Mmakgabo Mapula Helen Sebidi was born in 1943 in Marapyane (Skilpadfontein), in the Hammanskraal area of the Northern Transvaal. As her mother was working as a domestic worker in the city for much of her childhood, she grew up with her grandmother, who taught her the values that would guide and sustain her life. This includes the channelling of spirit back into the world through hard work, the commitment of the self to the community, but most of all through acts of creativity – whether this be cooking, constructing mud walls, creating murals, making pots and decorating calabashes, weaving, beading, dress-making, knitting, drawing or painting. For Mmakgabo Sebidi, the artist starts from a root of pain and conflict and works her way towards the redemption of both herself and those around her through the act of making. The creator becomes invisible during this process and is the channel through which the spirit world flows. The artwork can be seen as the trace of this redemptive journey.