At 82, Esther Mahlangu, received an honorary doctorate from the University of Johannesburg for her contribution to the arts.
She has represented South Africa on numerous occasions and has become a cultural ambassador for the country through her beautiful artwork.
Briefly.co.za put together a list of five times that Mahlangu has made us proud of her with the help of witbanknews.co.za.
1. When she became the first non-Western person and female to design BMW’s art cars
In 1991 Mahlangu joined the likes of Andy Warhol, David Hockney and Frank Stella who designed art for BMW cars. She painted a BMW 525i making it the first ever “African Art Car”. She decorated the car with motifs typical of the Ndebele tribe.
2. When she teamed up with John Legend and Belvedere Red to help fight HIV/Aids in Africa
She worked with a number of international stars such as John Legend. Her artwork was displayed on a Belvedere Red bottle. 50% of the profits from the sale of those bottles went to fighting aids.
3. When she collaborated with and paid tribute to Nelson Mandela
She worked with and paid tribute to the late Nelson Mandela. She embellished five paintings created by Mandela in 2001. Last year she exhibited the artwork which was well received by the art community.
4. When she won the Arts and Culture Veteran award at the Ubuntu Awards
She was nominated alongside Johnny Clegg for the prestigious award. Clegg received just over 500 votes while Mahlangu received over 1000.
She said in her speech: “I am delighted and appreciate being regarded as a veteran for arts and culture for my country and representing my province.”
5. When she received her honorary doctorate from The University of Johannesburg
Most recently she was recognised for her contribution to the arts with an honorary doctorate.
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