[LISTEN] SA artist Mmakgabo Mapula Helen Sebidi on the importance of hard work

She's the former domestic-worker-turned-internationally-renowned-artist who helped bring South African art to a global audience.

Mmakgabo Mapula Helen Sebidi is a true example of what it means to overcome the odds.

Unable to finish her high school education Sebidi so sought employment as a domestic worker but was eventually able to practice art and realise her dream.

She spoke to Azania Mosake about her journey so far.

The main important thing is to work hard. We were warned as young children that the only best step is to work hard.

Mmakgabo Mapula Helen Sebidi, artist

Sebidi says her grandmother and a German family played a crucial role in honing her artistic skills.

I met Heidi, a German lady, that is where I found a better home where they did not take me as a servant. After they met my grandmother that is when the encouragement started.

Mmakgabo Mapula Helen Sebidi, artist

The 76-year-old is currently working with the next generation of local artists during a residency at TUT’s Department of Fine and Applied Arts.

What I read from students at TUT is that they actually are very much inspired by money, which I am discouraging very much. Money cannot come to you if you do not have any work, they must be encouraged by doing work.

Mmakgabo Mapula Helen Sebidi, artist

Click on the link below to hear her story...


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