Duke of the Month: Strength in Diversity

by Duchess Magazine

Meet Tayo Fatunla, the talented and multi-award-winning cartoonist who corrects social menace intelligently with editorial cartoon works and Nigel James the amazing father to one of the most well-known footballing siblings in recent years in England, Lauren and Reece James.

Tayo Fatunla

Nigerian comic book creator, editorial cartoonist, writer, and illustrator Tayo Fatunla was born in Wimbledon, England, United Kingdom to Marcellina (nee Abosede) and Emmanuel Fatunla. His comic and cartoon works are mostly educative and deal with African history and society.

He holds a degree in art from the esteemed Kubert School in Dover, New Jersey. When he was seventeen years old, his first cartoon made an appearance in the Nigerian children’s magazine Apollo. He continued to work for renowned Nigerian publications as a teenager, including Punch, Concord, Guardian, and The Daily Times. He was the first African to earn a degree from New Jersey’s esteemed Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art in the early 1980s.

He also worked as a designer and caricaturist, and in issue #389 of the DC Comics series “Sgt. Rock” (1984), he contributed a page titled “Battle Humour.”

Tayo has created cartoons for publications like the New York Times and Focus on Africa by the BBC. His illustrations have also appeared in British journals such West Africa, New African, The Voice, Thamesmead Times, and African Business, as well as the Courrier International in Paris. His cartoons were also included in book compilations as “Cartooning Aids” (1992), “Od’d On O.J.” (1995), “Human Rights” (1996), and “Ecotoons” (1996). At the British Cartoon Centre in London, he debuted a book collection of his own editorial cartoons in 2001 under the title “Tayo – Thro’ The Years.”

Tayo has given cartoon seminars and cartoon exhibitions in nations such as the UK, Nigeria, South Korea, Cameroon, Finland, France, Ethiopia, Spain, the USA, Egypt, Israel, Algeria, Belgium, Italy, and Ireland. The International Museum of Cartoon Art (IMCA), located in Boca Raton, Florida, has a permanent collection of his cartoons. At the Salon International Dessin de Presse & Humour in St-Just-le-Martel, France, Tayo received the Crayon de Porcelaine for his contributions to press cartoons on a global scale. In May 2018, Tayo received the ECBACC Pioneer Lifetime Achievement award (PLA) for “Our Roots” as well.

Nigel James

Nigel James is a former professional football player and football development coach of African American descent. Nigel’s football career was tragically cut short at age 20 by a motorbike accident. Later, he entered the coaching industry. He is the proprietor of the Nigel James Elite Coaching Centre, which prepares young players to play professionally. Since opening his coaching centre in 2002, Nigel has worked to close the gap between amateur football and the Promised Land.

Nigel is happily married to Emma and their union is blessed with three children (two boys and a girl) who are all football players. Nigel James is the father of English professional footballer who plays as a forward for the Women’s Super League club Chelsea and the England women’s national team, Lauren James, and Reece James, an English professional footballer who plays as a right-back for Chelsea which he also captains, and the England national team.

Nigel encouraged his children to play to their strengths, promoted self-confidence, and also taught them the connection between hard work and spectacular results, just like any other caring and sensitive parent. After school, Nigel James trained all of his kids in the family’s yard in the back, moulding them into the legends they are today.

Nigel, who has been watching over Lauren’s growth since she was a little child, confessed after one of her victories: “I spoke to her after the game and told her how proud I was. I told her how she had made the whole family and the country proud. To keep going, keep believing, get her rest and go again.

Regarding his father’s influence on his career, Reece remarked, “He has helped me every step of the way. I grew up playing football with my brothers and wanted to play like them; I have always loved the game. I am grateful to my Dad for all the time, effort and love that he has put into my football by coaching me in order that I reach the very best level.”

Reece and Lauren have developed into the pride of their parents, demonstrating the truth of their father’s proverb “dreams come true.” Lauren James has wowed for Chelsea since joining the Blues in 2021, much like her brother Reece has.

One of the most well-known footballing siblings in recent years in England is the James family, which includes Lauren and Reece. The pair, who both represent Chelsea, have excelled for the Blues ever since making their first-team appearances. Notably, Reece won the UEFA Champions League trophy under Thomas Tuchel.

Talented Lauren has established herself as one of the FA Women’s Super League’s most dangerous strikers.

While Lauren has gained popularity for her frequent tricks and flicks on the pitch, Reece has established himself as one of the greatest right-backs in the Premier League thanks to his contribution to the team in both attack and defence.

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