Abdallah Saidi Chilamboni

Abdallah grew up in Nakapania in the province of Tunduru.
Over seven years Abdallah - born 1971- walked 20km daily to visit primary school. "I liked going to school very much but sometimes it was just impossible to get there. During the rainy season the water in the Nonjera Brook rose so high I could not cross it."

His parents broke up after Abdallah had finished school and he went to live with his father. He helped him with the field work and learned how to fish and hunt. His father taught him which plants cured illnesses.

At the age of 20 Abdallah moved to the capital to work. For a year he worked as a mechanic apprentice but he did not like this occupation. In 1991 his brother Mohamed Saidi, a Tingatinga painter, took him up and taught him to paint. "Now I was satisfied with my life and wanted to be a good painter."

Abdallah likes to paint big pictures. The Tingatinga painters don't own easels. Therefore, the top of the picture rests on a desk while the bottom lies on his lap. His neighbour sits in the same tight position and paints the new Tingatinga style that Abdallah introduced. It is brighter still and very packed.

Plants, especially flowers that he loves, wind around animals. "I like to paint animals very much because they mean much to me. Too many have been tormented, for example the black rhinoceros which is almost extinct in Tansania now."

Abdallah is married and has six children. He participated in various exhibitions in Tanzania, but also in Europe and Japan. A special honour was the invitation to decorate the Tanzania Pavillon at the Expo2000 in Hannover.