Mohamed Wasia Charinda
Charinda was born in 1947 in Nakapanya, a village close to the border of Moçambique. He is Makua by tribe.
"As a child I liked singing. After sundown we came all together, also the girls, because without them the boys were not happy enough to sing. Singing together helped us to bear the hard work in the fields. We sang harvesting songs and also educational songs , for example a song that taught us not to talk to married women."
For 4 years Charinda went to school. And together with his 10 brothers and sisters he helped in the crop fields. They harvested Maniok, millet, maiz, beens, rice, peanuts and cashew nuts. They had always enough to feed the whole family and even to sell some surplus at the market.
Charinda is a big, strong man. He laughs a lot, and then his eyes almost vanish in his round face. "For 4 years I served as a soldier in Arusha, Songea und Dar es Salaam. Later I worked as a mechanician in a transportation company. This was when I met my relatives who worked as Tingatinga painters. I liked the paintings and I realized that this is good business. Good painters could earn their living.
I decided to try myself. My teacher Mr Mruta was a good and patient instructor. At first I painted nothing but crows, just crows for two months. Only after this he allowed me to try something else, this time guinea fowls. In three years of apprenticeship he slowly introduced the other african animals: zebras, elephants, lions, leopards, hippos, antelopes. Only after this I was free to paint, to develop my own style."
"I like to paint stories out of the middle of life, also traditional scenes from our village or those who tell of the other, invisible world." A special motive he developed were ghosts from dead people. Good ghosts(shetani mzuri), but also those who tell the Makua- tale about thieves, robbers and rapers who after their death grow together to ghosts. "Men who committed a crime get punished in this way, so they have to stay connected to their victims." A new very special plan are "Thoughts in the Brain", fears and sorrows he shows in open heads.
Charinda was the first to introduce canvas as material to paint on, a very important step which lead to new sizes of paintings, since the artists were no longer forced to paint on square masonite plates. He was also one of the first artists who travelled to Switzerland - in 1994 he was a special guest in the exhibition which took place in the Swiss Tropical Institute of Basel.
Charinda is one of the oldest painters of the cooperative and he sticks to the traditional style. His paintings were shown at several exhibition and one can even find them in museums.
Some of his early works are on display at www.tingatinga-berlin.de .
He is married and has 7 children.