by Chris
April 15, 2019

What is Tinga Tinga?

Tinga Tinga is a unique and visually stunning painting style that was developed in the second half of the 20th century in Tanzania, East Africa.

Tinga Tinga Art began as a simple idea: Use recycled, low-cost materials, like masonite squares, ceramic fragments, and bicycle paint.

The founder of Tingatinga paintings, Edward Tingatinga was born in the settlement of Mindu, and if you looked in the road map of Tanzania this location cannot be found; in fact, there is not much left of this settlement itself and the house where he was born is now completely gone.

tinga tinga leopards

While Mindu was once home to its own missionary school and dispensary, the settlement has since disintegrated with the departure of the young generation and is now home to a handful of older residents with nowhere else to go.

Tingatinga paintings tend to be striking in color due to being made on masonite and are popular with tourists such as Europeans and Americans due to the ease of transportation.

The paintings are found all over Tanzania in different sizes and qualities but are best found in the Tingatinga Arts Cooperative Society, located at Morogoro Stores in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's capital city.

Why not consider buying a piece of Tinga Tinga Art as your next holiday souvenir?

In this blog, we explore why you should buy Tinga Tinga Art.

Reasons to Buy Tinga Tinga Art

There’s no doubt that buying prints and posters is fun – but there’s a lot to be said for saving up for a piece of Tinga Tinga Art.

  1. Buying a painting supports the artist directly.Tinga Tinga painters lovingly make their work, and it can be challenging to make ends meet in such a labor-intensive and competitive field. Enrich your home and feel good knowing your purchase is helping to support a local artist by shopping at their galleries or online.
  2. Paintings are tactile.An ordinary print surface can never live up to a gorgeously textured handmade painting. Whether done on a canvas, wood, or mottled watercolor paper, Tinga Tinga paintings have a tactile quality that sets them apart from the rest.
  3. Paintings are perfect for renters.If you rent, it can be difficult to personalize your own space when you’re not allowed to paint the walls or make other changes. Hang a painting or two and you can really make the place your own. Unlike bulky pieces of furniture, a painting can be carried with you no matter where you are and where you live.
  4. Paintings are one of a kind.There’s something satisfying about having a completely unique piece of artwork that you cannot get anywhere else.
  5. Paintings are handmade.Like handmade clothes or furniture, paintings show the hand of their maker so you can add a touch of personality to the home. Mass produced items cannot compete with that.
  6. A painting can make the room.A painting begs to be the focal point of a room. Whether your artistic taste runs to the bold and graphic or to vintage landscapes, the painting you choose is bound to have a large impact on your space and give it the wow factor.
  7. Paintings can make a house feel like a home.Paintings you’ve owned for a while become like old friends. Simply pulling out your paintings and putting them up can make any space, no matter where you are, feel like home – you can even hand your painting down to sons, daughters, grandchildren as you get older.
  8. Paintings inspire.Looking at a painting you love refreshes your spirit. Why not give yourself the gift of daily inspiration by saving up for a small painting you adore?


tinga tinga art giraffes

Where to Buy Tinga Tinga Art

If these reasons are enough to persuade you to buy a piece of Tinga Tinga Art, you can purchase a lovingly handmade and unique piece from the Tingatinga Arts Cooperative Society’s official website on

You can also visit the Tingatinga Arts Cooperative Society the next time you are in Dar es Salaam, the capital city of Tanzania. Located conspicuously along Morogoro Stores, the cooperative hosts around 100 talented artists who use art to express their creativity and talent through these colorful pieces of art. Many artists see themselves as Tingatinga's successors and maintain his style, but others experiment with new forms and motifs.

tinga tinga art collective dar es salaam

On the one hand, the cooperative operates as a painting school for the Tingatinga style of art, but on the other, it promotes the art sales internationally to enable its members to earn their living. The objective of the Tingatinga Arts Cooperative Society is to be independent of external financial and administrative help in the future, as well as to promote the lively Tanzanian culture.

Go ahead and treat yourself or a loved one! What are you waiting for?

The above is a guest post written by a member of the Tinga Tinga Arts Collective. The views therein do not represent the views of Shadows of Africa or its staff.

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