Artist Esther Mahlangu urges Africans to Uphold their traditions

Esther Mahlangu, 85, said that she was worried young people in Africa were losing a sense of their roots.
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One of Africa’s best-known artists has made an impassioned appeal for governments and communities across the continent to preserve their traditions and culture in the face of globalisation.

Esther Mahlangu, 85, said that she was worried young people in Africa were losing a sense of their roots.

“I am surprised that people are running away from their own culture. Our culture is good,” she told the Guardian.

“The importance of our culture is to know where they are coming from. The children, the grandchildren must know which roots they are coming from. If the young children don’t learn from the elders, then everything will vanish.”

Mahlangu’s pioneering use of the crafts of her Ndebele people of south-eastern Africa has brought her huge success on the world’s art markets, shown and sold from Australia to New York, and she continues to travel and exhibit widely.

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