JOHANNESBURG – Ndebele artist Esther Mahlangu has been commissioned by BMW UK to paint one-of-a-kind interior trims for the BMW 7-series.
Her finished product will hold centre stage and be sold as a unique piece at this year’s Frieze Art Fair in London.
Last week it was announced that the 80-year-old Mahlangu had teamed up with US musician John Legend in a campaign to help combat HIV.
Mahlangu, who has dedicated more than 70 years of her life to creating bold Ndebele artworks, has been teaching the next generation to preserve her sacred traditions.
Her mother and grandmother introduced her to the painting tradition at the age of 10.
“They told me, 'Go paint the back of the house', where no one could see it. So I went and I painted and painted and every so often they would come to have a look and after a while they said my hands were ready. They told me to come to the front and paint there. So I did and I painted and painted and they said, 'Now you are ready, you can paint for people, you won’t be afraid to do it'."
Watch the video above for Esther Mahlangu's full story.