Nathan Mpangala’s nickname is Kijastibikozi (short: Kijasti), which is Swahili slang for ‘vest’.
Nathan Mpangala was born on December 1, 1970 and completed secondary school in Kibasila in 1990. He underwent a two-year course in Fine Art from 1990 to 1992, which was organized by Kinondoni Young Artists in Dar es Salaam. His other training included a course on Behavior Change and Communication in 1995, a Design Workshop and a National Artist Training Workshop based on Child’s Rights in 1996 in Dar es Salaam.
At the moment, Mpangala is working as a cartoonist for newspapers including The Express, Dar Leo, Uhuru, Mwananchi, Mfanyakazi, Dimba, Sanifu, Majira, Nipashe, Spoti, Uwazi and Maisha. He has worked with development organizations such as the Tanzania AIDS Project (TAP); AMREF (Tanzania); the National Electoral Commission (NEC); the Environmental Policy Institutional Strengthening Project (EPIQ) and LEAT. He also serves as an illustrator for educational publications. He eventually aims to follow an animation course, to design his own website and gain international recognition for his work.
He also hopes that cartoonists will eventually start working together more closely, and for their work to be respected internationally. Towards that end, Mpangala is the chairman the Popular Association of Cartoonists in Tanzania (PACT), which started in 2000. He’s also a member of the Tanzania Sports Writers Association (TASWA) and TAPOMA (Tanzania Popular Media Association).
Mpangla has received various awards, including a Certificate of Appreciation by USAID (Tanzania) in 1996 for the role he played in sensitising Tanzanian society to the effects of HIV/AIDS and STDs.