UBUNTU Magazine - Issues 20 South Africa's Public Diplomacy In Action

Esther Mahlangu
Clayson Monyela, 2020

Publisher: Artlogic

Pages: 25

The 33rd African Union (AU) Summit was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in February 2020 under the theme: "Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa's Development".   South Africa as Chair of the AU for the year 2020 will work tirelessly towards peace and security on the continent. In this regard, the country believes that both the African leadership and ordinary people must be the architects of their own peace and stability.   To make real the commitment of “Silencing the Guns in Africa in 2020”, South Africa will collaborate with sister countries on the continent, focussing on the root causes of conflicts so that we are able to create an environment for permanent peace and security in Africa.


Dr Esther Mahlangu, the acclaimed South African artist and much-loved cultural ambassador, visited Cape Town in February 2020 to attend a programme of exciting exhibition openings and the unveiling of the “Mahlangu” Rolls-Royce Phantom. A disruptor and visionary from an early age, Dr Mahlangu was the first person to reimagine Ndebele design on contemporary mediums and has painted anything from planes, cars, motorbikes and bicycles to skateboard decks, war-helmets, canvasses and walls in her illustrious career that spans seven decades. Her practice has seen her collaborating with many of the world’s leading museums, curators, art fairs, celebrities and global brands. She is considered a national treasure, is a positive role model and inspiration to Africa and has achieved almost pop icon status of her own although remaining firmly grounded in her traditional Ndebele custom. Demand for Dr Mahlangu’s works is at an all-time high and has been fuelled by the increase in interest in African contemporary art, Many experts feel that no important Pan-African art collection can be considered complete without one of Dr Mahlangu’s artworksDr Mahlangu’s global profile, several exciting collaborations and acquisitions by leading collectors and global brands in 2018 and 2019 and rumours of her upcoming Retrospective Exhibition. The Melrose Gallery, her gallerist, is managing the long waiting list for her artworks as demand outperforms supply.


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