Who is Ras Natango?
by Tamika Williams
( Camrose, Montego Bay, Jamaica)
Ras Natango and Tamika
Click Other Photos To Enlarge
Ras Natango with His Godson
A Collage of Ras Natango's Paintings
A Ras Natango Painting of Children
Ras Natango was born Ian Alexander Williams on December 14, 1953 to Harold and Terry Williams, their third child and only boy. Ian was raised in Kingston, and went to St Georges College, where he regularly entered art competitions, always placing in the top three.
He loved swimming, and became a member of The Bournmuth Swim Club.
After graduating from high school Ian Williams pursued a career in accounting, which lasted for seven years.
Shortly after Ian began working as an accountant his father Harold who was the breadwinner in the family had an accident which resulted in amnesia.
This meant Ian was then responsible for his Mom and two younger sisters, who were still in school.
Why Ras Natango?
As a young boy growing up Ian loved to read comics. His favourite was "Daniel and Notango - Brothers of The Spear", which was about two princes in Africa who had lost their empires, and how they became brothers and friends as they fought for Justice. Daniel was a white prince and Notango was a black prince.
Ian identified with Notango and began calling himself Natango deliberately spelling it with an 'a' instead of an 'o'.
At the age of 19 he embraced the Rastafarian faith, began growing dreadlocks, and he added the title "Ras", which which means prince in Ethiopia.
Ras Natango, or Prince Natango, was born.
Ras Natango Today
Ras Natango, his wife Tamika and their son Ayale own the Ahhh...Ras Natango Gallery and Garden
in the communty of Camrose in St James.
Major hotels in central and western Jamaica own and display his paintings on their walls, Black Shopping network in the USA have pieces of his work on sale and private collectors spread over seventeen countries of the world ... from South Carolina in the USA, to London, to Spain Africa, to China ... own his paintings.
What drives him?
Ras as he is affectionately called by his clients loves to paint. It is his passion. He will readliy tell you that painting is more than just being decorative for him.
It is his way of recording the positives of our Jamaican culture for future generations and the rest of the world. He believes art is the best medium of recording and leaving behind information as it requires little or no translation.
His medium is acrylic, and he paints on canvas and hard wood. He masterfully captures the vibrant colours of our local flora bringing the warmth of the tropics into any home acoss the world.
A Few Personal Tidbits From Tamika
Ras Natango is an introvert. He lives in his head and is happiest when he is painting. Once he starts a piece he will even get upset if disturbed to eat (smile).
His paintings reflect so much about him. He is a self taugh artist, but has read extensively about the masters, and one can identify the influences of each in his work.
Ras loves children and nature. The family business has adopted the Buckingham primary School where Ras volunteers once weekly teaching art as there is no other art program at the school.
His philosophy in life is a single two letter word "BE" ... Be who you are, be content with you, just plain "BE".
As a family man Ras believes both the man and the woman should work together, and so he can be seen cleaning, cooking, or even washing.
We welcome visitors into our home as part of our business, and we have one son, Ayale
, who is part owner in our business.
Ras is a loving man, who I sometimes feel I do not deserve, and he is a great example for our son. In addition to being my husband and my best friend, he has fathered me and mothered me when neccessary.
Ras shies away from the limelight and is content to just paint. He leaves the running of our business to Ayale and myself.
He has taken a hillside covered with rocks and turned it into a Rocky Mountain Paradise, and a tourist attraction.
AMCHAM Art and Culture Nominee 2013
Ras was honoured to be nominated by AMCHAM Jamaica for an award alongside distinguisged fellow Jamaicans who have contributed to Art and Culture in Jamaica.
And although Ras did not get this award it was an honour to be nominated amongst this field of prestigious Jamaicans who are working to improve our Arts and culture.
Ras, Tamika and Ayale can be contacted
Telephone: + 1 876 807 4347