South African artist uMama Esther Mahlangu has been honoured with mural of her work in her home country.
The country’s Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa this week unveiled the remarkable mural at The Market Square in Newtown, Johannesburg, giving the Market Square some life and energy with the bold and beautiful colours.
Mahlangu became the first woman to paint a BMW Art Car. 25 years after her first painting for BMW, she was approached again to paint a BMW 7 Series.
— MarketPhotoWorkshop (@_photoworkshop) February 19, 2018
Last year uMama Mahlangu was honoured with a mural in New York as part of a tourism partnership between South African Tourism’s US office, South African Airways (SAA) and bicycle-sharing platform Citi Bike.
The mural in New York was commissioned by South African Airways and Citi Bike. Bangu Masisi, President of SA Tourism’s Americas Hub, said then: “Esther Mahlangu is renowned the world over for her unique, colourful and geometric paintings, which have inspired international brands and artists of many backgrounds across the globe. Her work has also done an amazing job of showcasing our cultures and will provide New Yorkers this summer with a sight of South Africa’s vibrant Ndebele culture.”
Born in Mpumalanga province of South Africa, Mahlangu started painting when she was a young girl, learning the Ndebele cultural tradition of painting and decorating houses from her mother and grandmother. The 81 year-old artist started exhibiting on the international scene in 1989 and she has gained international recognition for her remarkable art and talent.
uMama Mahlangu says: “To paint is in my heart and it’s in my blood. The way I paint was taught to me by my mother and my grandmother. The images and colours have changed and I have painted on many different surfaces and objects but I still love to paint”.