Selby studied at Fort Hare University College, and received a B. A. degree in Fine Arts. At Fort Hare he used to do amusing posters for dances and "rags". He loved music and played the piano well---gentle jazz with a foot-miving lilt. Those were the days, when the Youth League had tremendous influence on the minds of students at Fort Hare. Many of the later stalwarts of the A. N. C. were then at the college, preaching high powered Youth League politics. Selby seemed to be completely apolitical then. He took no interest in the political upheavals, strikes, boycotts and sitdowns which disrupted the college. Selby rocketed to fame overnight after he had presented his oil "Parents of the World---Adam and Eve" (a painting depicting a black Adam and Eve), for an American contest. Selby Mvusi , a tall, gangling painter and sculptor, lived up to the traditional idea of the artist. Lean; a little whiff of a beard peeping halfheartedly out of his chin; reticent and shy at times; bubbling and frothy at others. He spoke with an American accent and his frightened eyes belied his confident manner.
-Anonymous, "Selby 'Picasso' Mvusi: Painter and Sculptor", The Fifties People of South Africa (compiled and edited by Jurgen Schadeberg, 1987).