Hasani Thabiti Mchisa died  out of poisoning, he died three hours after he got a headache. He was young and strong person and everybody is shocked. Despite the healthy appearance he suffered of low pressure and had heart problems. On his last evening he drank a couple of beers returning home at about 10 PM. After having a shower and evening meal he started to feel headache. He took painkiller and that was probable his life mistake.


Hasani Thabiti Mchisa was burried by his fellow painters lead by Mzee Nakoko (the red shirt)

Hasani Thabiti Mchisa was painting in the Lilaga style. Actually he was the only painter who painted this style not being included in the Lilanga workshop. He told me that he met George Lilanga at an exhibition at Zimbabwe Embassy. He asked him the permission to paint in his style.  Mchisa was a typical Tingatinga painter working at Morogoro stores at Tingatinga Arts Cooperative Society. The next day after the Lilanga exhibiton he set out to Mbagala to visit George Lilanga at his home. George Lilanga told him that he can paint in his style providing he would sign as Mchisa. But according to another version George Lilaga never allowed Mchisa to paint in his style.


This is Mchisa´s last painting aimed for the Dar es Salaam residence of the Ambassador of Ireland. He had to repaint this painting three times since the sheet was specially measured.

After the death of George Lilanga the Mchisa paintings got increasingly popular. He has mastered the Lilanga style so well that he got huge orders. Mchisa told me that he always signed as “Mchisa” but other sources indicates the opposite. But during the three years I have been working with  TACS I have always seen him signing “Mchisa”. When the Lilanga market became turbulent the confused art lovers as well as tourists opted for a “true” Mchisa paintings rather than for “faked” Lilanga´s ones.


Mchisa left behind his wife and children. The death of husband in African societies is always a tremendous disaster for the family since the man cares for family

Hasani Thabiti Mchisa was our friend. He was a popular painter. He rightfully belongs to Lilanga history and in fact I planned to do an interview with him. His last order was from the ambassador of Ireland, a set of paintings for the decoration of the ambassador´s residence. He worked with this order almost a week. The ambassador´s husband came to pick up his finished paintings at around 10 AM. Mchisa died the same day 8 hours earlier. We loved him all.


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Author: Daniel Augusta
Date: 21.03.2009