A conversation with Muteb Kabash, recorded March 10, 1974, at Muteb’s home in Kolwezi.
F: ...ku Forrest/ na ku nyumba ya: Kanyemba/ Kanyemba unafahamu?
F: Kani: non: Kanyemba/
M: Kanyemba/ nyumba yake siyue hapana/ yee minamufahamu/
F: iko anapenta/
F: ni: na ndevu/
F: si njo Lunda vile vile?
F: na kule tulikuta: tulikutana na: ingine: jina yake ni Matchika/
F: Matchika/ yee anatumika kazi ya peintre/
F: Matchika Laurent/
O: mm/ ni kiyana/
M: ni: kabila gani?
F: anatoka Dilolo/
M: na ule siyamufahamu hapana/
F: ile: yee anaikala kule ku Forrest vile vile/
M: juu: mule: si muko mbali: mi sitatembeleaka mule hapana/
1. ...(we come from a visit to) Forrest
township, to the house of Kanyemba. Do you know Kanyemba?
F: No, Kanyemba.
M: Kanyemba. I am not familiar with his house but I him I know.
F: He paints.
F: He has a beard.
F: Isn’t he also Lunda?
F: He is the one (I mean).
F: And there we met with another (painter), his name is Matchika.
F: Matchika/ He works as a painter.
F: Matchika Laurent.
O: Mm. He is a young man.
M: What is his ethnic group?
F: He comes from Dilolo.
M: That one I don’t know yet.
F: He also lives in Forrest township.
M: Well, that place is far away. I would not go there regularly.
F: kumbe: sasa: wee:
F: ulianza hii kazi ya: peinture: ulianza zamani ao? ulifunda? ulifunda kazi ya peinture ao?
M: hapana: ni don/ si nilikuwa kuexpliquer ku Makutano?
F: oui oui mais:
M: mm/ nilifunda section ingine...
F: [overlapping] ...nasumbulia na bamingi:
F: minaanza kusahabu: eh?
M: nilifunda section ingine: sasa: mi: minashinda na ile section: njo minacontinuer/ sawa vile niko na expérience kiloko/ ...?...
F: [overlapping]... na: na section gani? ku masomo?
M: aah nilifundiaka/
F: hapa mu cité hapa?
F: ile école f: professionnelle?
M: hapana/ nilifunzaka ku athénée: minatoka/
F: ku athénée ulitoka:
F: kuacha masomo?
M: Makuta njo ilinishinda/ [chuckle]
M: njo minaanza kutumika kwa citoyen Yav/ tena niko: yee aliniengager sawa décorateur: juu minaandikaka: minafanya mapublicités/ paneaux: tout ça/ njo ile aliniengager juu ya kufanya mu Gécamines/
F: ile publi: aah/ mais: kwa: ku mwanzo kabisa: ulianza namna gani?
M: niranza paka vile:
F: ka u: kwa utoto ulikuwa tena na...?...
M: ku butoto nilikuwa na don ya mu macahiers:
M: paka vile: mais shikuanza kufanya hii hapana/
M: naanza kufanya tu bintu yangu inanifurahisha na: roho yangu iliendaka kule: njo finalement pale minaona benzetu beko nafanya na mi: mina continuer/ sifanya na muntu ananikuonyesha hapana: mi mwenyewe tu/ akili yangu/
F: hata mu école:
M: hata muntu moya yee ananifundisha hapana/ mi mwenyewe minakamata hivi: minaanza: mélanger macouleurs: et puis: naona/
2. So, now about you.
F: did you begin with this work of painting some time ago? Did you study it? Did you study painting, or?
M: No, it’s a gift. Didn’t I explain this to you at Makutano?
F: Yes, of course, but (tell me again).
M: Mm. I studied in another section.
F: [overlapping] I have been talking to so many people.
F: That I start to forget, you understand?
M: I studied in another section but then I didn’t make it there, so I went on. Because I had little experience...
F: [overlapping]...what section was that? In school?
M: Yes, that’s where I went to school.
F: Here in the township?
F: Was that at this trade school?
M: No, I went to the Athenée (high school) and then I left.
F: You left the Athenée?
F: Dropping out of school?
M: The money was too much for me. [chuckle]
F: I see.
M: That was when I began working for Citoyen Yav where I still am. He hired me as a decorator, to write advertisements, bill boards, all that. That’s what he hired me for, to do this at Gécamines.
F: Advertising, I see. But at the very beginning, how did you start out?
M: That’s how I started out.
F: Was that when you were still very young?
M: As a child I had the gift (and did drawings) in copy books.
M: Just like that, but I had not started yet with this (kind of painting).
M: I just did stuff that pleased me. As my mind went into that direction I ended up observing what my age mates did and so I went on with it. I did not work with someone who showed me (how to do it). Just by myself, with my ability.
F: I see.
F: (Without instruction) even at school?
M: There was no one who taught me. I picked this up myself. I began mixing colors and then I saw (what came of it).
3. F: we: ulizaliwa na mwa: mwaka gani?
F: kumbe sasa: vingt:
F: uliisha kufanya ndoa?
F: uliisha kufanya ndoa?
M: si: sina na bibi/
F: ah una: unabakia baraka/
M: [laughs] kama nikuwa na bibi: kama namukuta/
F: njo: mais kwenu haba: haifai Makuta mingi/
F: ku baLunda/
M: eeh/ lakini miye: mi: minapasha mbele kuona mufano niko: juu vie iko nguvu/
F: oui/ c’est ça/
M: sasa: hata bananilomba kiloko: mufano kitakana na bibi huku: inafaa nikuye muzuri/
F: mm/ kumbe unakaa: sasa unaikala na kwa: kwa bazazi bale?
F: njo: njo muzazi yako?
M: eh ni ba: ni baoncles: paternels/
M: mm/ muza: muzazi ya: muzazi yangu: ana hapa hapana/
F: beko mu mugini?
M: mm: beko ku mukini/
M: mbali kabisa/
F: si tulifika/
M: oui oui/ njo kule ku bazazi bote bawili/ huku nilikuyaka tangu zamani na muyomba ku Lubumbashi: tangu mu soixante-trois/
F: soixante-trois ulifika mu: kizungu?
F: soixante-trois? mwanzo/
M: sasa: njo minaikala ule...
F: uliikala: uliikala Lubumbashi?
M: Lubumbashi: mina: nitoka mu soixante-neuf/ ku Lubumbashi/ minafunza école primaire: officielle ya Katuba:
M: secondaire minaanzia ku: ile ya mu Kenia officielle tena/
M: oui/ sasa ni: quoi? naisha geuza jina: ni Athénée: [pauses] kama ni athénée gani?
F: Athénée Maendeleo ao:
M: voilà/ hii ya huku eh?
M: oui/ njo kule nilikuachilia première na deuxième: sauf: kiisha minatoka kule nakuya huku/ nikala lote/
M: oui oui/
F: unaona kama ni: ni muzuri yako?
M: ah hapa un peu pazuri/
3. F: What year were you born?
F: So now you are twenty...
F: Have you gotten married?
F: Have you gotten married?
F: Not yet?
M: I don’t have a wife.
F: So you are still a bachelor.
M: [laughs] I would have a wife if I met her.
F: I see.
F: But in your ethnic group you don’t have to put up a lot of money (for the bride price).
F: Among the Lunda.
M: True, but I must first look at my situation, because life is hard.
F: Yes, that’s right.
M: Even though they may ask little, to meet the needs of a wife here I must be well off.
F: Mm. So now you live with relatives?
F: Your parents?
M: Well, they are uncles, on my father’s side.
F: I see.
M: My parent(s) don’t live here.
F: They don’t live here.
F: They live in the village?
M: Mm. They live in the village.
F: In Kapanga?
M: That’s very far.
O: It is.
F: We have been there.
M: I see.
F: In Kapanga.
M: Yes. That’s where both my parents live. To this place I came long ago (first staying) with an uncle in Lubumbashi, since sixty-three.
F: So you came to town in sixty-three?
F: In sixty-three? That was the beginning.
M: Now I live...
F: You stayed in Lubumbashi?
M: In Lubumbashi. I left there in sixty-nine. In Lubumbashi I went to state primary school in Katuba township.
F: I see.
M: Then I began secondary state school in Kenia township.
M: Yes. Nowadays it is called what? The name changed [pauses], it’s some Athenée.
F: Perhaps Athenée Maendeleo?
M: Right, that’s the name here (in Kolwezi).
M: Yes. It was there (in Lubumbashi) that I dropped out of first or second grade. But then I left and came to this place where I settled permanently.
F: You find it agrees with you?
M: Ah, this place is tolerable.
4. F: ile wakati ulikuwa mutoto ku Lubumbashi: ulianza:
ulianza déjà na: na: peinture?
M: ile wakati?
M: peinture shikuanzaka/ nilianza tu kufanya tu madessins ya: ovyo ovyo:
M: na kupenta na macouleurs hapana peinture/
F: kumbe zaidi ulianza paka hapa Kolwezi?
M: ah zaidi paka hapa/
M: kama nilikuwa na m: nani: tu mabitabu:
M: njo ni ...?...
M: surtout nilianza kufanya par example shiku ya Noël: bananiomba kicrèche ya kufanya nayo: mina: minadécorer crèche/
M: et puis tunaweka: paka vile/ mais shikuwaka asema hii kazi nitaprogresser hapana/
F: mm/ hii wakati ulikuwa mu Lubumbashi: uliona mapeintres mingi?
M: niliona bapeintres mingi/ ba: Académie des Beaux Arts: lakini shikuanzaka kuvivre nabo karibu: minaanza kuona: baliisha kuweka: par example: mu nyumba minaendea nakuta kidessin kizuri:
M: njo minaanza kuangaria tu/
F: mm/ unajua majina yabo?
M: ah wapi/
F: na bangine?
M: wapi/ mu Lubumbashi?
M: hapana/ mi shijue/
F: hapa muko bamingi?
M: badécora: ba: artistes?
F: [overlapping] badécorer: baartistes/
M: ah beko mingi/
F: mu cité?
F: sawa nani?
M: kuko baKabinda: ba...
F: ...Kabinda njo jina yake?
M: ba: Bonika: mi sijue kama ni jina yake: kama ni:
F: ile ile: mufupi:
F: baba muzee?
M: kuko Bonika: kuko [pauses] voyons:
M: oui/ kuko baProsper: bamingi tu/
F: bamingi hapa mu cité?
F: na bote banauzaka: banauzishaka: eh: matableaux yabo?
M: eeh: bote banauzishaka/
F: hata wee: utuaz: uatauza ngapi?
M: ile matableaux yabo?
F: yeah/ sawa kila: kila mwezi/
M: kila mwezi?
F: kila mwezi/ unatumika kila: kila juma: ao kila mwezi? hapana/
M: miye kintu inanikosea ni kazi/ minatumika paka vile uliniomba weye:
M: minakutumikia/ sasa pa kufanya mi mwenyewe nifanye: nikauzishe: wakati hapana/ vile/ yee: patron njo ananiombakako bintu: mingi:
M: kama na: eko naye besoin anasema wende unanifansie kintu fulani:
M: vile/ njo minamufansia
M: lakini kwa mi: minafanyaka rarement/ sawa hivi: hii matableaux inabakia: ni kusema: mitaiisha juu ya kuuzisha kama inaisha/ tangu naisha: paka naona tena muntu ya kuniomba commande/ oui/
F: kumbe: ile peintures: ni sawa: si: si: si kazi yako zaidi hapana?
M: ni kazi yangu mais: juu niko: niko na kazi ingine/
4. By then, when you were a child in Lubumbashi, had you
begun to paint?
M: At that time?
M: I didn’t start painting, I began making drawings, nothing much.
M: (But) not painting in the sense of working with colors.
F: So you really started only here in Kolwezi?
M: Really only here.
M: If had had some books...
M: ...then I would have...
M: What made me start (painting) was – for instance, for Christmas day, people would ask me to work on the manger with them. So I decorated the manger.
F: I see.
M: And then we would set it up, that sort of thing. But I knew that kind of work wouldn’t get me anywhere.
F: At the time, when you lived in Lubumbashi, did you observe that there were many painters?
M: I saw many painters, those that were at the Académie des Beaux Arts, but I didn’t live close to them. What I saw, for instance, was that in a house I went to I would come upon a beautiful picture that was displayed there.
M: I just looked at it.
F: Mm. Do you know their names?
M: Ah, not really.
F: Not even some of them?
M: Where, in Lubumbashi?
M: No, I don’t know any.
F: And here (in Kolwezi) are there many of you?
M: (You mean) decorators, artists?
F: [overlapping] Decorators, artists.
M: Ah, there are many of them.
F: In the township?
F: Who, for instance?
M: There are the likes of Kabinda, and...
F: ...Kabinda, is that his name?
M: And the likes of Bonika, I don’t know whether that is his name.
F: This short person.
F: An elderly gentleman?
M: There is Bonika, there is [pauses] let’s see...
M: Yes. There are the likes of Prosper, just a lot of them.
F: A lot of them, here in the township?
F: And they all sell their paintings?
M: Yes, they all sell them.
F: What about you, how many would you sell.
M: (You are talking about) their paintings?
F: Yes. About how many per month.
M: Per month?
F: Per month. Do you work every week or every month? No.
M: What I don’t have is (commissioned) work. I only work like when you asked me to.
M: Then I work. To paint and sell just on my own I don’t have the time. My boss asks for many things.
M: When he needs something he tells me, go and do this or that for me.
M: So, then I do it.
M: But for myself I seldom paint. These paintings lying around I am going to finish and sell them when they are done. In the meantime I look for someone to place an order with me. Yes.
F: In other words, painting these picture is not really your work?
M: It is my work but I have another job.
5. [interruption, a boy (or woman) telling something in
M: [explains to me] frère ya huyu: petit frère ya huyu alikufa ku Lubumbashi/ Mandra: Mandrandele/
F: njo huyu?
M: muloko yake eeh/
F: ni yee?
M: eeh ni yeye/
F: tuko na muloko yake: assistant kwetu ku université/
M: eh huku iko mungine/
M: yee huyu/ alikuya sasa hivi/ yee iko mu...
O: anafanya kazi humu/
M: mi sijue kazi yee iko nafanya: alifikilia kama ni kwa banduku yake: baco: bacommissaire:
M: lakini shijue kama baliisha kumupatia kazi iko natumika/
F: ah minaona/ sawa: [pauses]
M: ni kazi yangu minaweza hata kama mina: minasema bon: ni: niache ile kazi: mitatumika paka hii: mashiku yote/
F: uko na mawazo ya kufanya nini?
M: eeh/ maneno kazi iko inanitrainer: hii minaweza kuprogresser muzuri/
M: minafanya mingi: niende nayo mbali mu Zambie ao fasi ya mbali: minauzisha/
M: nitafanya hata cent: minauzisha/ comme ça nitakuya muzuri/ ni kazi yangu: maneno ni kintu niisha kuyua/
5. [interruption, a boy (or woman) telling something in
M: [explains to me] The brother, the younger brother of this one died in Lubumbashi. Madrandele.
F: That is the one?
M: His younger brother, yes.
F: He is the one?
M: He is the one, yes.
F: We have his younger brother, an assistant at our university.
M: Well, this one here is someone else.
M: This one is. He just arrived, he is...
O: He works here.
M: I don’t know what kind of work he does. He came (to stay) with his relatives, people related to the Commissaire.
M: But I don’t know about them giving him a job.
F: Ah, I see. Now [pauses]...
M: Regarding my work, I could say alright I’ll quit my job and work only (as a painter), every day.
F: What do you think you’ll do?
M: Well, fact is that my job is slowing me down, with this kind of work (painting) I can move ahead nicely.
M: I produce a lot (paintings) and take them to a place far away, to Zambia or another place far away and sell them.
M: I would paint as many as a hundred (pictures) and sell them. This is my work because it is something I know.
6. F: kazi inaacha: ile kazi ya artiste inaachana na kazi
ingine namna gani?
M: ile? ile minatumika?
M: ile si niko natumikia Makuta kiloko/ tena: saa mingi/
M: kumbe ii minaweza kufanya bintu mingi par s: par siku moya: kiisha kwa kufanya shiku yote shiku yote mitapatiamo: profit kiloko/
F: sawa kwa kuuzisha? wee unafanya tu ile: ile: matableaux uko na mawazo:
F: ndani: ndani yako: ao unapashwa kufanya ile bantu banaomba? sur commande...
M: ii: ii nilifanya tu mawazo yangu/
M: mais kama uko unania: una: u: unaniambia tu asema unifansie kintu fulani ya hivi: mitafanya paka ile/
F: kufanya utafanya/
F: sasa bantu banaomba: banacommander nini? zaidi/
F: bantu ya sawa: baclients/ uko na baclients hapa mu cité?
M: eeh/ eeh/
F: sawa bo bana...
M: ...paysages tu yote: surtout: eh? maMamba Muntu: njo ile banacommander bo/ kiisha: ku réproduire foto: maneno ile mi shiya: shiyafansia bantu hapana/
M: nilifanyaka pake na mi mwenyewe juu ya: publicité: minaweka mu nyumba yangu: baliisha kuibebaka tena/
M: kuréproduire foto yangu: njo...
F: ...sawa nsula ya ku: portrait?
M: mm/ voilà: portrait/
6. F: How does the work of an artist differ from other
kinds of work?
M: (You mean) this job I have?
M: That – I work for little money, don’t I? And long hours.
M: While if I could do this work such that I produce many pictures a day, painting every day, I would make a little profit.
F: When it comes to selling, do you only paint pictures you think up?
F: (Making them up) yourself? Or do you have to paint what people ask for? On order...
M: Those here I did following only my own ideas.
M: However, if you tell me, paint a certain kind picture for me that’s what I’ll do.
F: You’ll do it?
F: You’ll just do it.
F: Now, what do people ask for, what do the order mostly?
F: People who are, as it were, your customers. Do you have customers here in the township?
M: Yes. Yes.
F: And they...
M: Landscapes of every kind, especially pictures of Mamba Muntu, that’s what they order. And then there is reproducing photographs. But that is something I haven’t done yet for customers.
M: I only did one of myself , as an advertisement, and put it up in my house, it ended up being taken away.
M: (I mean) reproduce a photo of myself.
F: Like a face, a portrait.
M: Mm. That’s it, a portrait.
7. na [pauses] munakutana na baartistes ingine?
F: sawa muna...
F: muko munabakia na sawa mu nkundi?
M: barafiki eeh/
M: mm/ kama unatumika kazi moya: muko barafiki/ maneno: iko sawa [pauses] basoldats/
M: kama banakutanishana fashi moya: iko bantu bamoya/
M: sawa hivi shi baartistes tu kiloko: tunayuana/ maneno mala ingine: unanipasser commandes mingi: minasema bon/ wee unaniambia iishe bupeshi: mitaita ule: rafiki yangu: tunafanya naye bupeshi/
F: ile: sasa unatumika ku wee: muntu: peke yako?
F: kufanya chassis yote: yote unafanya?
M: ya: yote/ niko na: na scie: na mbao pa ku:
M: nafanya mi mwenyewe et puis:
M: sina na hata muntu moya ya kunisaidia/
F: ile nani: ile nguo ni ya: ya mifuku ya...
M: ni: ni emb/ ni emb/ emb ya Gécamines: tunalokotaka hivi banatupata/
M: ku: mu usine ya Luilu/
M: unaona? [shows a canvas, noise of patting it]
F: c’est quoi ça?
O: des bâches/
O: maemba: maembe/ [searching] maimbe...
M: haina nguo ya kufwa bupeshi ao kuharibika hapana/
O: ya filtre/
M: eeh: ya filtration ku: ya nani: Kamoto:
O: de Kamoto; c’est des toiles de filtre/
F: mais inakulya: si njo inakulya penti mingi?
M: inakula penti mingi d’accord/
M: mais minapenda yee/
O: iko nguvu:
M: iko nguvu: tena ingala inashimama muzuri/
M: ni kusema: hapa: surtout ile manguo ya: ya nani: ya Marekani: yo inaombaka penti nayoo mingi/ puisque ii: pa kuonekana hivi....
F: ...Amerikani: njo ya mifuko?
M: ...inafaa na macouleurs en tube/ njo inaonenekanako sawa hivi/
M: macouleurs en tube/
M: donc: ii iko muzuri: hata: ii macouleurs: iko inaonekana muzuri/
7. And [pauses] do you meet with other artists?
F: For instance, do you...
M: ...it has happened..
F: Do you stay together in a group?
M: Among friends, yes.
M: Mm. When you do the same work you become friends. It’s like [pauses] among soldiers.
M: If they meet in the same place the become people of the same kind.
M: It’s a little like that among us artists, we know each other. It may happen that you place a lot of orders with me. In that case I say alright, since you tell me they should be done fast I am going to call on my friend, together with him we work fast.
F: At the moment you work by yourself, alone?
F: Making the stretchers, you do everything?
M: Everything. I have a saw and lumber for (that).
M: I make them myself and also...
M: I don’t have a single person to help me.
F: (How about) those canvases made from sacking...
M: They are made of emb, from Gécamines. We salvage them and they give them to us.
F: I see.
M: At the factory in Luilu.
M: You see? [shows a canvas, noise of patting it]
F: What is that?
O: Pieces of canvas.
F: That’s it.
O: Maemba, maembe, [searching], maimbe ...
M: This is not cloth that will rot or tear soon.
O: (It’s used) in a filter.
M: Yes, in filtration at Kamoto.
O: [In French] From Kamoto, these are This kind of material used in filters.
F: But doesn’t it eat up a lot of paint?
M: This one?
O: It does.
M: It eats up a lot of paint, true.
M: But I like it.
O: It’s strong.
M: It is strong and it keeps well.
M: That is to say, the kind of cloth called Marekani also asks for a lot of paint. To look like this...
F: Amerikani, that comes from (flower) sacks?
M: That is needed for tube paints. Then it comes out like (what you see) here.
F: I see.
M: Tube paints.
M: So, this material here is fine, on it the colors come out nicely.
8. F: bale baartistes mwenye kufanya paka hii kazi: pasipo
kazi ingine/ bo banapashwa kufanya matableaux ngapi kila juma?
M: kila juma? [pauses] unaweza kufanya hata par jour: cinq/
F: par jour?
M: par jour/ oui/ kama unakuwa tu na kazi/
M: cinq: ou bien quatre/
M: ao mi: si hii minafanya siku moya? jana: jana kutwa tulimiambia:
M: minafanya trois paka jana na bushiku/
M: minaisha sawa sawa hii: minadéposer: njo leo kuweka: nani?
M: voilà/ haina vernis: ni: couleur/ mi niligeuza: couleur noïre na: na rouge kiloko:
F: ah ile ya: juu ya cadre/
M: juu ishiharibike bupeshi/
F: c’est ça/
M: kama muntu anakamata: utakamata buchavu/
F: c’est ça/
M: mm/ ao minaweza kufanya: kwa ile: ma ku:
M: tableaux tano hapa: kama shina kazi/
F: na ile...
M: ... kama niko na kazi: sawa minatokaka trois heures: naweza kufanya au moins: deux: ao moya par jour/
M: sasa pa kufanya juma iishe: nitafanya: fa: fa: sept/ surtout mu dimanche: nitaweka mingi/
F: oui oui/ et: kama unataka kuuzisha utaweza kuuzisha yote unataka kuuzisha?
F: hamuna na: na difficulté ya kuuzisha?
M: hakuna/ hakuna/
F: bantu banauza yote?
M: eheh/ wanaweza kuuza yote/
F: mais unapashwa kutembea kiloko?
M: ao na: ao niexposer tu/
F: exposer: munexposer hapa? wapi?
M: banafanyaka expositions kama: kuko bapeintres banafanya bintu mingi: ao ku Manika:
M: wa ya ku AMI/ ao ku Manika: Manika sur...
F: ah oui: ile tuliona/ oui oui/
M: voilà/ kama hainako: sawa ya kupitisha iko kazi mingi/
M: inafaa kuixposer: muntu anakuya anaangaria: na utawina/ lakini sasa: hakuna bapeintres beko exposer mingi hapana/
M: mm/ mi shijue juu ya nini hapana/ nili: niliona shiku moya ku Bon Marché banexposer paka kimoya/
8. Those artists whose only work is painting, how many
pictures per week must they paint (to survive)?
M: Every week? [pauses] You can do as many as five per day.
F: Per day?
M: Per day, yes. If you have (commissioned work).
M: Five, or four.
M: Take me, I did those here in one day, didn’t I? you told me (about the order) the day before yesterday.
M: I painted three of them just last night.
F: I see.
M: I finished those and put them down so that, today, I could apply – what is it called?
M: There you are, but not varnish, a color. I changed the black with a little red.
F: Ah, this was for the frame.
M: So that it doesn’t get messed up right away.
F: That’s it.
M: If someone picks it up you may get dirty.
F: That’s it.
M: Mm. I could do those.
M: Those five paintings (I mentioned) if I did not have a job.
F: And this...
M: ...with the job – if I get off at three o’clock – I can do at least two or one per day.
M: So, if I paint till the end of the week, I’ll do seven. Especially on a Sunday, I’ll get a lot done.
F: Yes, yes. And if you want to sell, would you be able to sell everything you wanted to?
F: You don’t have problems selling?
M: There are no (problems).
F: People buy everything?
M: Yes, they may buy everything.
F: But you have to move around quite a bit?
M: Or I just exhibit them.
F: Exhibiting – do you have exhibitions here? Where?
M: Exhibitions are organized when there are painters who produce a lot, here at Manika.
M: There are those (who exhibit) at AMI,
or at the Manika (community center).
F: Ah, we have seen those, yes.
M: There you are. Without (the exhibitions) going around (selling paintings) is a lot of work.
M: You have to exhibit – a person comes around, looks at (your work), and you’ll get lucky. But nowadays painters don’t exhibit a lot.
M: Mm. I don’t know why. One day I saw a single piece exhibited at Bon Marché.
9. F: mm/ ah oui/ mais: [pauses] unaona kama s: bantu/
banauza: sasa banauza ku: matableaux kupita ya zamani?
F: si vile?
F: juu ya nini? sawa sasa banaanza kupenda:
M: banaanza kuyua: he? kutengeneza nyumba/
F: juu pa: ni juu ya kutengeneza nyumba?
M: ah/ ina: inatengeneza nyumba/
M: muntu anakuya ana: anaikala: eko na macho yake inependa kuona bintu ya: ya muzuri/
F: mm/ mm/ [pause]
M: njo vile/
F: kumbe: kumbe: [trailing off] eyo/ mina: minajua/ minaona/
9. F: Mm. Ah yes. But [pauses] do you find that people
nowadays buy more paintings than in the past?
F: Don’t you?
F: Why is that? Is that now they begin to like (them)?
M: They begin to know how to decorate a house.
F: Is it about decorating a house?
M: Ah, it is (part of) decorating a house.
M: When a person comes (home) and sits down, his eyes like to see beautiful things.
F: Mm. Mm. [pause]
M: That’s how it is.
F: So then [trailing off], I see. I know, I observe (this).
10. eh: sasa: [pauses] pa kujua kama ile kazi ulifanya ni
muzuri ao ni mubaya/
F: sawa u: ule kazi ingine unafanya peintre ya maison/ mm?
F: sawa: mukubwa ye: eh: yenu ata: ataangaria ...?...ile kazi ni muzuri: kazi ni mubaya/
M: [overlapping] ao ni mubaya/ ao mi mwenyewe mitayua pale nitafanya: minasema: ii mina ya haribisha: ii minatengenza/
F: oui/ mais: utajua namna gani?
M: nitajua maneno mayele ile: ile nakuwa nayo ni kazi ya: ya kupenta:
M: ile mayele nilikuwa nayo minaweza minakutola: minaona couleur ilinitafuta pa ile fashi: aina justement: mais: i: iisha kugeuka mu couleur ingine/ maneno bintu iko nachanga:
M: kupenta/ mitaona asema: ii mi shii tumia muzuri/ ina...
F: sasa: ndiyo/ sasa kama bantu banaona: matableaux ye: yako/
F: banasema ah: ile ni: ni ya Muteba/
F: ao Muteb/
F: bataweza kujua namna gani?
M: kujua mm?
F: kujua kama: kufahamu: kama ni yako/ sasa ile: u: uko na namna yako ya ku: kupenta/ wee unaachana na Kabinda: unaachana na nani: na: na:
M: minafanya mi mwenyewe: ni kusema pa kuyua: siku moya bata: batanikuta: naisha ku bi: weka/ sawa wee uliona kule: ku Makutano/ shi njo kule ulinionaka?
M: ile signature yangu/ kama peko muntu unaiuza: njo unamuuliza/
M: sema: Muteba...
F: ...ulipata cli: client ingine juu ya ile: ile peintures kule ku?
M: ah: apana/
F: ku Makutano/
F: paka shee ya:
M: paka mweye/
F: ya mwanzo?
F: eyo/ ile ulifanya si: zamani?
M: zamani/ mu septante: deux/
M: oui/ njo mi nilifanya/
F: hii wakati ya: ulianza?
M: ile iko wakati minaanza kazi tu/ njo: njo minamufansia paka ile/
F: aah/ kwa patron?
10. Well, now, [pauses] about knowing what is good and
what is bad in the work you do.
F: For instance, you have this other job as a house painter, right?
F: Your boss will look at your work (and say) this is good work, that that is bad.
M: [overlapping] ...or it is bad. Or I myself will know it when I am working, telling myself, this one I messed up, so I fix it.
F: Yes, but how are you going to know?
F: To know...
M: I’ll know, because I have the skills for working as a painter.
M: If I have those skills I can apply them. I see a spot where there is something wrong with the color. The paint changed color because something got mixed up...
M: ...in painting. I’ll see it and tell myself, this I didn’t do well. It’s...
F: Yes, now, when people see your paintings.
F: Do they say, ah those are by Muteba?
F: Or rather Muteb.
F: How would they know?
M: Know what?
F: Knowing in the sense of recognizing that they are yours. You have your way of painting. You are different from Kabinda, from – who else?
M: I paint by myself. As to knowing (who I am), some day they’ll come across my work (at a place) where I put it up, like you did at Makutano. Was this not where you saw me?
M: My signature. If someone buys a painting there you ask him (about it).
M: Saying, Muteba...
F: ...have you found another customer because of those paintings there?
M: Ah, no.
F: ...at Makutano?
F: Only us.
M: Only you.
F: (We were) the first ones?
F: I see. Did you do them some time ago?
M: Some time ago, in seventy-two.
M: Yes, that’s when I did them.
F: That was the time when you started out?
M: It was when I began working, that’s why I did them for him.
F: Ah, for the owner?
11. F: juu ya: nani: em acha niangarie/ [pauses] kunabakia
tena: kuuliza kintu/ juu ya bei: tutasikilizana/ mais: kwanza:
F: mina: minapasha kujua: sawa vile unauzishaka siku yote/
F: na bantu ya hapa/ eh?
F: ni kusema: utaweka bei namna gani? sawa: sawa: kwa mufano ile: ile: ya mwanzo tunaona: kule: mata: tableaux/
F: utauzisha ngapi?
M: ii: [claps] iko yulu?
M: kwa miye?
F: kwa: hapa kwa cité/
M: hapa mu cité?
F: ah ku: sema tu wazi/ shee tutasikilizana na bei.
M: ah ndiyo/ [chuckles] minayua ile/ ça: hapa mu cité: ile tableaux minaweza kuuzisha ku trois Zaire/
F: trois Zaire?
M: [overlapping] cinquante Makuta/
F: kweli? aaah: sema wazi/
M: eheh/ mi: minamuambia trois Zaire: cinquante: kama anakatala ananipa trois Zaire/
F: njo mingi/
M: iko mingi?
F: ah ku cité ku bantu iko mingi/
M: ban: juu bantu beko mingi?
F: kwa bantu iko mingi/
F: ma: ma nani: mu Lubumbashi banauzishaka: tableaux moya: banaanza na quarante Makuta/
M: quarante Makuta?
F: kiisha: Zaire: un Zaire cinquante: deux Zaire njo mingi/
M: eheh/ lakini siyaone/ siyaone hata peintre moya eko anauzisha:
F: hapa ni vile/
M: minaona: premièrement: eh? banaanzia ku deux Zaire benzetu bale banatumikiaka wa: shiku yote shiku yote/
M: banamonter: kuko baprofessionnels: bale baliisha kuyua tu bien: beko nausha ku kitableau moya ao ku vingt Zaire/ nawaza uliisha kurémarquer/
F: ah oui: ile: ile: nani: ya: ya baMpilipili: na ...?...
M: ah/ voilà/
F: oui oui/ oui oui/ non non...
M: lakini ii: sawa ii: banaanzia paka ku: deux Zaire:
F: deux Zaire/
M: banamonter ku quatre Zaire: cinquante/
F: oui oui/
M: maneno beko na bei mingi mingi/ kuko bengine beko:
M:... sawa vile wee: batasema non: ni muzungu: ata: ataweka...
F: ...oui oui/
M: bei/ anauzishaka ku deux Zaire mais:
M: utauza ku cinq Zaire/
F: oui oui: ile: ile tunajua/ mais: ni paka juu ya kujua mi: kujua/
M: minauzisha kwa muntu: hata kunakuya muntu mi nitamuonyesha paka ile bei/
F: oui oui oui/ non na ilikuwa paka ya: she kujua: sawa vile na: ulisema ba: ba: nani: baprof: baprofessionnels/
F: bo banauzishaka/
F: ni un Zaire: un Zaire cinquante/ kama ile ba: baMamba Muntu bana: banafanya na: na série/ banafanya mingi mingi mingi/ kila siku:
F: sita/ eh? ile banauzishaka tu/ ya bei: ya bei chini/ na: bei ya tableaux inaachana/
M: bei ya tableaux inaachana oui/
F: inaachana juu ya nini? [recording interrupted] na:
M: bei inaachana: sawa vile: ni kazi/
F: bei inaachana sawa: juu ya kazi?
M: juu ni kazi/ sawa vile niko: homme de metier:
M: minapasha kuyua/ et: premièrement: kazi aliniomba saa ngapi ii:
M: et puis na: idée inyewe ya tableau ni idée gani? minaweza kufanya ile Mamba Muntu d’accord/ kama wee uko naye besoin minasema: bon/ lakini: hata uko naye besoin: ni: kintu iko: impopulaire/
M: kama unauzisha kintu inakuwa mingi sana utatosha bei/
M: lakini kama kintu yako ichingali uko nawaza maidées muzuri: kama unanipa foto yako kuréproduir: shitaomba: hata minafanya kaloko shitaomba bei kiloko eh?
M: njo minaonyesha: figure yako muzima: na mwee mwenyewe utasikia furaha asema voilà/ ni dessin: haina foto/
F: mm/ mm/
M: njo pale inaachana bei/ minaangaria foto hii: minasema bon/ ii: idée iko muzuri/
M: minaweka bei: ingine/ na ile kazi iliniomba mara iginine nitafanya kakintu kaloko: ananiomba kazi:
M: mingi/ sasa mitafanya kitableau kinene sawa vile uliona humu kinene: akikuniombe kazi mingi hapana/
M: bon/ minafwatrisha: na valeur ya: ya kintu minafanya minaona asema: minafanya namna gani?
M: na heshima ao hapana/ njo vile/
11. F: About – what was it again? Wait, I have to look
[pauses] There is still something left to ask. About the price we will come
to an agreement but first...
F: I need to know how you ordinarily sell (you paintings).
F: To the local people, you understand?
F: In other words, how much do you ask, for instance, for the paintings we first saw there (at Makutano)
F: For how much would you sell them?
M: Those [claps] the ones on top?
M: (The ones) I did?
F: (Selling them) here in the township.
M: Here in the township?
F: Yes, here. Tell me honestly, we’ll agree on the price (we pay).
M: Ah, yes. [chuckles] I know that. Here in the township I can sell those painting for three Zaire.
F: Three Zaire?
M: [overlapping] And fifty Makuta.
F: Really? Come on, tell me honestly.
M: Yes. I say three Zaire fifty. If (the customer) says no he gives me three Zaire.
F: They pay (that much)?
F: That’s a lot.
M: It’s a lot?
F: Ah, for people in the township that’s a lot.
M: Because there are many people?
F: For the people it’s a lot.
F: ... in Lubumbashi they sell one painting starting at forty Makuta.
M: Forty Makuta?
F: Then, one Zaire, one Zaire fifty, two Zaire, that’s a lot.
M: I see. But I haven’t noticed, I never saw a single painter selling...
F: Here (in Kolwezi) it’s the same.
M: First of all, what I observed is that they start at two Zaire, our fellow painters who do this work all the time.
M: (Then) they raise (the price). Among the professionals, those who really know (their business) they sell paintings even for twenty Zaire a piece. I think you noticed.
F: Ah, yes, the likes of Pilipili and...
M: Ah, there you are.
F: Yes, yes. No...
M: But with this kind (of paintings) they start at two Zaire.
F: Two Zaire.
M: Going up to four Zaire fifty.
F: Yes, yes.
M: Their prices differ a lot. There are some who...
M: ... for instance, in your case, they’ll say no, he is European, so (the painter) is going to set...
F: ...yes, yes.
M: ... the price (accordingly), he may usually sell at two Zaire but...
M: ...you are going to buy (the painting) for five Zaire.
F: Yes, that’s something we know. But this is about me knowing (what the going prices are).
M: When I sell to a person, even if he happens to be an African, I’ll show him the price (I mentioned).
F: Yes, yes. No, it was only so that that we would know. For instance, you talk about professionals.
F: The ones who sell all the time.
F: (With them) it’s one Zaire, one Zaire fifty. (I am talking) about the ones that mass-produce Mamba Muntu pictures. Everyday they do lots of them
F: (Let’s say) six. Right? Those they keep selling at a low price. Also, prices of paintings vary.
M: Prices of paintings vary, yes.
F: Why do they vary? [recording interrupted]
M: Prices vary, for instance, depending on the work.
F: Prices vary depending on the work?
M: It’s the work. In my case, I am a craftsman.
M: I have to know (what I am doing). First of all, how many hours did the work take?
M: Then, what is the idea behind a painting? Agreed, I can do those Mamba Muntu pictures. If you need them I tell myself, fine. But even so, it is something that isn’t popular.
M: If you sell something in large quantities you are going to lower the price.
M: But the thing you want is something with a good idea behind it, (for instance) if you give me a small photograph of yours to reproduce, I won’t ask a small price even though I paint a small picture. Right?
M: If what I show is your face exactly you are going to be pleased, (saying) that’s it. It is a picture, not a photograph.
F: Mm. Mm.
M: That’s where the price varies. I look at this photograph and say, alright, this is a good idea.
M: So I put a different price on it. Sometimes, even though I may paint a small picture, it asks for work.
M: A lot (of work). Now, I may do a large picture, large like the ones you see here, but it is something that is not going to ask for a lot of work.
M: Alright. I (make the price) follow the value of the object made. What I consider is how did I do it?
M: Is it decent (work) or not? That’s how it is.
12. bon/ sasa: kama utakuwa d’accord: nitakuomba
kunielezea juu maana yake ya kila ta: eh: eh: tableau/ hata...
F: hapana: bana...
M: [overlapping] maana ya kufanya...
F: kwanza kufanya: hii mawazo ulikuwa naye/ [aside to O] aidez-nous un peu: et: et: les mettre ici sur le coté/
O: oui/ [paintings are moved]
F: alors: ile ya mwanzo/ [more moving] hatutaona muzuri/
M: haionekane muzuri?
F: [more moving] non/
M: ile mawazo ni: sawa vile iko nakatika kiloko eh?
M: yua bado kutoka: kunakatika/ mama: anatoka: na mutoto yake:
M: ku mugini ingine/
M: analamukia mugi: eeeh: anat: anatoka mugini ingine: asubui kabisa kwa kuya: ku: [claps] ku nyumba ya banduku yake/
M: njo pale anafunga mutoto yake: mu kile kintu kile: ni: kimuti/ miti ingine inatokaka makanda/
M: voilà/ ile makanda anakifanya muzuri:
M: kiisha anafunika mutoto yake/ ao unakuwa mvula ao unakuwa pepo: sawa vile: hai: manguo ilimukosa:
F: ni vile muli: munafanya: kwenu?
M: [chuckles] zamani/
F: zamani balifanyaka?
M: voilà/ sawa vile manguo inakosa ya kufanya voile: kiisha apate ingine ya ku: kufunika mutoto:
M: anaemployer ile kintu kitasaidia: mutoto hatasikia hata yua: eh?
M: voilà/ hatasikia ata mvula ao pepo ya muvumu/ c’est pourqui minafanya ile tableau ile/ voilà/ eko naenda ni mu safari/ inaisha na:[antiphonal] na kufika karibu/
F: na mu kichwa anabeba?
M: mu kichwa anabeba ii: kwetu kuko: nani: ts ts: mi mu Swahili mi shiyue hapana/ banafanya kintu sawa kisako:
M: bon/ sasa ile kintu banafanyaka: bamama kama banatwanga bunga: banawekamo/
M: bana: fansia naye/
F: kunyung: kunyu: kunyungulula?
M: kiisha: anawekamo bunga juu ya: kupeleka ku banduku:
M: mara ingine [trailing off] anabakuta beko mu ...?...
F: c’est ça/
M: voilà/ njo ya ile kitu ii/
F: oui ça/
M: njo: idée nilikuwa nayo pa hii dessin hii/
12. F: Fine. Now, if it is alright with you, I’ll ask you
to explain to me the meaning of each picture.
M: The price?
F: No, they...
M: [overlapping] How I paint...
F: ...the ideas you had when you began painting. [Aside to O, in French] Help us a little with putting the paintings on the side.
O: Yes. [paintings are moved]
F: So then, this one first [more moving]. We won’t have a good view of it.
M: It doesn’t come out well?
F: [more moving] No.
M: The idea here is (to show) the first dawn, you see?
M: The sun hasn’t come up yet, it’s dawning. There is a mother who is leaving together with her child.
M: (To go) to another village.
M: She greets the village, sorry, she leaves a village, very early in the morning, to go to [claps] the house of her relatives.
M: So she wraps her child in this stuff made from the bark of a certain tree.
M: That’s it. This bark she prepared nicely.
M: And then she wraps her child in it. That way, it may rain or storm. She didn’t have cloth.
F: Is that how you do it back home?
M: [chuckles] In the old days.
F: They used to do this long ago?
M: Right, because there was not cloth to make a wrap from and she found nothing else to gather the child in.
M: She used this thing that helped to protect the child from the sun, right?
M: There you are. The child will feel neither the rain nor a thunderstorm. This is why I did that painting. There it is, (the woman) set out on a trip, no she is – close to arriving.
F: And on her head she is carrying (something)?
M: On her head she carries this – back home (we call it), what is it again? I don’t know (the word) in Swahili. They make something like a bag
M: Alright, this is something the women put on when they pound (manioc) flour.
M: This is what they use.
F: To ...?...
M: There you are.
M: Then she puts flour in it to bring it to the relatives.
M: Perhaps [trailing off] she meets them at ...?...
F: That’s it.
M: There you are, that is what this thing is used for.
M: That was the idea I had for this picture.
13. F: mm/ mm/ kiisha: ingine/ kiisha njo...
M: ... ile si uliisha kuyua?
F: oui oui mais: ut: uniambie tu maana...
M: kuexpliquer? [chuckles]
F: aah/ [laughs]
M: ile ni explica: ile explication itakuwa: eh [goes to pick up the painting]
F: kama bantu banaomba ile?
F: banasema nini?
M: Mamba Muntu/
F: Mamba Muntu/ bon/ mm/
M: Mamba Muntu ni kintu tuko nasikia lakini hatuyaone/ ile minaexpliquer:
M: mara ingine mu kutembea mu migini inaisha kuonaka/
M: sasa ile ni kintu tuko nasikia hatuyaone/ minasikia asema Mamba Muntu: anaikalaka ao hapana? lakini ni ya kweli ao hapana?
F: shee hatujue/
M: haujue/ [chuckles]
F: shee hatujue/
M: na mi:
M: na miye: sijue/ minafanya ni: puisque wee ulinicommander/
M: bon/ sasa minasikia anaikalak: anaikalaka: kichwa muntu: lakini hiki: ya huko: ni: samaki/
F: samaki/ ahah/
M: sasa ule muntu ule: anaikalaka sawa muzimu vile: anachezeaka pa mayi: mm/
F: na yee tena na: nani: nyoka kule/
M: ile: ule nyoka wake ashimukosake/ sawa vile minaisha kusikia ku bantu: bale banafanyaka benzetu/
M: anapasha kuwa na ule nyoka wake: njo anatembeaka naye: tout ça/
F: ni maana yake ya: ya: ya nyoka?
M: mm/ yee mwenyewe ni nyoka: vile anakuwa mun: eeh: samaki na muntu: ni nyoka/
M: voilà/ sasa huyu nyoka: mi niliuliza wakati ingine: eko sawa nini? asema non: ule nyoka iko sawa kintu aliisha kuzobelea naye: hakiachake: iko sawa: kintu yake anavwala shiku yote:
M: sawa vile anavwala saa/
M: kule: fashi yote anaenda: na yee iko anamufwata/ mm/
F: mais saa: saa mara: saa juu ya nini?
M: inaonyesha asema huko niko muntu naweza kufanya bintu yote ya bumuntu:
M: voilà/ bintu yote muntu anvwala: hiki na yee atavwala/
M: lakini kule: kintu yote iko na samaki: yee anapasha kuya naye/
F: na yee anaikala mu nani: mu mutoni ao mu?
M: ni kusema: hapa ni pa kati ya mutoni eh? [points out on the painting]
M: sasa unaona: hapa kati hapa: iko sawa sorte ya: ya mayani:
M: iko tu/
M: anaikalaka pa kati ile mayani: eh? haina pembeni mais pa kati/
M: sasa ni ile fasi yake aliisha kuzobelea/ kama anasikia bya kutoka mu mayi: anakuya pale: analala: juu ya ku: kuota yee/ njo minamufanya/ bengine banamufanyaka ku kikavu:
M: aliisha kutoka ku mayi: anakuya kuota juu ya: ku kikavu/ minamufansia ndani ya mayi/
F: ndani ya mayi/
M: maneno ni fasi: iko: fasi yake ya kularia/
M: hawezi tena kwe: kwenda ku kikavu hapana/ njo vile minamufanya/
F: sawa minaona saa yote: ile: ile nsula wa tu: ya Mamba Muntu: ni sawa Ma: Madame muzungu/
M: ndiyo/ lakini na mi nina: minajiuliza/
M: ni: niliulizaka pour quoi: banasema bakuniambia balisemaka: tunakumbuka Mamba Muntu: ni muzimu wa bazungu/
F: muzimu wa bazungu?
M: voilà/ hana muzimu wetu ya si hapana/
M: c’est pourquoi tunamufanya: na ile couleur yenu: na: nywele yenu: bintu yote/
M: maneno ni muzimu wenu/ na mwee muko na bazimu/
F: niko na muzimu/
M: na shiye: tuko na habo vile vile mais: habana...
F: ...sasa bantu banaona ni muzimu ya hatari? ao muzuri ao: kintu gani?
F: ni hatari?
M: eko: eko: ah hana hatari: ashionake:
M: lakini/ vile minasikiaka: ashionake/
M: na ni muzuri tu paka vile mais: c’est très rare kumuona/
F: mm/ très bien/
M: kama unumupata: unamuona: ni kusema: mara ingine wee uko na chance ya kuona bintu muzuri [claps] ku vie yako/
F: saa yote ni mwanamuke tu?
M: ah saa yote...
M: haikuikala ku mwanaume hapana/ paka mwanamuke/
M: vile nilisikia ku watu wengine banasema: kama unamukuta na ile saa: ao: bague: ile saa iko nanawa mayi: unaiba ile kintu ile: unaenda nayo eh?
M: bon/ yee bushiku atakufwata ku nyumba: eh? kiisha: atakulete: atakuomba: kintu yote unataka: juu ya kumurudishia ile kintu yake ulibeba/
M: atakupatia: ile yote tunamuomba pale pale:
M: lakini mu shiku: mu shishutuka ao nini hapana/ atakonkola tu muzuri/ nani asema: minakuya: kintu ulinilibeba: unafungula pasipo woga: na puis: na yee atakuuliza: unisaidia ile kintu: nitakupa ile yote unataka/
M: kama asema minataka hivi: yee atakusaidia juu ya kubeba ile kintu ya kiko na valeur: kupita yote: ile utaomba/
F: sasa: kama bantu banaomba: banacommander:
F: eeh: Mamba Muntu/
F: sawa wee unaona bana: ...?... juu na nini? beko na mawazo ya nini?
M: ni kusema ni dessin moya:
M: iko: naleta surprise/ eh? uko unashutuka/ ni kweli anexister ao hapana mais: surtout kintu moya: beko: nauza: juu ya kuonyesha: lakini kunikalaka muntu eko sawa nyoka/ ou bien anikala mu mayi/ ni kweli/ ku mugini habamuoneka za: habaonake madessins/
M: paka huku njo tunayua Mamba Muntu Mamba Muntu/ mm/
M: banauza yee juu: eh? ni foto iko muzuri:
M: unaona asema eh: muntu eko tena nyoka? asema ni kweli anaikalakako/
M: eko hii kimuntu: kule nyoka/ eh: samaki/
M: chassis yake: ni mu mayi/
F: mm/ [chuckles]
13. Mm. Then we come to another (painting). It is...
M: ...that one you know already, don’t you?
F: Yes, but tell me what it means...
M: Explain it? [chuckles]
F: Yes. [laughs]
M: The explanation for this will be [goes to pick up the painting]...
F: When people ask for this one.
F: What do they say?
M: Mamba Muntu/
F: Mamba Muntu, alright. Mm.
M: Mamba Muntu is something we hear about but haven’t seen yet. I explain this.
M: Maybe there were sightings in the villages.
M: As of now, it is something we hear about but haven’t seen. What I hear (makes me ask) does Mamba Muntu exist or not? Is (what we hear) true or not?
F: We don’t know.
M: You don’t know. [chuckles]
F: We don’t know.
M: And I...
M: And I don’t know either. I painted one because you told me to.
M: Alright. Now what I hear is that her head is always human whereas this part is fish.
F: Fish, I see.
M: Now, this human being behaves like a spirit, playing in the water. Mm.
F: And then there is the snake.
M: She is never without that snake of hers. That’s what I heard from fellow artists who do (this painting).
M: She belongs with this snake of hers. She always goes around with it. That sort of thing.
F: That is what the snake means?
M: Mm. She herself is a snake. As she is part human, part fish, she is also a snake.
M: That’s it. Now, I once asked about this snake, what is it about? No, I was told, this snake is something she is used to and never leaves, it’s like something she always puts on like a dress.
M: Like she puts on a watch.
F: A watch?
M: Wherever she goes, (the snake) follows her. Mm.
F: But the watch, what is the watch for?
M: The watch?
M: I shows here I am, a human being, I can do everything that is human.
F: I see.
M: There you are. Everything a human being wears she’ll wear too.
F: I see.
M: However, there, she must have everything that belongs to a fish.
F: And she lives in a river, or where?
M: Here she is in the middle of a river, right? [points out on the painting].
M: Now, as you see, here in this place, there is something like greenery (lit.leaves).
M: She ...
M: ...stays in the middle of those leaves, right? Not on the side but in the middle.
M: That’s her usual place. When she feels like leaving the water, that’s where she goes to sleep and dream. That’s the way I paint her. Others paint her (resting) in a dry spot.
M: After she has come out of the water, to dream on dry land. I paint her in the water.
F: In the water.
M: Because that is the place were she sleeps.
M: She won’t go to dry land. That’s how I paint her.
F: Something I notice all the time, the face of Mamba Muntu is like that of a European lady.
M: Yes, it is. But I also ask myself.
M: I used to ask why? Those who talked to me would say, we think Mamba Muntu is a spirit who belongs to Europeans.
F: A spirit belonging to Europeans?
M: Right. She is not one of our spirits.
M: That’s why we paint her in your color, with your hair, all that.
F: I see.
M: Because she is a spirit that belongs to you. You also have spirits.
F: I have a spirit.
M: And we, we have that kind, too, but they aren’t...
F: ... now, do people consider her a dangerous spirit? Or a good one, or what?
F: She is dangerous?
M: Well, she is not dangerous, but I never saw her.
F: I see.
M: I keep hearing that she is, but I never saw her.
F: I see.
M: She is a good (spirit) but you very seldom see her.
F: Mm. Fine.
M: If you catch her, if you see her, you may get lucky and see good things [claps] happen in you life.
F: Is she always a woman?
M: Ah, always...
F: ...(or sometimes) a man?
M: She doesn’t dwell in a man, only (in) a woman.
M: As I have heard some people tell, if you meet her (wearing) that watch, or a ring, when she takes off that watch to bathe in the water you take that thing and get away with it, right?
M: Alright, then she’ll follow you to your house at night, you understand? She’ll beg you to (ask) whatever you want for giving back to her the thing of hers you took away.
M: (Then) she’ll give you anything we ask her for, right away.
M: But you shouldn’t be afraid or anything. She’ll treat you well. She says. I come for the thing you took away from me, you show it (lit. open it) without fear. Then she’ll ask you, help me with that thing, I’ll give you whatever you wish.
M: If you tell her, this is what I want she’ll help you to take it with you, something that will be worth more than anything you may ask for.
F: Now, when people ask for, when they order (this painting).
F: A Mamba Muntu.
M: As you see it, what is it they want? What do they have in mind?
M: It is a picture.
M: That comes with a surprise. Right? You are amazed. Is it true that she exists or not? But, above all, it is something people buy in order to prove there is someone who is like a snake who lives in the water. It’s the truth. In a village they don’t see her, they don’t see pictures of her.
M: Only here (in town) we know about Mamba Muntu. Mamba Muntu. Mm.
M: They buy her because she is a beautiful picture, right?
M: You see it and tell yourself, eh, she is a person and a snake at the same time? It’s true, she exists.
F: Mm. She is part human being (here) and there she is a snake, or rather, a fish.
M: Her lower part is in the water.
F: Mm. [chuckles]
14. F: tena: [picks up another painting] tuko na: na
F: kiboko [pauses] kiboko kinatoka:
M: kiboko: ni kusema/ kule ngambo: njo kuko mutoni/
M: sasa: ile mutoni haionekane: ile inaonekana yulu: ni ciel eh?
M: donc: yee anatoka ku mayi: juu ya kuya kutembeako/ ku: ku kikavu/
M: njo pale anafika: haba ndege bote banashutuka/ ndege anashutuka: kintu: mais asiluke/ angaria asema ah ni nyama/ maneno bandege habakimbiake banyama hivi/ paka muntu anayua sema muntu: atanitirer/ mais nyama anaona: asema: nayee/ eko nakuya kikavu: kula: finalement: atarudia tena: fasi yake/
14. F: And then [picks up another painting] We have the
F: A hippo [pauses], a hippo coming out (of the water).
M: About the hippo. On that side there is a river.
M: [in French] A river.
M: Now the river is not visible, what you see above is the sky, right?
M: So, (the hippo) leaves the water to walk around, on dry ground.
M: At the place it comes to, all those birds are startled. The bird is afraid, there is something, but it does not take to flight. It takes a look and says, ah, it’s an animal. Because birds don’t usually flee from that sort of animal. Only when it is a human being, then (a bird knows) he is going to shoot at me. But when he sees an animal he tells himself, that’s what it is, it comes to the dry ground to feed. In the end, it will return to its place.
15. F: ile: kabila ya ile tableaux: ni: ni
paysage? ao ni kintu gani?
M: ii? non haina paysage: haina paysage/ [pauses] ile kabila ya hii tableau:
M: iko sawa vile Mamba Muntu/
F: sawa vile Mamba Muntu?
M: voilà/ haina paysage: minakumbuka mapaysages njo ile ingine/
F: ile ingine?
F: alafu: kabila yake ya Mamba Muntu: eh be ne: ni: ni: tableaux gani? paka tableaux ao?
M: ah: ah: ile: hatuyue ...?...puisque: bintu yote: sawa vile tunasema: paysages tuliibiaka ni mu bitabu eh?
M: sasa ile kitu tuna: tunafanya juu ya plaisir yetu ku mawazo: hatuwezi kujua jina/ tunafanya juu ya: kufanya: kintu inyewe/
M: voilà/ par example minakuya: minasema bon: minatafuta: dessiner ile église tu/ ni paysage eh?
M: ni paysage?
F: sijue: miye...?...
M: [overlapping] mina: minaf...
F: ni mi minakuuliza/
M: ahah/ njo vile tunafanya/ minaf: miye/ hapana tunafanya/ minafanya yee:
M: juu ya kusema bon: ni foto: kama inakuwa mu nyumba: bantu bataona muzuri:
M: ku kabila ya mapaysages: par example ma: mavillage de Kapolowe: bintu mingi mingi ya hivi: njo mapaysages/ sawa vile shikufunze ile section: mi shiyue kudistinguer/ mais: sawa vile: mu kusumbulia: njo minapasha kuyua voilà: ii kintu minafanya: iko hivi/
15. F: This kind of painting, is it a landscape or what is
M: That one? No, it’s not a landscape. It’s not a landscape. [pauses] The kind this painting belongs to.
M: It’s like a Mamba Muntu.
F: Like a Mamba Muntu?
M: Right. It’s not a landscape. I think those others are landscapes.
F: Those others?
F: But what is the kind Mamba Muntu belongs to, what kind of paintings are they? Just paintings, or?
M: Ah, well, that we don’t know...?... because all the things we call landscapes we lifted from books. You understand?
M: But the things we paint for the pleasure of thinking (about them) we cannot name. We do them just to do the thing itself.
M: There you are. For example, if I decide, alright, I’ll try to make a drawing of this church, is that a landscape?
M: Is it a landscape?
F: I don’t know, I ...
M: [overlapping] I do...
F: I am the one who is asking.
M: I see. That’s how we do it, How I do it, (I shouldn’t say) not how we do it. I do the picture.
M: Because it is (like) a photograph, if it is displayed in a house, people will regard it as beautiful.
M: In the category of landscapes there are, for instance, (paintings of) Kapolowe village, a lot of things like that, those are landscapes. Since I did not study in this section (at school) I don’t know how to distinguish them. But in a conversation I am bound to know what the thing is I paint.
16. sasa ile ya mwisho kule: chini?
M: ya mwisho: [sound of steps, picking up painting]
M: ulipenda mi nifanye mingi ao?
F: ndiyo/ ndiyo/
M: sasa mi shi: shi: wee uliniambiaka asema ao trente ao quarante/ mais: shikupate/
F: mais: sijue trente ao quarante eh? tunaanza tu naye/
M: bon/ sasa ii: minaona ni nyama:
M: shimujue: jina yake eh?
M: mu: mu Swahili/ mais mu Français minaweza kumuyuako/
F: muko naye kwenu?
M: siyamuona hapana/
F: ile uli: uliona...
M: minaonaka mu kitabu/ cerf/
O: à daim: à daim/
M: hapana cerf daim: voilà/
O: daim/ ...?...
M: bon/ sasa: yee anatosha ku: muhulu: forêt/
M: alifia ku: kuvuka: akuye ku...
M: kuvuka kamutoni/
F: ah oui oui/
M: njo ni carrefour/
M: akuye hii ngambo: hakuna muhulu: kuko pori: juu ya yee kwenda kutafuta: nyashi/ mu muhulu banaendaka juu ya kufichama:
M: mu ulalo/ bon: sasa anafika pa mayi yatambuka: anashituka: kintu iko mbele: njo ana: anasurprendre: anashimama/
M: ashikimbia: na muntu nayee: eko namuangaria: sema: mara ingine ashione: ni: nimupike lance:
M: na yee anamuona/ sasa: hapa ni surprise/ banasurprende huyu nayee anashituka: huyu nayee anshituka:
M: hajitengeneze/ hatuyue kama atamuua: ao hapana/ njo ile minafanya: mutoni: inapita: inaenda huku/
M: voilà/ inatoka paka huku forêt: njo idée/
M: njo ile idée/
16. Now to the last one there, the one on the bottom.
M: The last one. [sound of steps, picking up painting]
M: Would you like me to do a lot of paintings?
F: Yes, sure.
M: You told me before, thirty or forty, didn’t you? But I don’t have them.
F: Well, I don’t know about thirty of forty, let’s start with what we got.
M: Alright. Now, what I see (on this painting) is an animal.
M; I don’t know his name, right?
M: In Swahili. I would know it in French.
F: Do you have them back home?
M: Back home?
M: I haven’t seen one yet.
F: This one you saw...
M: I saw it in a book, a deer.
O: A fallow deer.
M: No – a fallow deer, that’s it.
O: Fallow deer, ...?...
M: Alright. He comes out of the woods, of [in French] the forest.
M: It has come to kuvuka, so that he...
M: To get on the other side of a stream.
F: Ah, yes, yes.
M: This is a crossing.
M: To get to this side where there is no forest but savanna, to look for grass. They go into the forest to hide.
M: When they sleep. Alright, so now it comes to the water where it becomes aware of something. It is startled, there is something. This takes it by surprise and it stops.
F: I see.
M: It doesn’t flee. And the man also looks at it, telling himself, perhaps it doesn’t see me, I’ll get it with a spear.
M: And (the deer) also sees him. That’s the moment of surprise. One surprises the other and both are startled.
M: (The man) was not prepared. We don’t know, is he going to kill (the deer) or not. The way I painted it, the stream flows this way.
F: I see.
M: There you are. This is the place where (the deer) comes out of the forest, that’s the idea.
M: That’s [in French] the idea.
M: sasa ii: kunabaki ingine?
F: ina: ile/
F: ile: ile moya/
O: feu de brousse/
M: feu de brousse/
F: kama ni feu de brousse ao...
M: ile f: feu de brousse: minaisha ku: kuonaka ku mugini yetu/
M: bon/ ni kusema:
O: premier inafwata ile ya yulu/
M: aah: njo kule: maneno ule mukubwa tulikuwa naye alisema: ile inabakia yake: minasema bon: kumbe ...?...anatafuta: ya hivi: nitamufansia...
F: oui oui si tunata: si tunakamata ile ingine/ bon/
O: jana kutwa hii/
M: voilà/ njo: bon/ kama nyashi inakauka:
M: nyama iko mule ndani/ sasa bale bantu: shi unaona ii kintu anabeba ku mukongo?
M: [picks up the painting] iko kintu: niashi banafunga ah?
M: [noise, handling painting] ...?...
F: oui/ ça va/ muikale tu/ banafunga nyasi?
M: banafunga nyashi kufulushi hivi:
M: ni kusema: batawekako moto/
M: eh? banaweka moto/
M: weye: u: uko na kile: na mi niko nayo/ bon/ tunakamata moto: tunaweka/
M: wee uko naenda hii ngambo eh?
M: na mi: minaenda huku/
M: sasa bakutufwata: beko natufwata/
M: wee uko na bantu yako musululu: na mi ni na bantu musululu/
M: minafika hapa: premièrement eh? nikusahabu: bon/ premièrement tutaenda/ si unaona: [points out on painting] ii ngambo eh? ii kuisha kulungua zamani/
M: banatangulia kulungusha: juu: banyama bashikimbie/
M: ile ni partie itabakia yashipo kulungusha njo mule mutakimbilia banyama asema huko iliisha kulungua: kumbe tukimbilie hapana/ [claps] kama inapita mashiku: njo kwenda sasa: tunaanza kunaisha mayani: mi mbele: na wee mbele na ile kintu hii/ bon/ mi na funyango: uko na funyango: kama minafika ku cinq mètres: minaacha muntu: na moto/
M: kulungusha hapana/ paka vile/ na yee anienda hivi eh? tunaienda hivi: tunaanza hapa:
M: tunakunja hivi/
M: ile wakati tutakutanishana kule: si njo kuko banisignaler asema sasa/ pori yote tuliisha kuentourer/
M: tutai [claps] basignaler na moto: maneno kuisha: bengine batabakia mbali sawa ku Kapata kule:
M: bon/ shi: directement hakuna tena kusema: tuongolee ao nini hapana/ na wee unawakisha: na minawakisha/ bon/ sasa mi nitawakisha hapa: minaanza kurudia kule: ilikuya/ minakutanishana na muntu wa kwanza niliacha/
M: bon/ na yee anabeba moto: paka vile: paka vile/ nilikuacha bantu mbili mbili/
M: huyu anatoka huko: huyu anatoka huko/ huyu anaenda huku: huyu anaenda huko/ ule atakutanishana na mungine paka vile: na hii moto ita: inabambaka mala moya:
M: na ile signal yetu ya kwanza na bo banaisha kwanza directement/ njo: kiisha: [points out on painting] huyu ni wa kuchunga/
M: eh? ile saa moto inawaka: habaweze tena kufwata/ beko mu position/ kuko banyama mingi banaikalaka: karibu na ku mpembeni:
M: anaweza: kama anaona shimoko ile inaluka directement:
M: njo pale: anamushimamia: anashimama juu ya kugarder ile partie/
M: sasa hapa ni bakufwata moto/ ni kusema ile: ile s: eh: moto pale itafikilia pa kati: [emphasis] kati kati/
M: banafanyaka sawa: nani: tourbillon/ ni bale bantu aba wenyewe: bali: balichoma: kwasipo kugarder ou kwasipo kufika moto/ hata yee moto ilipita hapa: anaanza kufwata/
M: moto batafia paka pa kati/ maneno njo pale nyama wote [claps] anakimbia huku moto eh?
M: haiyue asema na kule kuko moto/ sasa atafikia na kule kuko moto: inapakuta paka fashi moya/
M: ni ile fashi batabatirer/
M: sasa bale banakuwa mushingishi na rétard: njo batalunguyako ku: ku mukongo/
M: na ndeke yote itakimbilia paka pa kati iishia: itafia paka pa kati/ beko nafwata: bakafike kule: kutafikilia moto/ njo ile nilikuwa na: maneno ni kintu niliisha kuona/
F: uliisha kuona kwenu?
M: aah/ nirendaka mu: mu vacances mais: shi: nirendaka nabo: minafika/ shi: shikufanyake nabo: nilionaka tu vile balif: banafanyaka/
M: maneno bo beko mbio sana mule mu pori/
M: hata analungua: eko napita/ mi kama minalungua: nabakia lote/ sasa:
M: sasa: nilifikaka: pale pa fashi pale top tard: bengine baliisha kulokota banyama:
M: bandeke: minafika tu: juu ya kuassister mais: nililokotaka paka ndeke wangu moya/ njo minayua njo vile banafanyaka/
17. That is...
M: Now, is there another one left?
F: Just this one.
M: (That’s the one) that is left.
F: Just this one.
O: A bush fire.
M: A bush fire.
F: It may be a bush fire or...
M: This sort of bush fire I have seen in our village.
M: Alright, that is to say...
O: The one on top comes first?
M: Ah, that one over there. (I am reserving it) because my boss told me that it would remain his. I said alright, since he wants (a painting like this) I’ll do one for him.
F: Yes, yes, we’ll take the other one. Alright.
O: That was the day before yesterday.
M: That’s it. Alright, (here is the story). When the grass dries up.
M: There are animals in it. Now, the people there – you see what one of them is carrying on his back, don’t you?
M: [picks up the painting] It is grass, tied up (in bundle), right?
M: [noise, handling the painting] ...?...
F: Yes, that’s alright, just stay there. So, they make a grass bundle?
M: They gather grass in a bundle, like this.
M: Then they’ll set fire to it.
M: Right? They set fire to it.
M: You have one and I have one. Alright, we take some fire and light (the bundle).
M: You go to that side, right?
M: An I go to this side here.
M: Then there are people who follow us.
M: You have your people (following you) in a line and I have people (following me) in a line.
M: I get to this place here – but first of all, I forgot (to tell you) – as you see, we’ll move [points out on painting] to this side, right? The one that was burned down before.
M: They wait with the burning so that the animals don’t flee.
M; This is the part that is not going to be burned down and that’s where the animals will flee to, telling themselves, here it has burned already so let’s not run (further). [claps]. Days later we go there again and begin where the leaves end, I go forward and you go forward, carrying this thing here. Alright. I have a ...?.., you have a ...?.... After five meters I leave someone there, with a torch.
M: But not to burn down (the grass), just to stay there. And then he moves like this, right? We go on like this and then we begin here.
M: We double up (lit. fold) like this.
M: The moment we are going to meet each other over there that’s when they give a signal and now we have the terrain completely surrounded.
M: We’ll [claps] signal them with torches because some of them will be far away, as far as Kapata.
M: Fine. As soon as this happens we won’t wait any longer. You set fire, I set fire. Alright. So I set fire here and then I go back to place where you were and I meet with the first man whom I had left behind.
M: Fine. He also carries a torch, and so on. I left people behind, in pairs.
M; One comes out here, the other there, one moves here, the other there, this one meets the other and that way the fire catches on at once.
M: After our first signal people started immediately. Then [points out on painting] this one keeps it going.
M: You understand? Once the fire is burning they cannot follow (each other) any more, they stay in position. There are lots of animals, close by and farther away.
M: As soon as (an animal) sees the smoke it jumps up.
M: And then (the hunter) who is staying there to guard this part stops (the animal)
M: Now, here are the ones that follow the fire. When the fire reaches the middle, [emphasis] the very center.
M: (The hunters) move like – how do you call it? – a whirlwind. Then it’s for the people who did the burning, not standing guard or getting close to the fire, to follow up.
M: They get to the fire in the middle and that’s where all the animals [claps] run away from it, right?
M: (The animals) don’t know that there is fire over there, too and when they get to it there is only one place to go.
M: That is where (the hunters) will shoot them.
M: Then those who came late, toward the evening, will join them from behind.
M: And all the birds are going to flee toward the center. (The hunters) go after them until they get to the fire. That was my (idea) because it something I observed.
F: You saw this back home?
M: Yes. I used to go home on vacation. But I did not go with (the hunters). When I got there I did not work with them, I just observed how they did it.
M: (That was difficult) because they move really fast there in the bush.
M: One of them, even if he sets the fire, he goes on whereas when I set a fire I just stay behind. So...
M: I always got there too late. The others had already picked up their animals.
M: And their birds. I came to help but all I picked up was this one bird. That’s how I know how they do it.
18. F: kumbe: sawa kazi: ya artiste: ni ku: kupenta ile:
ile bintu: ile bintu uliona?
M: ndiyo/ unapasha kufwanyako kintu: ile uliona itakupa idée muzuri/ maneno: sawa vile unaniuza minakuexpliquer unasikia asema ah: kumbe/ kumbe mu mamigini banafanyaka: hivi hivi/ saa ya kipua: banalungusha juu ya kule nyama mingi mu mugini/
M: mm/ voilà/ ao ntembo banaweza kumuiua paka mule/ ile moto iliisha kumulekesha: ah unamupika kiloko hivi bunduki anakufa/ [claps]
F: bon: muzuri/
M: ni kintu mbele unaweka ku roho: kiisha utafanya/
F: kuweka mu roho mbele?
M: kuweka roho unasema: bon: nifanye nini? nifanye: ao muntu eko nakombana na simba/ d’accord/ njo mitawaza: banaanza namna gani? mulumbataji anaanza kupita: simba na yee njo mu fasi yake: kiisha banakutanishana: simba: na yee: eh: mwanaume/ kiisha: banaanza kombana: voilà/ njo mi: mitaweka ile idée: minayua simba anaikalaka nje/ bon/ ile bugomvi batafanya: simba nayee atasimama:
M: muntu nayee atasimama/ minakuweka hata ile pose ile: njo minafanya:
18. F: So, as an artist, is your task to paint the things
you have seen?
M: Yes. You have to paint something and what you have seen will give you a good idea. Because you are my customer I explain it for you. You understand, ah, that’s how it is. That’s how they do it in the villages. During the dry season they go hunting with fire because there is a lot of game in the countryside.
M: Mm. That’s it. Even an elephant they can kill there. Once the fire has weakened him you just give him a shot with your gun and he is dead. [claps]
M: There you are.
F: Fine, alright.
M: It is something that you first take into your soul, then you paint it.
F: Taking it into your soul comes first?
M: Taking it into your soul means that you tell yourself, alright, what should I paint? Maybe I should do a man fighting with a lion. Alright. So I think about it, how do they get into it? The hunter walks by, the lion is in his place. Then they meet, the lion and he, the man. Then they start fighting. There you are. It is me who conceives this idea. I know the lion is not staying put. Alright. As they get into a fight the lion is going to stand up.
M: The man, too, is going to stand up. So I put (them) in that pose and paint...
M: ... the picture.
M: There you are.
19. F: unaanza: kama unaanza na: na nguo: kwanza unafanya
dessin sawa vile tunaona na crayon ao?
M: bon/ juu ya kunisaidiako nitafanya croquis: lakini ka: kama minafanya croquis na crayon:
M: hautaona asema peko kintu: itakuwa muzuri/
M: maneno hii kintu ya kunipa idée voilà hapa itaishia kintu fulani/ ni: limites ya kintu: minasema: moto itaanzia hapa itaishia hapa: bon/ ao bantu beko hivi na hivi: minafanya kicroquis/ kiisha kupenta njo kutanipa: akili mingi/
M: nitapenta mbele ciel: napenta [pauses]: chini:
M: bulongo: minaacha bya pa kati/ inakauka/ kiisha: njo: kufanya ile ?po yote inaisha: minaacha inakauka: nafanya na: mayani/ kama ni dessin sawa vile iko: maneno: ii: ii miti si unaona? haina mubiti eh?
M: iliisha kauka:
M: donc: ma: couleurs ya: ya mayani iliisha kugeuka/
M: njo pale minaweka/ kama sawa par example kulikuwa miti mubiti: minaweka yee ver: eh?
M: maya: mayani ya ver: bon/ ni kusema mitata: mitapenta ile noir: inawakisha/ nawekapo: nani: ile ver: njo kufanya dessin/ kiisha bale bantu ni juu ya kuonyesha tu dessin asema iko hivi/ hata: hata minatangulia kupenta kyote: minaweza kubaweka après mais: premièrement croquis/
F: mm/ mm/
M: juu ya kufaciliter travail/
19. F: When you begin with a canvas do you first make a
pencil drawing as we have seen (some artists doing)?
M: Alright. To help me I’ll do a sketch. However, even if I make a sketch with a pencil.
M: You are not going to see anything, it will come out nicely.
M: Because this is what gives me and idea, this is what it is going to be, its contours, that is, the fire will start here and end there, fine. Or this is what the people will look like, I do a sketch. Then it will be the painting that gives me a lot of inspiration.
F: First I’ll paint the sky, then I paint [pauses] the lower part.
M: The ground. I leave the things between (for later until) it dries. Then I do all the other places and let it dry. Then I paint the leaves. In a picture like this, you see those trees, don’t you? They aren’t wet, right?
M: They have dried.
M: So, the colors of the leaves have changed.
M: So that’s where I put (the paint). If, for example, the trees were (still) green, I use this (shade of) green, right?
M: Leaves that are green. Alright. Then I paint this black, that makes them stand out. I put on the green here, that makes the picture (complete). After that come the people, to show what the picture is about. Even if I take my time painting everything, I can put them down later. But first comes the sketch.
F: Mm. Mm.
M: Because it makes the work easier.
20. F: bon/ nazani tuliuliza yote tulikuwa kuuliza/
F: sinon wee uko na kintu ya kuniuliza?
M: [pauses] ah: mit: mitakuuliza tu: mais ni: sasa hai: haina tena: bintu bya: ya nguvu hapana/ sasa ni kusema: mitaanza: mitaf: utaniachia commande ingine hapa?
F: tutaweza kuacha commande ingine/
F: tutaweza kuacha/
M: maneno nilikuwa na courage/ sawa vile unafika niko na confiance ni kusema: kumbe hata anafanya miezi ngapi: atarudiaka/
F: ndiyo/ shee tutarudia/ kama minasema minarudia: minarudia/
M: na yee [pointing to O]: na yee iko paka ku nani: ku Lubumbashi?
F: ye: yee: ile bwana? eko/
M: humu eh?
O: ni humu ...?...
F: ni mukubwa kule ku Métalkat/
M: voilà/ tena minapitaka mule mu Métalkat: pa kwenda mu kazi/ kumbe hivi tunaweza kuiyuana na yee: minayua na kwake: yee ataanza kupa marapports mingi/
F: hata: hata ile: ile bakubwa yee anafahamu: bwana Dassas/
M: aah: aah/ oui oui/
M: oui oui: minamuonaka yee mu Métalkat/
O: na shiku niyakutana citoyen/
M: ndiyo/ ni kusema: kama minayua kwake: mitafanya bintu: kinapitia mingi yee anafanya sauti ku Lubumbashi/ asema voilà: muntu fulani: anaisha kazi/
O: mm/ c’est ça/
M: anakuwa kubeba/
M: nitakufansia bintu yo: eh: eh: kila dessin ile minawaza mu kichwa yangu:
M: nakuwa tu kuexpliquer tu na vile vile/
F: ni vile baba/ sasa tuko na: na ngapi kule? yote yo:
M: iko cinq/
F: iko cinq?
F: iko cinq/
F: sawa tu: sikilizane na bei/
M: mais/ kila: kila kintu si iko na bei yake/
F: kila kintu iko na bei yake?
M: ah/ maneno:
F: kila kintu: sawa ile: tunaanza na ile: feu de brousse/
M: feu de brousse?
M: bon/ iko: trois Zaire cinquante/
F: iko trois Zaire cinquante?
M: ah oui/ mina: minawekaka bei raisonnable: shiwekake mingi: eh? ni kintu iliniomba kazi mingi sana mais: ni confiance/
M: ah/ sasa ii: mm?
M: iko nayo: na: trois Zaire cinquante/
F: trois Zaire cinquante/
O: ni sh: ni saba/
F: sept Zaire eh?
M: mm/ ile nilikuonyesha vile vile/
F: aah/ trois Zaire cinquante/
O: dix Zaire cinquante:
M: ça c’est: trois cent: ya bule/
O: trois Zaire/ treize Zaire cinquante:
F: treize Zaire cinquante: mm/
M: ça c’est: trois cent cinquante/
O: [mumbling, adding] dix-sept/
O: makumi na saba/ yote pamoya/
F: kumi na saba?
M: eh/ ni muzuri eh? c’est raisonnable/
M: uta: lakini madessins yako ya kuya kuuza/ unapenda munene ao kiloko: matableaux?
F: hapana/ hapana/ ile: tunapenda: shee hatuna: sawa collecteurs hapana/
F: kazi yangu si ya kuuza yako na kuuzisha tena: hapana/
M: ah oui/
F: ile: niliisha kukuelezea/ ile kazi tutafanya:
M: ah: tulisumbuliaka: voilà/
F: [overlapping] ...?... nifanye ni paka: fanya étude moya juu ya mapeintres yote/
F: mais pa kujua vile: zaidi vile banatumikaka: napasha kuwa na matableaux yabo/
F: sawa sawa kama...
M: [overlapping] sawa vile unakamata: idée uko nakamata: ah?
F: kiisha bon: mm: kiisha tutaweza kuandika hata: kuandika kitabu/ ni kusema: bon: voilà mawazo yao/ voilà: vile banatumika: voilà banauzishaka: namna gani/
F: ile: ile ni...
M: ...bon/ uniandikie mbele jina yako eh?
F: mm/ tutaandika/
M: [noise of tearing off a piece of paper] puisque: tunapasha kuwa: na ile majina niko na: kumbuka chaque fois/
M: hamuna na biki?
F: aah: tulikuwa naye/
O: attends/ [noises of searching for a pen]
F: ...?...tutafuta/ tuta: nazani niko naye mu: mu motokari/
M: niko na biki ingine wa...?...
F: oui oui/ [recording ends]
20. F: Alright, I think we have asked all our questions.
F: Unless there is something you want to ask me.
M: Me (ask you)?
M: [pauses] Well, I’ll ask you but right now there is nothing urgent. Now, I’ll start (painting), are you going to order more when you leave?
F: We can leave another order.
F: We can leave one.
M: Because this gave me courage. Since you came I have been confident, telling myself, no matter how many months it takes, he’ll come back.
F: Yes, we’ll be back. When I say I come back, I come back.
M: And what about him [pointing to O], does he live in Lubumbashi?
F: He, this gentleman? He lives here.
O: It’s here...?...
F: He is a boss there at Métalkat.
M: That’s it. I always pass Métalkat on my way to work. So we can get to know each other and if I know where lives he can give you frequent reports.
F: (We can stay in touch) also through the superiors he knows, such as Mr. Dassas.
M: I see, yes.
F: (I mean the ones) Yav (knows).
M: Yes, I see him (?Dassas) around at Métalkat.
O: And once we met, citoyen.
M: Right. What I am saying, if I know his place I’ll paint and when the pictures accumulate he can make a call to Lubumbashi, saying so-and-so has finished the work.
O: Mm, that’s it.
M: He brought it.
M: Whatever picture comes to my head I’ll do for you.
M: And I’ll also give you explanations.
F: Agreed, baba. Now, how many (paintings) do we have there, altogether?
M: There are five.
F: There are five?
F: There are five.
F: So let’s agree on the price.
M: But every object has its own price.
F: Every object has its own price?
M: Yes, because...
F: Every object. So we start with the bush fire.
M: The bush fire?
M: Alright. It’s three Zaire fifty.
F: It’s three Zaire fifty?
M: Well, yes. I put a reasonable price on it, not a lot, right? It is something that took me a whole lot of work but it’s a matter of trust.
M: Ah, no this one, mm?
M: That, too, is for three Zaire fifty/
F: Three Zaire fifty.
O: That make seven.
F: Seven Zaire, right?
M: Mm. This one I also showed you.
F: Ah. Three Zaire fifty.
O: (That makes) ten Zaire fifty.
M: That one is three hundred (Makuta), even.
O: Three Zaire. (That makes) thirteen Zaire fifty.
F: Thirteen Zaire fifty, mm.
M: That one is three hundred and fifty.
O: [mumbling, adding] seventeen.
O: Seventeen, all of them together.
M: Yes, that’s good, right? It’s reasonable.
M: But what about the pictures you’ll buy, do you like big or small paintings?
F: No, no (that’s not the point). What we like (doesn’t matter). We are not like collectors.
M: There you are.
F: My work is not buying yours and then selling it again.
M: Ah, yes.
F: I explained this to you. The work we are going to do...
M: ...yes, we talked about that.
F: [overlapping] ...what I want to do is a study of all the painters.
M: I see.
F: But in order to know how precisely they work I need to have their paintings.
M: There you are.
F: Its like..
M: ...as you pick them up you pick up the idea, right?
F: In the end, alright, mm, in the end we’ll be able to write (about it), maybe even a book, saying, look, those are their thoughts. Look how they work, look how they sell (their paintings).
F: That is what...
M: ...alright. First, write down your name for me, right?
F: Mm, we’ll write it down.
M: [noise of tearing off a piece of paper] Because we need those names so I can always remember them.
M: Don’t you have a pen?
F: Aah, I had one.
O: Wait [noises of search for a pen].
F: ...?... we’ll look for one. I think I have one in my car.
M: I have another pen...?..
F: Yes, yes. [recording ends]
[LPCA Home Page]