Anthony Jonas

Anthony Jonas

    He was born in Tanga city in Tanzania in 1979. His parents belong to Makonde tribe which is known for carving skills. However none of Anthony´s parents or family members was artist.


    When he and his parents came to Dar es Salaam in 1996, the bustling commercial city on Tanzanian east coast, he was still young and had no idea about art. But he liked to sketch into his exercise book which he always brought with himself.


The family settled near Tinga Tinga Cooperative and it didn´t take long time until his talent and exercise book was known to Tinga Tinga painters. It was Mwamedi Faiki who introduced him to Tinga Tinga art and Anthony started to paint traditional paintings.


    The next turning point in his painting carrier came when he met Bush Mikidadi who was one of best cartoonists in Tanzania at that time. It was Bush Mikidadi who inspired him to paint animal cartoons. Later he met Hasani Mwanyiro and Mr.Sey who also taught him the art of cartoon.


    Anthony Jonas developed his personal style of cartoons which are full of stories, incidents and meetings between people. The cartoons are very funny and carry less social messages than cartoons of Mitole, Charinda and other cartoonists in Tanzania. Instead we can find subtle personal messages which are understood only by his close friends. One of examples is writing names of his peers on cars, shop signs etc. such as Mgude Express.


    Anthony Jonas was soon discovered by curators and galleries, especially after his paintings were exhibited in National Museum in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Recently, his art works were displayed on exhibition in Denmark published in books such as Tingatinga: Kitsch or Quality, in newspapers such as the influential Italian La Stampa. He also got award from Aigle International de Nice in 2011.


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