That Wednesday May 17th, 1972, was, a rainy day in Dar es Salaam, but that did not discourage Edward Saidi Tingatinga to go out in the evening with his dear cousin Tedo, to have a couple of drinks in one of the neighborhood bars. The evening was still young and the mood was cheerful as they sat at a table and ordered their first round. Soon, they were joined by an acquaintance who had recognized them, and the newly constituted trio continued to talk and drink; the third man was not an artist but a car mechanic and his name was Daudi Issa Ndia.
Perhaps it was a good time to change places but what about the rain outside? "Do not worry", said the third man "I have a car, let us go to town!"
The three get in the car, Tedo in front, next to the driver, and Edward in the back; the driver starts the engine and they are now heading to the city. What the two artists probably ignore is that this is not the driver's car but instead belongs to a customer of the mechanic shop where the driver has been working. The car had been "borrowed for an evening test" and would be back in the garage early in the morning, no harm done. On top of that, the driver had no driver's license or permit of any kind and had already a number of drinks.
As they reach the city centre at the clock tower round-about and turn into Independence Avenue (now called Samora Avenue), the driver suddenly faces a policeman standing on the road and signalling him to stop for control. The driver panics, drives around the policeman, almost crashes into the police patrol car stopped slightly ahead and speeds away.
From that point, we quote Mr. S. H. Pundugu, who was the Director of the Criminal Investigation Department at that time declaring to the Daily News (May 19th 1972): "The police gave chase in the patrol and fired a warning pistol shot into the air; but the other car did not stop. The police then aimed at the tyres. but stray bullets killed one of the occupants and slightly injured another. The third man was not so harmed, the Director said."
Edward's agonizing body was taken out of the car and was laid down on the wet asphalt road, waiting for the ambulance to come.
"The survivor was arrested and the injured man and the dead man was taken to Muhimbili Hospital. No names were disclosed. Police say they found tools in the car and a lot of spares".
In the early hours of May 18, 1972, after the noise of a short car race followed by some detonations, the city center of Dar es Salaam became quiet again. The dead man now lying at Muhimbili Hospital was none other than Edward Saidi Tingatinga, and so came abruptly to an end a young artist's career.
Edward Saidi Tingatinga was buried in the Msasani Village cemetery, in Dar es Salaam.
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