Take art seriously, Esther Mahlangu tells pupils

Jiyaad Greeff, who won the Albany Packaging Award, poses with Esther Mhlangu at the National School of the Arts in Joburg.
Jiyaad Greeff, who won the Albany Packaging Award, poses with Esther Mhlangu at the National School of the Arts in Joburg.
Image: ANTONIO MUCHAVE

Legendary Ndebele mural painter Esther Mahlangu has appealed to young people to believe in themselves and take art seriously.

Mahlangu was speaking at the National School of the Arts yesterday where Jiyaad Greeff was unveiled as the winner of the 2019 Albany Packaging Award. The grade 10 pupil was briefed to create a design based on the theme "New Generation Traditional Design", inspired by the work of world-renowned Mahlangu.

The winning design will be printed on the packaging of millions of Albany loaves during the September month.

Sharing her inspiring story, Mahlangu explained that she has travelled the world because she took her talent seriously and had self-belief.

The 83-year-old said: "To young learners out there, please believe in yourselves and in what you do. Self-belief is very much important in one's life. I have been doing this job without formal education, but I had this self-belief that I can do this."

Mahlangu, who worked with a group of learners, sharing her skills with them, said she was impressed by their talent. "It was a nice experience to interact with young learners who are interested in taking the work of art forward.

"It makes me happy to know that my legacy will not die but will last forever and that my great-great-grandchildren will know of the work that I have been doing."

Mahlangu's biggest dream is to see young kids taking the artwork around the world.

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