Ndanda mission (www.ndanda.org)  was started by German missionaries on 15th August 1906. During more than 100 years of history it has reshaped religion, economy and even art in the region. It lies in south Tanzania, the land of Makonde, Yao and Makua people.

A wall painting by Father Polykap in Ndanda Church


The Abbey of Ndanda had tremendous impact on art in Tanzania. Max Kamundi was educated in art by father Marcus, Damian Msagula found a second home there, Sigfrid Nihuka is still painting churches with father Polykap, Robino Ntila was helped by missionaries to undertake his first trip to Dar es Salaam.


Old paintings like this probably of Damian Msagula are no exception. here at the dining room at the Ndanda monastery 

The Church in Ndanda had not only influenced individual artists but the whole style Makonde. The missionary not only employed Makonde sculptors to produce religious objects but it was the main customer of Makonde sculptors. Ndanda had probably played much greater role in Lilanga art than it is acknowledged now. Many Lilanga artists would never reach the artistic skills without Ndanda mission. Apart from Robino Ntila, Noel Kapanda and others there is one artists who was not mentioned much - Erasmus Mkwepu. He was working closely with George Lilanga in seventies and according to Robino Ntila he could be the originator of Lilanga shetanis.


The wall painting at the mission hospital in Ndanda. The artist is Likonde.

Sayuki remembered these 22 painters who come from Ndanda. These are only painters, the list of Makonde artists could have around hundred names...



1. Damian Msagula, 1939 +

2. Robino Ntila, 1953

3. Erasmus Mkwepu, 1961 +

4. Sayuki Matindiko, 1963

5. Noel Kapanda, 1969

6. Max Kamundi, 1970

7. Bosco Thomas, 1970

8. Roger Nihuka, 1955 +

9. John B. Kapanda, 1962 +

10. Anton Mwamba, 1964

11. Joachim Kalembo, 1966

12. Evarist Chikawe, 1974

13. Omari Ahmed, 1977

14. Ostard Kalembo, 1977

15. Lukas Chenga, 1980

16. Masudi Kibwana, 1987

17. Johnson Mjindo, 1988

18. H. Manoli, 1960

19. Sigfrid Nihuka, 1977

20. Lukas

21. Erick Kapanda

22. Msafiri Millanzi



Author: Daniel Augusta
Date: 15.07.2009