Helene de Villiers was born on 30 August 1921 in Brakpan. When Helene was 11 years old, her father became a missionary in a rural area in the Transkei with Umtata the next town. Later Helene attended the Oranje Girl School in Bloemfontein. She studied anthropology and English Stellenbosch University, where she obtained a MA in English on a comparison of Grimm's tales with those of the Xhosa. She also obtained a Teacher's Diploma and continued her studies in languages at the University of Geneva.
Helene de Villiers was lecturing poetry part time at the Eurhythmics School in Cape Town.
Helene was married to J.L. de Villiers, Emeritus professor of Theology Stellenbosch University, who died on 10 May 2009. They had four children.
ek dink die groot kultuurskatte van Suid-Afrika is die Boesmans se mites
Johanna de Villiers