Dadas at the fish market

Dadas at the Fish Market
Dadas at the Fish Market

I’ve been painting this picture in my head for months now.

The Kivukoni Fish Market in Dar Es Salaam is always busy. Both inside and outside the market walls there are scores of people; inside fishermen and traders huddle together around the many different catches of the day, outside house dadas dressed in brightly printed kangas effortlessly balance buckets of fish on the heads, while they navigate the Tanzanian traffic jams of bejajs, piki-pikis, buses, taxis, bicycles and yet more people.

Whenever every time I go past I take a mental snapshot and try to remember the colours and shades of the scene so at some point in the future I can convert the memories to sketchbook and ultimately to canvas. The only problem is that when I am not teaching full time or doing work at home or looking after my three children or tidying the house, I don’t always have as much time as I would like to to sketch and paint.

However, for the last few days I have decided to rejig my never-ending list of to-dos, and put ‘do some art’ at the top of the list, rather than the bottom, that way I actually get round to doing some… even if it does mean a couple of chores don’t get done.

There are still more paintings to come… but I thought I would share this one with you – just to get the ball rolling. And here is some more pictures in progress.

Starting to convert memory to sketchbook and canvas
Starting to convert memory to sketchbook and canvas

18 Comments Add yours

  1. anagalicblog says:

    Greeting,
    I found your picture very graphically so please continue your work and share it with us. Also see if there’s a chance to do some exibit.
    Ana

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ali Dunnell says:

      Thanks Ana. Working towards an exhibition would be a real incentive to do more work 🎨🙂. Ali

      Liked by 1 person

  2. lenalimhamn says:

    Thank you! Love your art! Always longing for more

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ali Dunnell says:

      Thank you – I really appreciate the positive feedback. Maybe I’ll keep doing art higher up on my list of to dos! Ali

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ann says:

    The simplicity of the Dada’s at the Fish market,says it all. So evocative of life in Africa..Love it all. Thank you, Happy memories. Just sorry that N and Q too young to remember the details.Your three will ! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ali Dunnell says:

      I agree Ann. Although I remember Natasha sharing stories of her time in Zambia even when we were only 9. Much love, Ali x

      Like

  4. ArtReach says:

    It is hard to make time for art. I’m glad you did! I love the vibrant colors.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ali Dunnell says:

      Thanks Art Reach 😃🎨 Ali

      Like

    2. Ali Dunnell says:

      Thank you Art Reach. All this positive feedback will give me a little more justification to make a bit more time for my art. Ali

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Ali Dunnell says:

      Thanks Art Reach. It’s so hard to find the time for everything! But I’m getting lots of positive feedback, which will give me the impetus to do more painting. Ali

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful Ali. I especially love the lines and color of the Dada at the front; so much movement! Who are these Dadas – are they mothers or like Indian wallahs, delivery-people? So glad you’ve squeezed time in during your busy day to paint and share 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ali Dunnell says:

      Hello healing pilgrim. Thanks for the positive comments about my painting. Dada in Swahili means sister and is how people refer to women, men are kaka – older women are mama. House dadas are women employed in households 😃 Ali

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow, so that’s it.. thanks Ali! I’m familiar with Dada in another context (art), but there’s also a primitive beauty and simplicity in these Swahili terms.
        Interesting that kaka = men; a similar word, kaki = foot (in Indonesian)… both words, if used in (polite!) English company, would typically trigger blushing faces or howls of laughter 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ali Dunnell says:

        Yes I guess the Dadaists are quite a bit different. Ali

        Liked by 1 person

  6. What a lovely picture. Living in Namibia I can actually see the hard work of the woman but also the chatting they do and calmness and energy you feel around them in your picture.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ali Dunnell says:

      Thank you so much. It never ceases to amaze me how elegant these women are as they carry these buckets and walk through the chaotic traffic. Living in Namibia must be great. Have you visited the desert while you have been there? In photographs it looks amazing. Ali

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It looks really amazingly elegant, you are right. I actually live right next to the Namib Desert, in Swakopmund where desert meats sea. Especially if mist covers the tips of the dunes and the sun just goes up in the morning we have a magical landscape.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ali Dunnell says:

        Wow… It sounds wonderful. Ali

        Like

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