By Khethiwe Mndawe
Esther Mahlangu and Naledi Pandor
Internationally respected and recognised Ndebele artist, wins the arts and culture veteran award at the Ubuntu award ceremony held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
She was nominated in the same category with Johnny Clegg for the award while Johny clegg received just above 500 votes, Esther Mahlangu got over a thousand votes. The event that was organised by the department of International Relations and took place on the 11th of February 2017.
Esther is most well known for her bold large-scale Ndebele inspired artworks. In 1989 Esther was invited to create murals for the international exhibition, the Magiciens de la Terre in Paris. Her artwork then became known all over the world.
"I am delighted and appreciate being regarded as a veteran or arts and culture for my country and representing my province." said Esther Mahlangu.
With the goal of preserving her cultural heritage, Mahlangu started an art school in the backyard of her home in Mabhoko in Mpumalanga. Esther recently collaborated with John Legend to design the limited-edition Belvedere Vodka bottle for the #MakeADifference campaign using her Ndebele tribal art style to raise money for HIV prevention.
Culture, Sport and Recreation MEC, Norah Mahlangu has heaped praise on Gogo Esther Mahlangu for bagging an Ubuntu Award.
“As a department, we are delighted that one of our favourite daughters of Mpumalanga has once again been recognised for her talent and also her role in promoting and preserving Ndebele culture,” explains the MEC, Norah Mahlangu- Mabena of the DCSR Mpumalanga.
Gogo Mahlangu was bestowed with the Ubuntu Award on Saturday, February 11 in Cape Town.
According to the organisers, the department of International Relations and Cooperation, the awards are aimed at recognising and honouring South African industry leaders, organisations and extraordinary citizens for their distinguished service and contribution to promoting South Africa’s national interests and values throughout the world.
“Gogo Mahlangu is a true symbol of a South African, who has put the country on the map the world over with her work,” added the MEC.
In October 2016, she signed a BMW luxury automobile and made it into a work of art that public could bid on. The vehicle was on display at the renowned Freize Art Fair in London. This iconic collaboration comes 25 years after Mahlangu created a BMW Art Car which was the first to be signed by a woman.
South Africa’s most revered musician Johnny Clegg is known internationally as an energetic, passionate human being who has become one of South Africa’s greatest musical exports in 2016, Johnny Clegg was honoured with the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) Lifetime Achievement Award for music.