Bastille Day : Dr. Esther Mahlangu receives France’s top cultural award
During the 2019 Bastille Day celebration at the Residence of France in Pretoria, the Ambassador of France to South Africa, H.E. Christophe Farnaud, bestowed on South African Ndebele artist, Dr. Esther Mahlangu, the award of Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (or Officer in the French Order of Arts and Letters) on behalf of the French Minister of Culture.
Renowned Ndebele artist Dr. Esther Mahlangu learned traditional Ndebele wall painting and beadwork from her mother and grandmother as a child. Impressed by her artworks, some French art lovers invited her to Paris for an exhibition in 1986, which helped boost her international career. She is now one of South Africa’s most globally acclaimed artists and is considered by many to be a national treasure.
Said Ambassador Farnaud: “This award is all the more deserved for the efforts you have made during your life to share with the world your cultural heritage – the rich, deep, broad heritage of the Ndebele people. Your graphic murals have become icons of South African art, and are now known across the world”.