WHO IS PAINTING MZUGUNO NOW?
Just one and half month before David Mzuguno died, he told to Daily Monitor, the Ugandan newspaper: “I have also taught three of my children to do art and hopefully they will carry on with the business when I have left this world,” Now it has gone half year since David Mzuguno passed away so do the children carry on with Mzuguno´s business?
Observation 1: The three children Mzuguno had on mind are: Juma Mzuguno (1980) Mshana Mzuguno (1983) and Kipara David Mzuguno (1991) ranked from most skilful to less skilful. Also notice that there is one painter called Rashid Mzuguno, but he is not son. He is possibly grandson but some says that he is even not related to Mzuguno family. However he was definitelly educated by David Mzuguno.
Observation 2: The paintings are of almost same qualities as David Mzuguno once painted. The children did sometimes paintings for their father who simply signed them. It was not only lines which were drawn by children but even the sketches. There are however differences between David's and his children's paintings. David displays more variation, it seems but it depends on particular painting.
Observation 3: The children of Mzuguno continue to sign the paintings as their father. It is out for respect for their father. I explained it was a mistake to continue to sign as their father and it was accepted they start to sign individually. Notice that today (2013), the Mzuguno children have their distinctive signature.
Observation 4: Together with grandchild of Mzuguno, Rashid Mzuguno called Chichi, the 4 children constitute the core group of Mzuguno artists.
Observation 5: The group is joined by others who also try to learn to paint in Mzuguno style but the results are very poor. Nevertheless they may become candidates for carrying the art style further. The students are: John Rada (1989), Ali Ngunda (1980), Bakari Ngunda (1983), James Mihayo (1990) and Ramadhani Hasani (1983). (Still two years after writing this article - no other painter succeded as the four Mzuguno children)
Observation 6: The children depend on domestic market, especially galleries in Tanzania which were used to be supplied by Mzuguno art works when David Mzuguno was alive. It could be difficult to break internationally as no one in the group masters English as David Mzuguno did. It seems the group lacks the articulation skills and the bearing ideas on which David Mzuguno operated. (Now 2 years after this article, the Mzuguno children made many succesful exhibitions and the demand for the paintings is relatively steady)
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Author: Daniel Augusta