British painter reveals her greatest teacher – a Joburg street boy

British painter reveals her greatest teacher – a Joburg street boy

- Hilary Cox is a British artist who spent 1995 in South Africa

- She narrated how a Joburg street boy, Johannes, and his friends influenced her

- They taught her the power of creating art projects together

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A British artist has revealed that a Johannesburg street boy and his friends were her greatest teachers.

Writing on Twitter, Hilary Cox said she spent they year 1995 in South Africa. While in Johannesburg, she painted mural in exchange for food and accommodation.

She met a young street boy named Johannes and they became friends, learned. He and his friends often joined Hilary when she painted.

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Together, they also made clay beads which they sold. Despite enduring abuse and even death threats, the group stayed together in the streets of Yeoville.

One day, Johannes stood up to a man who was abusing him and proudly declared that he wasn't "worthless." To prove his point, he displayed a clay bead he and Hilary had made together.

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Up until this point, Hilary had thought they were simply having fun together. Johannes' proud display of the bead taught her otherwise. She explained:

I had no idea that that was what we were doing - I thought we were just having fun. But these boys taught be the power of creating together.
My biggest teachers. Every arts project, collaboration and campaign since then is because this little boy asked if I could help him find some shoes on my first evening in South Africa.

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Hilary is now based in Cambridge, UK. According to her LinkedIn profile, she "uses arts and creativity to bring about community cohesion, reinvention and social change."

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