Chic African Culture Blog

Did you know?

1. No African country names begin with the letters F, H, I, J, O, P, Q, V, W, X, or Y.

2. Africa is surrounded by water but by definition Africa is not an island because Africa is a continent.

3. African tech startups raise billions of dollars annually, seven African start-ups were included in the World Economic Forum 2021 cohort of 100 Technology Pioneers: 54gene, mPharma, Cambridge Industries, FlexFinTx, Kuda, Moringa School and Sokowatch.

The Owl House Helen Elizabeth Martins Outsider Artist

The Owl House Helen Elizabeth Martins is considered South Africa's foremost Outsider Artist or Raw Art

Helen Elizabeth Martins is considered South Africa's foremost Outsider Artist or Raw Art
Helen Elizabeth Martins is considered South Africa's foremost Outsider Artist or Raw Art

About Helen Martins White women hiring a black man Death of the Owl House artist

Helen Martins was born on 23 December 1897 in Nieu Bethesda, a small and isolated Karoo village in South Africa's Eastern Cape. Helen Martins was the youngest of six children. She earned a teaching degree after attending school in Graaff-Reinet which is the fourth oldest town in South Africa. In 1919 she moved to the Transvaal to begin working as a teacher. Transvaal is the land north of the Vaal River in modern-day South Africa.

Helen Martins whose nickname was "Miss Helen" in 1964 employed Koos Malgas, who happens to be black, to help her make the cement and glass statues which fill her house, the Owl House and her surrounding land called Camel Yard. This was very controversial in the apartheid era of South Africa.

Miss Helen was given praise and attention through her work but as time progressed, and derision and suspicion grew within the village, she became increasingly reclusive. 

Miss Helen was not taking care of herself and as time, arthritis, and the arduous nature of her undertaking took its toll on her physique, she became increasingly shy of her appearance and took great pains to avoid seeing people in the street.

The friends that she had, however, describe her as an intensely passionate person who became particularly animated and excited when discussing the latest ideas for her beloved creation. 

Miss Helen’s works of art using glass eventually caused her to lose her eyesight. In the winter of 1976, at the age of seventy-eight, she committed suicide by swallowing a mixture of caustic soda. 

Miss Helen was rushed to hospital in Graaff-Reinet, where she died three days later, on August 8, 1976, though her legacy continues to bring joy and wonder to many who visit her home.

Owl House Helen Elizabeth Martins Outsider Artist
Owl House Helen Elizabeth Martins Outsider Artist
Art Quotes Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one. To send light into the darkness of men's hearts, such is the duty of the artist. An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one. art🎔

Together we build awareness that boost harmony, education, and success, below are more links to articles you will find thought provoking.

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Africa is surrounded by water but is not an island, here are a few African Island facts.

Madagascar is the 4th large island in the world and is located in the Indian Ocean supporting a unique biology, about 90% of its plants and animals are found nowhere else on earth.

Composed of 155 islands, Seychelles is Africa's smallest country. By far the largest island is Mahe, home to about 90% of the population and the site of its capital city of Victoria.

Cabo Verde has a strategic location 310 miles or 500 km from the west coast of Africa near major north-south sea routes; important communications station; important sea and air refueling site.

Africa is surrounded by water but by definition Africa is not an island because Africa is a continent. Continents can not be considered islands because of their size and also by historic definition since many people who study geography define islands and continents as two different things.

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Being African in America I have grown up learning about different ethnic cultures. My father and mother are historians of African culture and history and their influence expanded my activities to several best-selling cookbooks, magazine columns, self-branded products, and a popular African culture and food blog.

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