Nassibou, daughter of Dejazmatch Nassibou Zamanuel and Woizero Aztede
Babitcheff, was born in Addis Abeba in 1931. Shortly after the Italian
invasion of Ethiopia she was taken with all her family to Italy where
they lived as captives of the Fascist government from 1936 to 1944. Read
about her eventful childhood in her recently published memoirs.
attended the International School in Geneva and studied art at the
Académie des Beaux Arts in Paris and the Art Students League in New
Martha was drawing and painting already as a child. Her first
exhibition was held in 1945, when she was only 14, organized by the
Ministry of Commerce in Addis Abeba on the occasion of the visit of
Queen of Greece.
She later worked for the Ethiopian Ministry of Education, who
commissioned her to illustrate school books for children.
Since 1964, she has been living in Europe where she has continued to
paint, exhibit, and execute commissioned work consisting mainly of
portraits and large thematic canvases of Ethiopian inspiration. Martha has taught drawing and painting to both children and
Although she favours oil and pastel, she likes to experiment with new
media and has lately produced some electronic paintings.
Martha is also a writer and a poet. She has recently published a book
to honour the memory her father, Dejazmatch Nassibou Zamanuel, hero of
the Ethiopian struggle against the occupying Italian army.
Martha has three children and three grandchildren. She lives in the
south of France where she paints and writes.