By Melanie Baumeister

Razina Theba, an up-and-coming novelist and author of “A home on Vorster Street: A Memoir”, has spotted and harnessed the incredible talent of our home-grown artist, Houghmorden Jansen – better known as Holmes The Creative.

Whilst on holiday here in Sedgefield in December 2020 and enjoying our outdoor markets, Razina came across Holmes’ colourful works and knew, instantaneously, that his style was perfect for the cover of her memoir. According to the artist himself, the author was browsing with her husband, and they were immediately taken in by the small exhibition that Holmes sets up every Saturday at the Mosaic Market. “It was the first time in ten years that her husband had liked any art!” Holmes expounds. Razina set about procuring a few of Holmes’ small A5 pieces that adorn interiors all over the world. She took his details and the rest, as they say, is history.

Jonathan Ball Publishers expedited the ‘back and forth’ of the cover art, with Razina in the control seat, two sketches of Razina as a child and the geography of Vorster Street, along with an artistic brief, were sent to Holmes, and these were combined to create the cover of Mrs Theba’s memoirs. The story offers a fresh narrative of this time in South Africa’s history from a unique cultural viewpoint. A gifted storyteller, Razina has a vivid, sensory style; her writing expertly mixes humour with emotional intimacy. No mean feat as Razina is also a busy attorney and divorce mediator. This, her first book, is bound to intrigue and entertain a readership that will identify with her story set during tumultuous times in South Africa’s past.

“Holmes has exceeded all my expectations in delivering a piece of art that was both soulful and cheeky. He pulled this off with very few instructions!” Razina had time to type as her star started its upward trajectory as a writer. She mentions too that Holmes’ cover art is part of a Facebook competition for those of you that are au fait with the social media platform, go and have a browse and check out the competition at:
Personally, this reporter thinks that Holmes should win hands down!

With thanks to Jennifer Ball at Jonathan Ball Publishers for the image of ‘A home on Vorster St: A Memoir’ by Razina Theba. Cover Art by Holmes The Creative.