district. Chief Tangwena was brought to court repeatedly on charges under the Land Apportionment Act and the Law and Order Maintenance Act. Authorities confiscated cattle, burned and bulldozed homes, and destroyed cultivated fields. But the Tangwena people hid out in the mountains or retreated across the border into Mozambique, only to return and rebuild and replant. Chief Tangwena became a symbol of resistance in the struggle for majority rule and after Zimbabwe was established as an independent nation in 1980, he was officially installed as a chief and was also elected a senator to the new government. The words of the bewildered child in the cartoon, Nyika yedu iripiko?', may be translated, Where is our land?" or Where is our country?

Umbowo, Vol. 53, No. 4, April, 1970.

At the beginning of 1970, almost all of the primary education of Africans in the rural areas were mission schools aided by the government. The principle aid given by government was the salaries of the teachers. In 1970 legislation was introduced to require African parents to contribute 5% of the primary school teachers' salaries. Most church denominations that had schools refused to participate in what was considered an unfair burden on African parents. (European parents were not being required to do this.) African parents in rural areas were already carrying heavy responsibilities with relationship to mission schools in their areas. The parents had to pay school fees, purchase school uniforms, books, and stationary, as well as raise money for school buildings, furnishings, library, and teachers' houses. The Rhodesia Annual Conference of the Untied Methodist Church passed the following resolution: We affirm that it is our desire to retain authority over all our United Methodist primary schools. We will not as a church pay the 5% of teachers salary demanded by the government or collect this sum from the parents. We call upon the government to restore the 5% cut and enable us to carry on our primary schools. The parents' cry in the cartoon is Kufa kuri nani! (Death is better!). It was thus in 1970 that most Churches in Rhodesia gave up their responsibility for primary education. Primary schools then became the responsibility f local authorities in the rural areas.

Umbowo, Vol. 54, No. 8, August, 1971.

Separate Education, maintained by two separate ministries for African Education and European (and coloured) Education also maintained two separate educational standards. This was evidenced not only by large differences in expenditure per student, but even by salary differences, European teachers receiving higher pay than their African colleagues. This was compounded by the salaries for male teachers being higher than that of females in each category. the quotation is from the Law and Order Maintenance Act, a statement of legal offence of words or actions that would tend to engender feelings of hostility between the races....

Umbowo, Vol 57, No. 10, October, 1974.

The scene in an imaginary caravan lot (American English: trailer) is an indirect criticism of government policy of moving whole communities from their homes in Tribal Trust lands (=African communal lands). This cartoon was drawn and published while Morgan Johnson was still on trial for the unpublished cartoon about resettlement campus, the cartoon that finally led to this deportation in February, 1975. The Shona caption of the cartoon (Tine mhando nhatu ...) may be translated: We have three kinds of homes on wheels, Sir, everywhere you go you can take your home with you {SYMBOL 190 \f "Symbol"} everything, even your fields (mobile munda = mobile field). T is the required sign for trailer and L the required sign for learner.

Cartoons related to the leadership of Bishop A.T. Muzorewa, Bishop of Rhodesia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Umbowo, Vol. 53, Nos. 8 and 9, August / September, 1970.

Bishop A.T. Muzorewa was elected Bishop in 1968 and was appointed to the Rhodesia Annual Conference. As Bishop Muzorewa became more and more known for his critical statements about the rebel regime, he was banned from entering the Tribal Trust Lands (i.e., African reservations) where a majority of the members of the United Methodist Church lived. The cartoon compares the banning of the Bishop from visiting his flock to the Sanhedrin's directive to Peter and John (Acts 4:18-20).

Umbowo, Vol. 53, No. 10, October, 1970.

The cartoon for the following issue continues with the subject of the Bishop's ban from the T.T.L., comparing the church's protest against the banning in 1970 to the protest against Bishop Dodge's deportation in 1965. The women are wearing the Rukwadzano (U.M.W.) church uniform and one of the men is wearing the Mubvui (U.M.M.) sash and the other a clerical collar, just as they did in the actual demonstrations.

Umbowo, Vol. 54, No. 7, July, 1971.

Portuguese East Africa (P.E.A., now independent Mozambique) was still a colony of Portugal in 1971 and worked closely with Rhodesia in matters of security. It was not very surprising when Mozambique refused to give permission to Bishop Muzorewa when he was invited to an interdenominational conference in Beira, Mozambique. (This cartoon was reprinted when Bishop Muzorewa's passport was withdrawn, Umbowo, Vol. 55, No. 9, September, 1972.)

Umbowo, Vol. 55, No. 8, August, 1972.

Much credit for the overwhelming No to the 1971 Anglo Rhodesian Settlement proposals vote given to the Pierce Commission in April, 1972, was given to the Rhodesian Council of Churches. The chairman of the Council that year was Bishop Muzorewa. In December, 1971, Bishop Muzorewa had also been chosen as the leader of the A.N.C. (African Nationalist Council) which had been organized to fight these settlement proposals. Mr. Ken Mew, then principal of Ranche House College, a privately endowed adult education institution, and also chairman of P.A.R.D. (the People Against Racial Discrimination) had just shared the platform with Bishop Muzorewa, before a large multi-racial audience in July, and had plead, Let's talk soon! For the Prime Minister, Ian Smith, the African nationalist leaders were irresponsible. For him responsible African leadership were the traditional chiefs, whose selection were subject to government approval and whose maintenance depended government salaries. In the conversation the chickens in this cartoon, amai us mother in Shona and mwana is child.

Umbowo, Vol. 55, No. 10, October, 1972.

In 1972, the Rhodesia Annual Conference celebrated its 75th anniversary as a church in Rhodesia. The church dated its beginning with the arrival of Bishop Joseph Hartzell in Mutare in 1897. Early in 1972 Bishop Muzorewa had addressed the United Nations Security Council concerning Zimbabwe's opposition to the Smith regime.

Umbowo, Vol. 56, No. 7, July, 1973.

Another British initiative was made in 1973 to bring about a settlement to the Rhodesia crisis. Sir Dennis Greenhill, the then Under-Secretary of the British Foreign Office was sent to try to get Ian Smith to negotiate with Bishop Muzorewa as the leader of the A.N.C.

Umbowo, Vol. 58, No. 2, February, 1975.

The last cartoon Morgan Johnson drew for Umbowo featured Bishop Muzorewa as the leader of the African National Council, drawn as the leader of a football team. The headline article quoted organizing secretary of the A.N.C., Mr. Michael Mawema who was then an exile in Atlanta. (He was at the time working at the Villa International near Emory University.)

Cartoons not directly related to the political struggle for Zimbabwe.

Umbowo, Vol. 498, No. 4, May, 1966.

The cartoon represents a scene from the Rhodesia Annual Conference. Secretaries are distributing committee reports. Pictured from left to right: Dr. Norman Thomas, missionary (deported in 1973), Rev. Jonah Kawadza, then assistant to the Bishop (died in 1992), Bishop J.W. Shungu (then Bishop of the Congo Annual Conference, Congo became Zaire in 1970), Rev Marcia Ball, missionary, Rev Abel Muzorewa (elected Bishop in 1968), and Mr. William Marima, lay leader. Bishop Ralph Dodge was reelected Bishop of the Rhodesia Annual Conference after he was deported in 1964 as the church's defiance of the deportation orders. He established his residency in neighboring Zambia and continued his leadership of the Conference by periodically meeting with district superintendents in Zambia near the border with Rhodesia. Bishop Dodge invited Bishop Shungu to chair the 1966 Conference.

Umbowo, Vol. 50, No. 6, June, 1967.

The headlines in this issue of Umbowo was Arabs and Jews on War Path. UThant is pictured holding on to the coattails of Col. Abdel Gamal Nasser of the United Arabic Republic who is facing Prime Minister Levi Eshkol of Israel over the Gulf of Aqaba.

Umbowo, Vol. 50, no. 9, September, 1967.

United States president Lyndon Johnson is pictured facing Vietnam with field glasses to observe the bombing of Hanoi during the Vietnam war, only to look back over his shoulders to see the burning from rioting in Detroit.

Umbowo, Vol. 51, No. 12, December, 1968.

A Christmas scene shows the traditional wise men studying a world map showing 1968 trouble spots: Vietnam war, invasion of Czechoslovakia, Biafra war in Nigeria, U.S. urban riots, and the continuing Rhodesia crisis. (This cartoon was used again in 1972.)

Umbowo, Vol. 52, No. 3, 1969.

The second cartoon on the Vietnam war was published with the following comment: The comforting mother in the above cartoon gives a vivid picture of what is happening in this embittered world of ours. Where does the Church of God stand?

Umbowo, Vol. 57, No. 12, December, 1974.

A second cartoon uses the Christmas theme of the wise men, this time represented as the traditional three kings with their gifts standing at the end of the line behind poor shepherds. The caption above the cartoon is in Shona and may be translated: JESUS IS KING OF ALL PEOPLE, When Jesus was born, the poor along with the kings came to see him. The kings are not happy to stand in line as their conversation makes clear. The second king: Who are these people and how did they get here first? The third king: What kind of king is he anyway?

The Offending Cartoon that led to a Court Trial and Deportation.

Exhibit No. 2 This cartoon was never published in Umbowo.

The cartoon, which was drawn in March of 1974, rendered ink on scratchboard and delivered to the engravers in Salisbury to be sent to the editor of Umbowo at Old Mutare United Methodist Centre as an engraved block read for printing. After Morgan Johnson was appointed to Nyadiri United Methodist Centre in 1967, he continued to draw cartoons for Umbowo from time to time, sending first the drawings to Old Mutare for approval by the editor and then completing the final drawing and sending it to the block makers. This proved to be a time consuming procedure which made it difficult to produce timely, relevant cartoons. The editor thus directed that finished work be sent directly to the block makers since there had not been any previous problem of cartoon contents being out of line with editorial point of view.

Someone at the engravers decided that the content of the cartoon was subversive and took the initiative of reporting it to the police without informing either the cartoonist or the editor. It was thus that only Johnson was charged under the Law and Order Maintenance Act of making a subversive statement and not the editor, then Mr. Caleb Mukasa.

The cartoon is based on a play on the word settle related the phrases Settlers 74" and Resettlement Camps." The logo for a government campaign to promote European immigration to Rhodesia placed the words SETTLERS 74 over an outline map of Rhodesia. The campaign had been featured in several issues of the Rhodesia Herald including photographs of families that had arrived in Rhodesia to settle in response to the campaign. Resettlement camps was the term used to refer to camps set up in Tr ibal Trust Lands to accommodate peoples being moved away from areas infiltrated by guerrilla fighters of the African nationalist parties, ZANU and ZAPU, referred to as terrorists by Rhodesian officials, and as freedom fighters or simply as vakomana (Shona for the boys) by those sympathetic to the struggle for majority rule.

The offending cartoon was based on a visit Johnson made to a resettlement camp about 50 miles north of Nyadiri Centre. He first learned about the camp as a result of a cholera epidemic which broke out there. Cholera patients from the camp were brought on February 25th and March 3rd to the Nyadiri Hospital where Dr. Rosalie Johnson, Morgan's wife, worked. The patients were accompanied to the hospital by armed guards. One of the children died on the way to the hospital. The story of the Nyakas ora Camp was pieced together from talking with the patients.

In December, 1973, the headman and several elders of Muchenje village were arrested and put in prison for giving food to terrorists and not reporting their presence to Rhodesian forces. The village was near the Mazoe River along which guerrilla fighters were penetrating into Rhodesia from neighboring Mozambique. Soon after the arrest of the elders, Rhodesian soldiers removed all of the people of the village, about 200 men, women, and children, and placed them in a school about 10 miles wes t of their homes. The solders destroyed all of their homes and fields and their cattle were sold. They were not given food but were given monthly payments from the money from the sale of their confiscated cattle with which they could buy food. When school opened in January the local school children could not use their school buildings and had to meet under trees. This was during the rainy season so school authorities complained and this was when Nyak asora Camp was set out and the people moved to the camp site. Since it was the rainy season, there was no long grass to cut for roofing so the government provided canvas sacking coated in tar to serve for roofing for the huts the people constructed from poles and clay. Patients reported that this roofing was very unsatisfactory. When it rained it was necessary to stand in the huts throughout the night because the floors became wet mud. The only source of water was an open dam. (This was probably how the people got infected by cholera.) When me mbers of the church at Nyadiri learned of the difficulties experienced by the people at Nyakasora, they collected food to send to them. When it came time for the patients to return to the camp, Morgan Johnson took the place of the ambulance driver in order to take the food to the Camp and have an opportunity to see it. The cartoon was drawn after this visit.

Johnson was informed in April that he was to be charged under the Law and Order Maintenance Act. He appeared before the regional court in July and a date was set for trial in August and was remanded out of court. A procedural question was brought forward during this first trial which led to a second trial date being set for October. The trial resulted in a verdict of not guilty. The not guilty verdict was the result of the State's sudden withdrawal of the charge. T he lawyer thought the charge was withdrawn after it was learned during the course of the trial that the cartoon was drawn after seeing the conditions of the camp at Nyakasora. The state's prosecutor must have assumed that the cartoon was based only on the cartoonist's imagination.

Although Johnson was declared innocent in court, the Minister in charge of Immigration, Mr. Wickus de Kock, declared him to be an undesirable inhabitant of Rhodesia and gave orders for his deportation. Johnson was not informed of the deportation order until January 16, the day the new school term opened at Nyadiri Teachers' College. After a morning orientation in the church for new students he found an immigration officer and a district police officer waiting for him. When the deportation notice was given, no reason for the deportation was given, as was the policy of the immigration department, but the police officer was the same officer that first informed Johnson the previous year that a charge was being brought against him for the offending cartoon. The police officer asked Johnson if he remembered him. This question made it seem reasonably clear that the deportation was related to the cartoon. Johnson was given one month to remain in the country to make arrangements for his departure.

Many members of the United Methodist Church came to accompany their missionary to the airport and register a final protest at the deportation. Dr. Rosalie Johnson had also been given deportation orders, but had been given another 30 day extension to give the church more time to find a replacement for the hospital. Authorities had been unprepared for the demonstration at the airport for Johnson's departure, so made sure to be better prepared fo r the departure of Rosalie Johnson and the childr en. At their departure there were many policemen stationed at the airport and only passengers were allowed into the waiting room.

The cartoon was never published in Rhodesia, but after the deportation it was published in the Times of Zambia and the Washington Post. It was later used as a cover illustration for the Official Organ of SWAPO, the liberation movement struggling for the independence of Namibia.

Drs. Morgan and Rosalie Johnson and their five children arrived in Birmingham on March 21st. In the interview at the airport the Johnsons offered the following explanation of how they felt justified in their small involvement in the political affairs of the country of their missionary assignment: Over the years ... the history of the church and colonization is linked. Therefore, the church has a moral responsibility to speak out against the white minority government.

Umbowo'S Talking Cartoons by Ezekiel C. Makunike

When I became editor of Umbowo (Christian Witness), the paper was approaching its 50th year. The pioneer missionary educator, Rev. Dr. Eddy Horace Greeley, founded Umbowo in 1918. Begun in a year that saw the death of thousands from an influenza epidemic, a regional spiritual revival, and the end of Word War I, Umbowo (The Christian Witness in Shona ) was born during a period of hope and despair, life and death.

Under the colonial rule of Great Britain, harsh measures aimed at preventing black African majority rule were set in motion. African political leaders were imprisoned. The press was censored and banned when it expressed African opinion and aspirations. Mr. Ian Smith, the last White-settler Prime Minister proclaimed, there will be no African majority rule in my life time....not even in a thousand years! However, 1965 marked the beginning of the Second Chimurenga War, Zimbabwe's war of liberation was also the year Mr. Smith and his minority White-settler community unilaterally declared independence from Britain. They realized Britain believed in eventual black majority rule. This action became popularly known as UDI (Unilateral Declaration of Independence).

I had just returned to Rhodesia after a four-year study period in India where I had graduated with a B.A. degree in Political Science and a Diploma in Journalism. It seemed the coincidence of these circumstances was forcing a new agenda upon Umbowo. Except for the Roman Catholic monthly newspaper, most church or religious newspapers, including Umbowo, had addressed only politically safe subjects like evangelism. Politics was not part of their agenda. Umbowo assumed a broader witness to its readers, highlighting the political mood and imperatives of the times. The realities of limited literacy (and thus, limited circulation) meant the words from my pen could not possibly reach all sections of the African community.

Fortunately, Morgan's artistic talent emerged from hiding! His cartoons and caricatures of political personalities and current events saved me millions of words. His cartoons captured the mood and symbols of the times. They literally became Umbowo's talking cartoons. The masses loved them! Morgan's sketches spoke to all in a language they understood. His cartoons informed, educated and motivated while they entertained. Morgan's medium of communication overcame barriers of illiteracy, effectively touching parts of the community never before reached. Readers looked forward to each issue, not so much for stories, but for the topical political cartoon. The paper found its way to street newsstands throughout the country, to schools, and to prisons and detention camps where thousands of African national leaders were languishing.

The paper even found its way to the offices of Prime Minister Ian Smith. He and his supporters could not stand Umbowo's candid and telling messages. Consequently, Dr. Johnson was declared an undesirable immigrant, an enemy of Rhodesia. Accordingly, he and his like-minded wife, Dr. Rosalie Johnson, M.D., and their five children were forced to leave the country in 1975.

By 1980, Zimbabwe had finally gained independence. African majority rule was achieved, well within Mr. Ian Smith's lifetime. The Johnsons triumphantly returned to a liberated Zimbabwe where they continued their excellent work in the educational and medical fields of the United Methodist Church.

This display of Umbowo is an effort to share an important piece of the Zimbabwean liberation history as seen through the eyes of a missionary cartoonist.

I shall always regard it a real privilege to have had the benefit of the Johnson's exceptional artistic service during my editor-ship of the Umbowo. I know all my successors as editors of Umbowo join me in expressing our heartfelt thanks for the Johnson's love for Africa and Zimbabwe in particular.

(Ezekiel Makunike recently served as senior writer on the New World Outlook staff. He comes from Zimbabwe where he founded a school for communications, training many of Africa's current journalists and was Director of Information for the nation.)

The Rev. Dr. Morgan Johnson

Morgan Johnson, a United Methodist Missionary serving in Zimbabwe drew cartoons for the Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) Annual Conference newspaper, Umbowo, from 1965 through 1978 when it was banned. The acquisition is a part of the library's special collection of church publications from Africa.

Johnson is a Candler graduate, earning his B.D. in 1951. His parents were also Candler graduates. His father, Rev. Emmett S. Johnson, came to Emory in 1933 to be the Director of Religious Life on the campus. He joined the Candler School of Theology faculty in 1939 teaching religious education and church administration and directing field work. His mother, Mrs. Mary Vaughan Johnson, became the first woman to earn the B.D. degree from Candler in 1938. She served as the Assistant to the Pastor at Glenn Memorial Church from 1941 through 1947. Rev. and Mrs. E. S. Johnson left Emory in 1947 to teach at Wesleyan College.

Morgan Johnson entered Candler after completing a B.F.A in drawing and painting at the University of Georgia in 1948. While in Candler, he drew cartoons for the Emory Wheel. Inspired by Dr. Frank Laubach, a missionary who had used drawing to teach adults to read, Morgan decided to use his art training on the mission field. In 1951 he was assigned to Rhodesia, under appointment as a missionary to Africa from the South Georgia Annual Conference. As a teacher in the Teacher Training School at Old Mutare Methodist Centre, he illustrated materials for the Conference religious education program and for the Rhodesia Mission Press. Upon returning to the United States, Johnson began graduate studies to better equip himself to utilize pictorial teaching materials in African education. He earned the Ed.D degree at the University of Georgia in 1961. During that time he met and married Rosalie Voigt, a medical student at Emory Medical School. Rosalie Voigt Johnson completed her M.D. in 1960 and residency at Grady in 1961. In 1961 they went with their first child to serve as missionaries under the Board of Global Ministries in Rhodesia. They served in Rhodesia, Zambia, and the new Zimbabwe until they retired from the field in 1991.

The Pitts Theology Library wishes to express its gratitude to the Rev. Dr. Morgan Johnson for his assistance in preparing this exhibit of his cartoons. Some of the items displayed were donated by him to the archives of Pitts Theology Library. Remaining items come from the private collection of Dr. Johnson.