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Tingatinga Art

Tingatinga Art is primarily produced and sold in Tanzania. Although some artists are traveling and starting to take their art further a field.

It all started with a man called Eduardo Saidi Tingatinga, born in 1932 in a Namochelia village (which does not exist today). It was near Mindu and Nakapanya village, ca 70 km east of Tunduru town.

Eduardo Saidi Tingatinga was a self taught painter, with only 4 years of primary school education. He was just starting to receive recognition for his square board-paintings, when his life was cut short in 1972, he was mistaken for a fleeing thief and fatally shot by the police. Before he died he started to attracted young followers wanting to imitate his style. Today Tingatinga thrives. You will never see massed produced Tingatinga Art.

Please visit us to view a wonderful collection of original Tingatinga Art.


Tania Bale

African Art Online.Com

Filed under tingatinga art tingatinga paintings

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Nigerian Artist


View Chidi Okoye Nigerian Artist amazing art collection.

Nigerian born, Chidi A. Okoye graduated with a distinction in sculpture (Higher National Diploma) from the Institute of Management and Technology in Enugu, Nigeria, in 1988. For the next six years he taught sculpture and drawing at Federal Polytechnic Oko Anambra State Nigeria. During this period, he created an outstanding collection, not only sculpting, but painting and writing as well. In Nigeria, He had his national solo exhibition “Textures of Life” and launching of his book “Lamentation” at national museum Lagos in 1993 sponsored by Mobil Producing Nigeria. Okoye is as famous for his poetry as for his painting and sculpture.

In 1994 Okoye moved to Vancouver, Canada, where he immediately became involved in a number of projects promoting international artistic exchange and was a leading light in the local Black creative community. Okoye believes that his art offers him a chance of relating to his environment, complementing the beauty of nature with man-made forms and images, which spring from his ancestral culture. He combines the strength, uniqueness and dynamism of his heritage with a technically skilled understanding of the power of forms, feeling and materials to create works, which continue to thrill audiences.

The wide appeal of his works seems to lie in its identifiably African approach to colors and lines, but with an ability to turn his distinctive style to a wide rage of subjects. Okoye’s paintings and sculpture have been praised for their capacity to raise awareness of important social-political issues without resorting to militancy.

In 2001 Okoye went to Atlanta where he has been actively involved in the creative art community. He won the first prize, South Fulton County Gallery Best Artist of the year 2002. He has participated in the jury art shows of National Black Art Festival Atlanta from 2002 to 2004. He recently executed Award commission for 2004 Clark Atlanta University ADVANCE Leadership Award. Chidi collaborated with Nelson Mandela in Unity Series in 2004.

Chidi’s original work is available on request.

Please contact African Art Online.Com for further information.
Chidi’s work is truly a work of Art!

Please view Chidi’s work here



Filed under nigerian art nigerian artist Chidi Okoye

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Zanzibar for such a small Island it is pouring with history. From ancient Arab and Persian emigrants, wars and revolutions, Sultans, Dr Livingstone, Freddy Mercury and the center of the slave trade.

This is my third trip to Zanzibar, I must say you certainly never get tired of this beautiful historical place.

Zanzibar is where Freddy Mercury was born. His house has since been turned into a gift shop. Thousands of tourists come to visit to see where the famous rock star lived.

Zanzibar Island is divided into two main islands, Pemba and Unguja. The population is approximately 800,000, of which 150,000 are found on Pemba. 95% Muslim, 5% Christian all living in harmony. The language spoken is Swahili. The climate hot and humid. The currency Tanzanian Shillings, although the locals will accept US dollars.

Major Industries on Zanzibar are Tourism, Spices and Fishing.

The old part of Stone Town is built from rock and Coral from the sea, little did they no about the damage they where causing to their coral reefs. One tiny piece of coral broken off will take up to 60 years to grow back.

Walk threw the narrow streets of Stone Town you will come across the most amazing doors, the big brass knobs on the outside of these doors was to stop the Elephants from leaning on them, luckily there are no Elephants on Zanzibar anymore.

That is a quick overview of Zanzibar, for now I will chat about the famous Spice Tour.

Beautiful aroma’s full the Island. Get a guided tour of Zanzibar’s Spice Island taste and smell the fresh spices.
All the spices are organically grown.

In the western world we use spices and herbs for mostly cooking purposes, not the locals of Zanzibar.

The Island grows a bush called Annatto, looks like a Lychee. From this the local people use it for dye in food and lipstick for the ladies. This is a bright red berry.

Soap Berry Tree is used for washing clothes and washing hair. It is a little brown berry, you open and rub into the water and lather it up in your hair.

Tamarind is a pod, its use making juice, the leaves are boiled and used for asthma in babies.

Cardomon used to spice up food and drinks such as rice, Indian bread, Tea and Coffee.

Ginger they make soda drinks, it is also used for tenderizing meat, and commonly used for sea sickness.

The Almond tree also known as the Umbrella Tree, the local fisherman use for timbers to make their Dhows.

Cloves is the biggest export on Zanzibar. The clove tree grows 10-15cm, they are all hand picked.
They pick the cloves when the bud is green then dry in the sun. They make oil from this for tooth ache, you can boil the clove then drink the water, this will help stop tummy ache.

Pineapple is used for the digestive system.

Cassavi is used to make crisps, it doesn’t look like your traditional crisp, but sure tastes good.

Zanzibar grows chilli’s which they call Pili-Pili ho-ho, the smaller the chilli the hotter.

Henna is picked and dried, grinned to a powder then used to make temporary tattoos.

Paw Paw also called Pa pain is used in the manufacture of chewing gum. Paw Paw is also applied to the skin if you should stand on a sea urchin. Rich in vitamins A&C.

The trunk of the Iodine tree is used to stop bleeding, the locals use this much like we would use a band aid.

Cinnamon is used in cooking, but the most fascinating thing about the cinnamon tree is. If you take the root of the tree it smells just like menthol, so this is commonly used in colds and flus much like vicks.

The root of the Tumaric tree is used for food colouring and dyeing mats.

Passion fruit leaves are boiled, this is to prevent high blood pressure.

Choco beans are sucked just like sweets.

Lemon grass is used as a mosquito repellent.

Kapok looks just like cotton, this is used in the manufacture of pillows and mattresses. The local fisherman also use this for binding up their dhows so they don’t sink.

Nutmeg is used for making alcohol, they also say to much nutmeg will make you hallucinate.
Many more spices are grown on the Island, Lang Lang used for perfumes. Vanilla, Jack Fruit, Bread Fruit Tree, Guara, Coconuts, Bananas, Avocado which they make juice from. And many more.

When your tour is over, relax and try some of the wonderful fruits that are grown on the Island.

Then you can head off to the local gift store and purchase some of the spices and teas you have just heard about.
You can even buy some beautiful soaps, body lotions and perfumes made right on the Island.

This is just one of the great places to visit while in Zanzibar, I was fascinated with the many uses of the spices.
This is one place you should put on your to do list.

Until next time
Kind Regards
Tania Bale
African Art Online

We are on the spice tour

Filed under zanzibar stone town spice island zanzibar

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Useful Tips when Traveling To Tanzania

After living in Tanzania for 10 months and traveling back from time to time, I discovered some useful information which may be helpful when traveling to East Africa.

The 5 traveling tips I am referring to are solely based on Tanzania, East Africa; Africa is an extremely large place, so I am not referring to the whole continent.

1.  We all like to travel with some cash on hand. Tanzania’s currency is TZ shillings. American dollars is accepted in most places. The one thing that you may not be aware of that may cause some issues is. All foreign exchange outlets will not accepted any US currency older than the year 2000.The logic behind this is to try and fight counterfeiting. Please check all your American Dollars and save the inconvenience. As a side note credit card vacillates are available but always have plan B.

2.  Tipping in Tanzania is not compulsory but it is expected. If you are willing to tip then please add this cost into your budget. This can become a costly exercise .If you ask for directions, dine out; use public transport any kind of service then you will be expected to tip. If you take a photo of any local Tanzanian, you may be expected to pay. It is wise to always ask permission first. If you choose to tip, how much you tip is entirely up to you.

3.  If you are with a tour company please be aware that your driver or your tour leader will often earn commissions on any purchases you make, such as gift items, activities etc. The places that your driver or tour leader suggests that you go to could possibly be where they earn the best commissions, not necessarily the best option available for you. If possible do your own research before you leave on places you may wish to visit. Don’t be afraid to tell your driver or tour leader on places you may wish to visit.

4.  It is always good when traveling any where in the world to learn a little bit of the local language. In Tanzania the language spoken is Swahili. While most people do speak pretty good English it does pay to know some of the basics in Swahili. It can be to your advantage especially when you are shopping. The local people appreciate that you have taken the time to learn their language.

5.  If you are intending to shop, price haggling is common. You shouldn’t always accept the first price offered. One example of this, I entered a store and was interested in a piece of clothing. I asked how much for the item, the first price offered was $80 US dollars, I declined, I was then offered the item for $60 US dollars, I declined again, as the item was not worth any where close to this amount. I was just about to exit the store when the store owner yelled out okay $10 US dollars. Now that seemed more like it. Keep your wits about you when shopping.

All in all Tanzania is a wonderful and interesting place to visit, friendly people, fantastic game parks,  with a rich and diverse culture. If you do decide to visit Tanzania, I hope you find these tips useful.

Kind Regards
Tania Bale
African Art Online.Com

Filed under Traveling to Tanzania Tanzania East Africa

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Tinga Tinga Tales Why Does An Elephant Have A Trunk?

Have you often wondered why the Elephant has a long trunk, or why a Tortoise has a broken shell… a pre-school series, Tinga Tinga Tales reveals all.

Each film will be told in a traditional storytelling way of how the animal came to be.

52 x 11 minute episodes released in February 2010, on the television network Cbeebies UK. Produced on location in Kenya by Tiger Aspect Productions in conjunction with Homeboyz Entertainment, the show draws upon the inspiring talent of local artists and musicians and is expertly computer-animated using beautiful, hand-painted imagery.

50 African animators, illustrators, artists, designers, editors, audio technicians, production staff and musicians have bought a show together called Tinga Tinga Tales.

African Tinagtinga Art is primarily produced and sold from East Africa. The artist often paints bright, vibrant folk like animated animals. Tinga Tinga artwork originated from African artist Eduardo Saidi Tingatinga in 1960 in Tanzania. Eduardo Saidi Tingatinga was a self taught painter, with only 4 years of primary school education. He was just starting to receive recognition for his square board-paintings, when his life was cut short in 1972, Eduardo was mistaken for a fleeing thief and fatally shot by the police. Before he died he started to attracted young followers wanting to imitate his style.

That’s when the Tingtinga Arts Co-Operative Society was formed. (TACS) The Tingatinga Arts Co-operative Society in Dar es Salaam was the visual inspiration for Tinga Tinga Tales. Members of TACS have taught many artists who have gone on to become recognized masters in their field. Some painters have moved to other parts of Tanzania and even abroad. No matter where these artists reside they remain linked to each other and to their homeland by family, friendship and, of course, their beautiful artwork. Traditional Tingatinga Art is painted using bright enamel bicycle paint, making these paintings extremely hardy to last a life time. Tingatinga Art is extremely popular with tourists becoming commonly known as “Airport Art”

Children will be fascinated of how the animals came to be. Tingatinga Tales is an education filled with laughter and joy.

P.S. Suitable for the whole family.

All the best
Tania Bale
African Art Online.Com

Filed under tingatinga art tingatinga tales tingatinga paintings

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African Batik Winner For March 2013

Congratulations, the winner of our March 2013 African Batik was Bron Kelly.

We will draw one winner every month for the rest of 2013.

Once you have entered your name once, that’s it. Your good to go for the rest of the year. Just keep your eye out for our email once a month to see if your our next lucky winner.

You can enter here or there is a form to the right of this page.

Look forward to you joining our African Art community.


Tania Bale

African Art Online


Filed under african batik african wall art

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Pop Art

Nigerian artist Chidi A. Okoye  has put together a wonderful collection of limited edition Pop Art on canvas.

There is a fabulous arrangement of famous faces all on canvas.

Michael Jackson teamed up with Nelson Mandela.

Jackie Kennedy paired with Michelle Obama, awesome!

Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela extraordinary.

Other pop art includes, the gorgeous Hallie berry, Dieago Maradonna, Fala Kuti, Winnie Mandela just to name a few.

You can view the full collection of pop art  paintings here

Until next time.
Smile and be happy :)

Tania Bale
African Art Online

Filed under pop art pop art paintings chidi okoye

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African Batik

Whilst in Tanzania, I meet a really cool guy, his name is John.

John is 76 years old and lives in Arusha, East Africa. He’s a very talented man, with a special skill.

John hand crafts African Candle wax batiks.

John walks the streets from dusk till dawn, promoting and selling his African batiks to the 1000’s of tourists that pass through. I admire his willingness at 75.

The entire process can take up to 2-3 days to complete one standard “27.5×21.5” African batik.

Firstly, John draws the design often symbolic to the African Culture, animals, faith, work, motherhood, dancing and playing traditional instruments.

The next step is to pour hot wax on the selected area’s of the fabric, this is left to dry. John then applies the dye to the un-waxed area. The wax prevents the different color dye’s merging together.

No two batiks will ever be the same, as they are all hand designed.

African candle wax batiks are made from 100% cotton.

Gorgeous colors to enhance any room in your home or office.

The candle wax batiks are easily cared for. Simply sponge down with a damp cloth, this keeps them dust free. To keep wrinkle free, you may iron the reverse side on a very low temperature.

African batiks look fabulous framed or unframed.

I love these batiks, I’ve framed a few of the animal batiks and hung them in my children’s bedroom. They look really cool.

Chat soon.
Tania Bale
African Art Online

Filed under african batik candle wax batik batik

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Cultural Heritage Art Gallery in Tanzania

Cultural Heritage is a unique cultural center on the outskirts of Arusha, Tanzania. They have curio shops, a jewellery boutique, a Tanzanite and precious stone counter, a restaurant, bargain center and outstanding commercial art gallery.

The Fine Art and Antiques collection is the only one of its kind in the world, ranging from African antiques to contemporary and wildlife painting and sculpture and photography. You will be dazzled by our assembly of art and artifacts. The Gallery is a breath taking feat of engineering and artful display that will leave you awe-struck.

The Gallery was opened in 2010 after many years of imaging and five years of construction. The unique exterior was designed by our very own Director while the interior is the brainchild of Studio Infinity, a firm of architects from Nairobi.

The Gallery’s exterior is inspired by a drum, shield and spear; well known African objects charged with traditional meanings. The spear represents survival and strength and us a symbol of masculinity, pride and prestige. The shield signifies safety and shelter and represents bravery and identity. The drum is a symbol of maternity and community as well as a means of communication and celebration.

Together these resonate with the gallery’s role in the community – to represents, communication and celebrate Africa’s cultural heritage.

View a stunning collection of African Ethnographics, A collectors haven!!!

Tania Bale
African Art Online.Com

Filed under african art gallery cultural heritage art gallery tanzania art gallery art gallery african art

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Novica in Association with National Geographic

Novica in association with National Geographic has made a huge impact for many Artisan’s around the globe.

Novica was the  first-ever micro finance website where customers can purchase products and lend money directly to artisans.

Now,  into their 10th anniversary, Novica continues  helping artisans expand their businesses by providing access to micro credit.

In the Novica spirit, they cut out all the financial middlemen and took the matter into their own hands!

With no middlemen involved in the process, the Artisan’s Loans carry 0% interest.

Yes – artisans will not be charged any interest. This revolutionary concept is possible only because Novica has offices in developing nations working directly with artisans and fulfilling customer orders. Now, Novica’s offices will also serve as disbursement centers for Artisan Loans, providing artisans access to the credit that they need to grow. It’s a very exciting time.

The micro finance program is crucial to helping artisans attain funds in order to expand their crafts and workmanship.

There are a few artists from Africa that are currently involved in the micro finance program, such as Chief Carver Nana Frimpong.

Nana Frimpong was in need of more raw materials and to purchase a wood cutting machine. Nana also employs several workers, which he feels solely responsible to keep them employed.

Nana Frimpong’s loan request was for $1,000, this loan request has recently been fully funded.

A detailed list of the current microfinance loans can be found here at Novica’s Micro finance List
The list also allows people to see who has helped in funding that particular artist.

View artists from Africa, Bali, Brazil, Andes.

Even a small loan makes a great difference, helping an artist achieve the vision they have for their business and their future.

Go check out the artists and the wonderful range of beautiful products.

I have personally purchased from Novica. A set of 6 Amethyst blown glass goblets by Javier and Efrén, from Mexico.
I’m almost to scared to use them, they are so beautiful.
Fantastic work.

Well done Novica!

All the best

Tania Bale
African Art Online

Filed under novica african art micro finance program