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Tinga Tinga Tales

Tinga Tinga Tales

Tinga Tinga Tales – Folklore at it’s best

What is Tinga Tinga?

‘Tinga Tinga Tales’ was a very popular animated children’s series that was born in 2010 and ran for 2 seasons. By 2011 it was in full effect on T.V screens and being watched by children in Africa, America and the U.K

The colourful stories were based on traditional folklore tales, mostly about animals that live in East Africa.

But before we delve any further into the tale side of ‘Tinga Tinga’, we have to go back a bit.

Lets go back to the very beginning…

The bare origins of ‘Tinga Tinga’:

1968 was the year that Edward Saidi Tingatinga picked up a brush and started to creatively paint the animals and people from his corner of the earth.

Before ‘Tinga Tinga Tales’ became an animated children’s series, it was the name of a talented painter in Tanzania. Edward Saidi Tingatinga started to paint the animals and people of Tanzania in the late 1960’s. His bright colours and style were a huge hit among the tourists who came to visit the big city of ‘Dar es Salaam’ where he lived. His vibrant art reflected the animals, people, and sounds of East Africa. Edward’s paining style quickly spread throughout the lands.

Tinga Tinga artwork

Sadly, Edward Saidi Tingatinga’s life as a new talented artist was cut short. He was shot by the police in a case of mistaken identity in 1972. His son Daudi Tingatinga carries on his wonderful legacy, along with other artists who have all been inspired by Edward Tingatinga’s art style.

Tinga Tinga Tales.

This animated British-Kenyan series was produced in Nairobi, Kenya. The animation was strongly influenced by the artwork of Mr. Tingatinga. 

‘Tinga Tinga Tales’ was aired by the BBC for their CBeebies channel, and also by the Disney Channel in 2010.

‘Tinga Tinga Tales’ mainly features strong, African animal characters. The central characters being Red Monkey, Zebra, Hippo, Lion, Tortoise, and Elephant.

Tinga Tinga Tales characters

Each episode tells the story of why the featured animal became the animal we know it as today, it’s origins and it’s behaviour – such as in the very first Tinga Tinga Tale – ‘Why Elephant Has A Trunk’. Or the very last episode, ‘Why Cheetah has Tears’.

Red Monkey is always the narrator. Monkey’s voice is voiced by Eugene Muchiri for the UK episodes, and by Geoffrey Curtin for the American episodes.

‘Tinga Tinga Tales’ are aimed at children as young as three years old and up to about 6 – 7 years of age. But older children still enjoy this series that features so much diversity among it’s English and African accents and characters.

If you are from the UK, you will surely know Sir Lenny Henry – he is the distinctive voice behind Elephant and Buffalo!

Lenny Henry reading Tinga Tinga Tales

The opening theme song, sung by the animals of ‘Tinga Tinga Tales’ sets you in a very cheerful and positive mood right from the start

There are a total of 52 episodes that were made for the BBC and the Disney Channel. The ‘Tinga Tinga Tales’ episodes are under 12 mins long and so good to watch! Your children will totally enjoy every minute of them and get to know and enjoy the fun characters.

Tinga Tinga Tales – Why Elephant Has A Trunk

We have listed all the episodes below.

Many episodes were turned into book form and published. Sticker books, such as the ‘Why Tortoise Has A Broken Shell’ sticker book, and Tinga Tinga  puzzles were available too. But it seems as though they are being snapped up fast and not being published any more, so hurry and grab them as they are becoming scarce on the internet!

Tinga Tinga books are becoming scarce on the internet! See if you are lucky enough to grab some on Amazon!…

Look out for the ‘Read it Yourself’ versions published by ‘Ladybird’, for reading levels 1 and 2. 

Tinga Tinga Tales 4 in 1 puzzle
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Tinga Tinga Tales – US

Tinga Tinga Tales – CA

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Tinga Tinga Tales – UK

Tinga Tinga Tales – AU

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Tinga Tinga Tales – ES

Tinga Tinga Tales – DE

The titles of all 52 Tinga Tinga Tale episodes in order:

  1. Why Elephant Has A Trunk
  2. Why make Has No Legs
  3. Why Hippo Has No Hair
  4. Why Tortoise Has A Broken Shell
  5. Why Hen Pecks At The Ground
  6. Why Bat Hangs Upside down
  7. Why Warthog Is So Ugly
  8. Why Owl’s Head Turns All The Way Round
  9. Why Monkeys Swing In The Trees
  10. Why Tickbird Sits on Hippo’s Back
  11. Why Frog Croaks
  12. Why Spider Has A Tiny Waist
  13. Why Vulture Is Bald
  14. Why Giraffe Has A Long Neck
  15. Why Porcupine Has Quills
  16. Why Lizard Always Hides Under Rocks
  17. Why Crocodile Has A Bumpy Back
  18. Why Jackal Howls At The Moon
  19. Why Hare Hops
  20. Why Mosquito Buzzes
  21. Why Rhino Charges
  22. Why Caterpillar Is Never In A Hurry
  23. Why Lion Roars
  24. Why Zebra Has Stripes
  25. Why Flamingo Stands On One Leg
  26. Why Woodpecker Pecks
  27. Why Ostrich Sticks Her Head In The Ground
  28. Why Camel Has A Hump
  29. Why Wildebeest Stampede
  30. Why Chameleon Changes Colour
  31. Why Leopard Has Spots
  32. Why Hyena Has Short Back Legs
  33. Why Ants Work Together
  34. Why Flea Jumps
  35. Why Hummingbird Hums
  36. Why Baboon Has A Bare Bottom
  37. Why Bees Sting
  38. Why Peacock Struts
  39. Why Aardvark Has A Sticky Tongue
  40. Why Whale Spouts
  41. Why Parrot Can’t Keep A Secret
  42. Why Bushbaby Has Big Eyes
  43. Why Guinea Fowl Has Dots
  44. Why Buffalo Has Horns
  45. Why Puffadder Sheds His Skin
  46. Why Eagle Rules The Skies
  47. Why Skunk Smells
  48. Why Cricket Chirrups
  49. Why Mole Lives Underground
  50. Why Squirrel Gathers Nuts
  51. Why Meerkat Is Always On The Lookout
  52. Why Cheetah Has Tears

Tinga Tinga Episodes on Daily Motion

Starting with ‘Why Baboon Has A Bare Bottom (one of my fav episodes!) Click on the video image below to watch

What has happened to Tinga Tinga Tales now?

Tinga Tinga Tales still remain very popular. They have now gone a step further than the animated series. Claudia Lloyd is the creator, writer and producer. Claudia has teamed-up with the world famous singer-songwriter Eric Wainaina and Sheba Hirst. Together they have brought ‘Tinga Rain Productions’ into existence! It’s the Tinga Tinga Tales Musical! This musical of stories, songs and art has been so successful that it’s always being extended. The only problem is that you will have to live in Nairobi to see it! But we have a preview for you below…

Tinga Tinga Musical snippet…

(Produced by Tinga Rain Productions)

Sing-a-long to the opening Tinga Tinga Tales song!

Tinga Tinga Tales theme lyrics

Animals of Tinga Tinga:
Tinga Tinga, Tinga Tinga.
Tinga Tinga, Tinga Tinga.
Tinga Tinga is a land
Full of stories and surprise.

Tortoise: Tell me about it.

Red Monkey:
If you like to wonder why,
Tinga Tinga is a land of whys.

Giraffe: You won’t believe your eyes…

Red Monkey: Why I swing from tree to tree.

Elephant: Why my trunk is long. (Breeee!)

Tortoise: Why I’m so slow.

Tickbird: Why I tick.

Hippo: Why my skin is smooth and slick.

All: You ask why, why, why, why, why?

Red Monkey: Why?

All: You ask why, why, why, why, why?

Hippo: There’s a story.

Red Monkey: Lots of stories.

Beneath the Tinga sky.
Tinga, Tinga, Tinga Tinga.

Elephant: Tales from Africa.

All: Tinga Tinga, Tinga Tinga.

Tortoise: Tales from Africa.

All: Tinga Tinga, Tinga Tinga.

Red Monkey:
Look at all my friends!
I’ll tell you why.

Tinga Tinga animal characters Jambo

Want to discover even more about Tinga Tinga Tales?

Meet Claudia Lloyd and learn about the origins of Tinga Tinga!…

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Tinga Tinga Tales – US

Tinga Tinga Tales – CA

UK heart shaped flag

Tinga Tinga Tales – UK

Tinga Tinga Tales – AU

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Tinga Tinga Tales – ES

Tinga Tinga Tales – DE

This ‘TINGA TINGA TALES’ Blog Post  is brought to you by…

What Children Really Want©

What Children Really Want

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