Go to profile of Haji Chilonga


DA: You are very good painter, I think one of the most popular in Tanzania right now. (Notice: Chilonga sold very good in Mawazo gallery this month, at the same time he has exhibition in Arusha...) The proof of it is your wide clientele. Which countries do they come from? Do they come to your studio or you go to them?
HC:  My customers come from different countries like Germany, Switzerland, Austria, England, Sweden, Czech Republic, Denmark and USA. Actually most of them visit me at my own studio.


DA: What about payment? Which nationality is paying best and which worst? (smile)
HC: I can't see big differens between them, that who is a best or who is worst but they paying much more than people in my country. But Americans use to pay much according to my experience.


DA: You are Makonde. Do you have any connection to the Makonde carvers? Why are so many painters of Makonde origin? Is there some relationship between Makonde carvers and Makonde painters?
HC: No! I'm not Makonde, I'm Mwera tribe on my paternal side and Makua tribe on my maternal side, but those two tribes come from southern part of Tanzania, Mtwara Region, Masasi Destrict. Off course I have some connection with Makonde carvers. On my side I believe that the GOD has given to the people from southern Tanzania that ability to be painters. But there is not only Makonde tribe, there is Mwera, Makua and Yao. All these tribes from Southern part of Tanzania and many people from these tribes are painters and carvers. Sure, I have some relationship to them, I mean Makonde carvers and painters.


Questions sent:  11th March 2008 from Sweden
Answered: 11th March 2008 from Tanzania
Notice:  Slightly edited
DA: Daniel Augusta
HC: Haji Chilonga
Original language of Interview: English

Author: Daniel Augusta
Date: 26.06.2008