How I was cheated...

They are many reasons for the contemporary Tinga Tinga artists to distort the history of the Tinga Tinga art. One reason could be to appear as close relatives to the old great masters. Then even their own paintings could sell easier, they think. Another reason could be to have a chance to be at the spotlight and meet a white man. Maybe then they can sell trousers to him...

And this is what happened when I started to ask about Adeus Mandu Mmatambwe in 2010. Mr.Hassani brought to my house an old man who was supposedly a relative to Adeus. I thought that I was smart at that time and laughed when I was offered Adeus' trousers for a small payment. Since Adeus passed away in 1983, the trousers would be almost 30 years old! But the last laugh made my visitors. I believed that the old man was in fact Adeus' relative. And I wrote an article and published in on Afrum website. But then when the years passed, I asked myself if all the stories I was told were true. And then I took a photo of Adeus and found his house. The old man was away and only his wife was at home. And she never heard about Adeus and didn't recognice him on the photo. I was cheated...

After 40 years, we don't know anything about Adeus. The search for the truth is still on. But you can read what I wrote on the Afrum website with a few comments:

Adeus was not Tanzanian but Mozambiquan of Makonde origin. (TRUE) He was born in the town Palma near the Ruvuma river.(PROBABLY FALSE) when he was still young he decided to try his luck in Tanzania and later even in Nairobi, Kenya.(PROBABLY FALSE) They were two of them, Adeus and Mathias Sikapu (FALSE). (Strangely both Linda and Adeus could not speak portugese) When Adeus went to Nairobi he left his uncle behind in Dar es Salaam. (FALSE) It was sometimes in 1960 to 1970. Then Adeus came back to Dar. Here in Dar they found Tingatinga who later admited Adeus as his student.(FALSE) There was some relationship between Adeus and Agatha.(TRUE) At least Agatha was born in Mozambic as Adeus. Adeus was a very good seller. He even went out to selll the paintings to other parts of Dar. He used to always sell. Hasani told me that Adeus sometimes showed his bowl and said ”I am hungry”.Adeus never married and got no children. (SURE?) Adeus passed in 1982 or 1983 from bladder disease. He was burried at the Mwananyamala cemetary.(LET ME CHECK!) This story was told to me by Mathias Sikapu who is Makonde sculptor, more than 60 years old. (TRUE)


Left: Daniel August, Middle: Mattias Sikapu, Right: Hassani Kamale. They tried to sell me the trousers! They said that the trousers were used by Adeus 30 years ago.