Sculpture a fitting tribute to Dr Esther Mahlangu

Dr Esther Mahlangu's sculpture is unveiled by artist Albert Nkosi. / ANTONIO MUCHAVE
Dr Esther Mahlangu's sculpture is unveiled by artist Albert Nkosi. / ANTONIO MUCHAVE

Pretoria-based visual artist Albert Nkosi has created a beautiful sculpture in honour of the legendary Dr Esther Mahlangu.

Nkosi, a highly talented sculptor, presented Mahlangu with a beautiful bronze piece on Wednesday during a function held at the National School of the Arts in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

The sculpture, which cost about R1.2m, was created as an honour to the legendary mural painter for taking the Ndebele culture to international stages.

Nkosi, 35, has previously created sculptures of important people such as Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu.

Nkosi's work is exceptional and he pays a lot of attention into detail when creating these figures.

"What inspired me to create a sculpture of Mama Esther was how she has promoted her culture. I created the statue to honour her while she is still alive.

"As a young artist I am also inspired by her. I am inspired by her hard work and determination."

Born in Amarshof, Nkosi grew up in Lukwatini, Mpumalanga, and Soshanguve in Pretoria.

In creating the Mahlangu bust, the self-taught artist used fibreglass and enhanced it with a smooth cast bronze powder. He said the whole process took him five months to produce the sculpture. "It is very expensive to create these kinds of sculptures. I would really love if people could assist me by buying the real bronze cast."

The seasoned Mahlangu thanked Nkosi for the work.

"I am excited about the sculpture and thanking the artist for a beautiful sculpture that looks like me."

His manager Isaac Mahlangu said the statue will be presented officially at an event that will take place at Mahlangu's home on September 4.

The talented artist specialises in mosaic, painting and sculpture, and uses his work to promote culture and heritage, especially to young people.

Nkosi's passion for art began when he worked for seasoned artist Joyce Carrera as an assistant. Nkosi said this was where he gained knowledge.

When he was growing up, he wanted to be a civil engineer. However, as his parents could not afford to send him to tertiary he decided to try art.

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