Martino (Tienie Brits), South African magic icon and arguably our most famous magician, passed away on Friday, 2011 February 25, after a long battle with cancer. He was 64.
Martino grew up in Pretoria, and at the age of 17, began performing in circus acts and developed an interest in magic. For some three years he was part of the “Martino Trio” (along with his brother) before he began a magic career on his own.
Bernard Dyer (past SAMS President) writes that Martino “was an inspiration to many a fellow and upcoming magician”, and indeed his was a house-hold name when his 1980s TV series “Die Kulkuns van Martino” (E: “The Magic of Martino”) achieved popular acclaim.
His famous Afrikaans catch-phrase “Kul jou hier, kul jou daar en siedaar!” defies proper translation into English, but may be rendered as “Fool you here, fool you there, and voila!”(References: Die Burger, 2011 Feb 26, News, p3; Bernard Dyer, personal communucation)