The legendary Ndebele artist Esther Mahlangu has been conferred with a Honorary Doctorate Degree from the University of Johannesburg.

The 83-year old has been painting for 73 years.

She is celebrated all over the world and her murals and canvas paintings have been exhibited on four continents.

It is Dr Mahlangu’s first doctorate degree and her speech was short and to the point.

She was grateful for the recognition by the university and said that painting has opened up the world for her.

Her ceremony was filled with praise singing and traditional dance and the graduates also gave a standing ovation for her.

At the age of 10 she was taught the art of Ndebele homestead wall painting and beadwork by her mother and grandmother. Her work came to international attention in 1989 after it was included in an important exhibition in Paris in France.

Over the past three decades, Mahlangu has exhibited both mural and canvas paintings throughout Europe, Asia, North and South America. -Additional reporting by ANA