Written by Clara Marealle*
On our way to Nafasi Art Space, we talked a lot of controversial issues in the car; the one that caught my attention the most was the existence of different worlds within our universe. Someone was explaining, “There are people who don’t exist in the actual world, they are so lost in social networks and all internet involved networks that they only know of that world.” Silently in my thoughts, I thought to myself, there is a world of greatness. A world filled with love, peace and creativity. A world only the passionate and patient exist. At the age of fourteen, I fell deeply, madly and insanely in love with this world. I call it Dunia ya Sanaa (the world of art). On Saturday 31st May 2014, ten years later along with my cousins and friends Aikande, Alilyah, Nsia, Katie and Andrea; we joined a friend Sarita for the official opening of her library Bookstop Sanaa at the Nafasi Art Space in Mikocheni, Dar es Salaam. The place was beyond my expectation it had turned out to be the perfect day out, trills and laughter galore and the entire place just looked so spectacular. We watched the premier screening of African Masters: Rising Stars (A 2013 documentary on Art in Tanzania). We got to see an exhibition of Art book designs featuring local and international artists and designers, and the best part of it was the art activities we engaged in, a lot of drawing and painting, as well as drama. I had just been transformed from the actual world to the world of art and I could not resist getting lost in it.
Art in Tanzania has been marked by the footprints of the remarkable Edward Said Tingatinga who established the most famous African brands in 1968 the TINGA TINGA. The Tingatinga painting style developed in Oysterbay, Dar es Salaam and has widely spread through East Africa and other parts of the world. I only share this because I want you to have a clear picture of our Tanzanian artistic roots. I recall in the year 2009,I wanted to pursue a degree in fine arts and design but so many people discouraged me. I quote someone saying to me “Art in Tanzania is not a career rather a hobby/ talent” I am glad that today tireless efforts to develop the Sanaa industry in Tanzania have been made by the likes of Nadir Tharani, Robin Ntila, Mohammed Charinda, and Rehema Chachage. I long for the day we all as Tanzanians embrace art and the culture that comes with it in our country.
After a Saturday well spent at nafasi art space, on our way back Andrea said “I wish the whole of Dar Es Salaam could be like nafasi art space” She explained further how she wished that more people got engaged in the art scene and not only the foreigners but the local people as well could get involved. Nafasi art space has so much to offer and I second her that we all should spare our free time and go to Nafasi art space, lets support what all the artists do and represent, we have nothing to lose but a lot to gain. I love my Tanzania. My name is Clara Marealle and art is the core of who I am. Thank you.
Clara Marealle is a law student! She loves art and her numerous art work is displayed at her parents house in Mailisita Moshi. She paints on oder…you contact her :07656430685