Nangida Masawe was born to an artistic family living on the slopes of the highest African mountain Kilimanjaro. Although many family members had inclination to art, it was only Nangida himself and his grandfather who made a living out of art. And Nangida was greatly influenced by his grandfather. He was a full time wood and stone sculptor. Nangida took up even his grandfather's name and promised to him to be an artist as him. Unfortunately, only few wooden pieces made by Nangida's grandfather remains with the family, most of his art works were sold to Germany. Nangida himself claims that his life's mission is to continue in his granfather's art legacy.
Nangida's talent was discovered in earlier age of 4 years when he got an accident. He was submitted to the Kibosho Hospital, one of the most important hospitals in the Kilimanjaro region. It was founded in 1929 and is located on the slope of the Kilimanjaro mountain. The expat doctors and nurses found soon that Nangida was a good painter and brought him presents in exchange for drawings. The little Nangida also made religious drawings to the Kibosho church when he still attended the primary school at its neighborhood. Kibosho church is a huge catholic church built on a high ridge of the Kilimanjaro mountain more than 100 years ago. Still at primary school, Nangida painted birthday cards and teaching aids.
In 2000, Nangida left the shadow of the mountain Kilimanjaro and set out on 700 km long journey to a coastal town of Bagamoyo. There he joined the Bagamoyo College of Arts pursuing Diploma in Art. In Bagamoyo, he met Peter Martin who later became his teacher. Nangida helped him to install an exhibition. After this meeting, Nangida visited Peter Martin at the Village Museum in Dar es Salaam where he learned to paint in the Tinga Tinga art style.
After finishing the Bagamoyo College of Arts, Nangida joined the group of the artists at the Village Museum where he worked until 2012. Now, 5 artists were painting together - Nangida Masawe, John Kilaka, Peter Martin, Jeremiah Emanuel and sometimes even Damian Msagula. It was a small group of painters whose friendship and work stretched across 5 different tribes – Chagga, Mfipa, Makonde, Mlundi and Myao.