Contemporary African Art Gallery in Nairobi, Kenya

Shine Tani – Biography

Shine Tani acted as a teacher during his years in school by giving instruction to the pupils who had an interest in art. For Shine himself, art was not taught in school but at home: his elder brothers made a lot of drawings and they influenced him greatly. It was this connection to art through the networks of his environment that became instrumental in his later career, culminating in him and his wife, Rahab, now running an Art Gallery in Banana Hill, just outside Nairobi.

Shine’s parents were too poor to have him educated any further: art school was out of the question. But with his commitment to build a career doing what he loved – being engulfed by the creative energies of art – he chose to seek ways of survival and joined an acrobatic group in the village. But even that group and the income he generated weren’t sufficient to survive.

Shine saw no other option then to end up on the streets. As a home-less person he had to fend for himself. When he grew tired of that lifestyle, and with 100 shillings he had received from begging, he started re-building his life.

It was in those days that he saw paintings on the walls of Galleries and he decided to further develop what he had started during his years in school. In 1988 he moved into what he calls “the life of a serious artist”. His art got noticed by art lovers and experts, and the media “discovered him and his works.

Soon after this break-through, other artists sought out advice and assistance from Shine, which laid the foundation for what is now known as Banana Hill Art Gallery (read more here about our history). In between the duties and tasks of a Gallery Owner, 

Shine Tani still finds time and energy to produce art. His work is inspired by day-to-day life, and by his personal experiences. Art allows him a channel to expressing feelings, thoughts and emotions.

Most Recent Exhibitions

  • 2009-2010:Rome Italy
  • 2010: Kenya National Museum, Nairobi, Kenya: “80sand Early 90s”
  • 2011: “Soko Soko” at Banana Hill Art Gallery
  • 2011: “Soko Tele” at Banana Hill Art Gallery
  • 2012: “20 Years Of Banana Hill Art Studio” At Banana Hill Art Gallery

Biographical Information

Owner of Banana Hill Art Gallery, Shine TineName: Shine Tani
Date of Birth: 1967
Place of Birth: Ngecha, Kiambu, Kenya
Resides: Banana Hill
Graduated from: School of Life
Graduated in: Self-taught
Marital Status: Married
Style: Painter

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