Mruta belongs to the Tingatinga school of painters and is a cousin of Edward Saidi Tingatinga. He was also born in the village of Mindu in the Ruvuma Region in the far south of Tanzania. Mruta came to Dar es Salaam in 1953 to train as a police officer, a career which he gave up in 1967. He then spent five years farming in Bagamoyo, 30 kilometres to the north of Dar es Salaam. In 1972, having observed the astonishing success of Tingatinga’s work, Mruta began to paint in a similar style. Today he can be classified as the most important painter of the group.

Mruta, 'Zebra and Birds', paint on board
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