‘Samba Wa Mbimba N’zinga Nurimasi Mdombasi’, called ‘Chéri Samba’, was born on 30 December 1956 in lower Zaire in Kinito Mvulta. He lives and works in Kinshasa, Kongo and Paris. when he was a young boy he used to sell his ‘humorous’ sketches outside his elementary school. His family moved to Kinshasa in 1972. After apprenticing for a few months in different sign painters shops, he opened his own shop in the street Kasa Bubu. In regard to contents and form, Chéri Samba’s painting is characterised by the immediate concern with Zaire’s social reality in respect to his personal existence as an artist.
His paintings, imbued with political awareness, are always representational, realistic, and their bright colors come from the use of acrylic paint. His canvases use a cartoon-like style together with the subtle synthesis of advertising images, verbal inventiveness, drawn especially from the cinema. His themes are: customs, sexuality, illness, social inequalities, corruption… he is, with the painter Moke, one of the principal founders of the school of painting referred to as ‘popular zairean’. that’s how he obtained, very soon, a big local following and coined the expression to designate himself: ‘Cheri Samba: popular artist.’ (Designboom)