Veteran and acclaimed artist, Dr. Esther Mahlangu has become the first South African to have her distinctive artwork displayed on a customised Rolls Royce Phantom.

The 84-year-old self-taught artist is known for her bold, large-scale contemporary art.

In 1991, she became the first African and first female artist to paint a BMW Art Car, following in the footsteps of the likes of Andy Warhol and others.

Born in Middleburg, Mpumalanga, in 1935,  Esther Mahlangu has become the ambassador of South Africa’s South Ndebele heritage and art.

She started painting at the age of 10, taught by her mother and grandmother in the tradition of decorating walls.

Fast-forward a few decades, she has travelled the world, and has collaborated with numerous museums and global brands.

She wants the heritage preserved.

“I want the younger generation to understand. I don’t want it lost through the generations. The younger generation needs to know about art and their heritage. I am trying to teach them something new and hopefully they will be excited as much as I am about art and preserving my heritage.”

WATCH | In the video below, Dr. Esther Mahlangu explains the importance of preserving her heritage through art: