Esther Mahlangu honoured with celebratory NYC mural

Internationally acclaimed Ndebele artist Esther Mahlangu has been celebrated with a street mural inspired by her artwork in the heart of New York City.

If you find yourself walking the streets of Tribeca one day, make sure that you make your way towards the Citi Bike station to the intersection of Franklin Street and West Broadway, because that’s where you’ll find an Esther Mahlangu-inspired mural painted by New York-based artist Imani Shanklin Roberts.

The bright and bold mural, commissioned in partnership with SA tourism’s US office , South African Airways and Citi Bike, was unveiled in New York last week, Huffington Post reports.

Roberts says the mural – named Xola – is a representation “of a feminine energy force that is all encompassing, inclusive and awe-inspiring”.

“Creating a mural in honour of an artist I’ve known all my life, in a city that isn’t welcoming to many, feels unreal. It feels like an aligning moment many of us have when the universe co-creates with us and is in agreement with our path,” she wrote in an Instagram post.

Xola welcomes you to charge and open your divine feminine here amid all that tries to stand against you. This is my form of resistance and protest – my expression.”

Speaking at the unveiling, Bangu Masisi, President of SA Tourism’s Americas Hub, said: “Esther Mahlangu is renowned the world over for her unique, colourful and geometric paintings, which have inspired international brands and artists of many backgrounds across the globe. Her work has also done an amazing job of showcasing our cultures and will provide New Yorkers this summer with a sight of South Africa’s vibrant Ndebele culture.”

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