Dr Esther Mahlangu unveils Rolls Royce Phantom

Rolls-Royce’s flagship, Phantom, has an application of glass that spans the fascia, allowing patrons of the marque to commission a unique and highly personal artwork for their motor car. Positioned front and centre, the Gallery becomes a focal point for Phantom’s interior.


César Habib, Regional Director, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Middle East and Africa, commented, “I am delighted to unveil ‘The Mahlangu Phantom’, a striking expression of contemporary African art. Phantom’s Gallery is a unique environment for patrons of the marque to express personal and often highly creative artworks and we are honoured to showcase Dr. Mahlangu’s work in this Phantom’s serene interior.”

Considered a South African national treasure, Dr. Mahlangu has devoted her life to sharing her cultural heritage through vibrant geometric abstract paintings and murals inspired by the Ndebele ethnic group. The 84-year-old is one of Africa’s most respected living artists and her works can be found in many important museums, corporate and private collections around the world.


With the goal of preserving her cultural heritage, Mahlangu started an art school in the back garden of her home in the Mpumalanga province where she mentors young artists in the traditional style of Ndebele design. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of ‘The Mahlangu Phantom’ will be donated to the school and will be used to support a retrospective exhibition that will narrate her fascinating life story and celebrate her invaluable contribution to contemporary African art.


“Dr. Mahlangu was born in 1935 and has been painting the bright, geometric, abstract artworks for which she has become so globally acclaimed since she was 10 years old. We are excited to have been appointed to curate this important Retrospective exhibition that will celebrate and honour Dr. Mahlangu and her important contribution to contemporary African art,” says Craig Mark, director of The Melrose Gallery, Dr. Mahlangu’s global representative.


Justin Divaris, CEO, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Johannesburg, commented, “This is a very proud moment for us. Not only because we are the first in the world to collaborate with a South African artist to create a piece for a one-of-one Phantom Gallery, but because we had the honour of working with none other than Mama Esther”.

In celebration of this unique commission, Rolls-Royce has produced an insightful film to showcase Esther Mahlangu’s work and cultural heritage.

Provided by Rolls-Royce SA