Tingatinga Art is a painting style that developed in the second half of the 20th century which named after a Tanzanian painter Edward Said Tingatinga who began painting around 1968 in Tanzania (Dar es Salaam).
Tingatinga paintings are not for the satisfactory of eyes’ desire but it can be defined as “silent teacher” to Tanzanian generations and foreigners; it impart about the natural beauty of Tanzania, and the endowed rich natural resource like wild animals, rivers and mountains.
The Tingatinga paintings are broadly symbolized formulae of tourist-oriented art in Tanzania, Kenya and neighboring countries whereas Tanzania has been receiving foreign visitor each year whereby the numbers rose from 783,000 in 2010 to 1.14m in 2014. And the annual revenues raised from $1.2bn to $2bn over the same period.
Despite the death of Tingatinga in 1972, his work lives today, the style was so popular that it had started a wide movement of imitators and followers, sometimes informally referred to as the ‘Tingatinga School’.
While in Tanzania the foreigner got opportunity to visit at the different tourist attraction, but some used the Tingatinga printings (art) to know Mount Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro Crater, Cheetah's Rock (Zanzibar Island) and National Parks.
The Tingatinga work has hereditary to other generation who continue to use illustration in telling stories, and teaching many people about the importance of preserving the environment and Tanzanian Culture.
The first generation of artists from the Tingatinga school basically reproduced the works of the school's founder. In the 1990s new trends emerged within the Tingatinga style, in response to the transformations that the Tanzanian society was undergoing after independence.
Tingatinga also took several of his young relatives on as apprentices. At first, they were just helping him with his work however later he began encouraging them to do their own paintings.
One Saturday night, in 1972, Tingatinga met his untimely and tragic end. There were three people in a Volkswagen Beetle speeding away from police car in Dar es Salaam. The police had mistaken it for a getaway car used by robbers and Tingatinga was shot. He died on his way to hospital.
He died aged forty leaving behind his wife and two children. His son Daudi is presently an active member of the Tingatinga community. Although Edwards Saidi Tingatinga is dead, his memory is still fresh and alive among us all. His art will make him live forever.