Esther Mahlangu was born a member of the Ndebele people in 1935 in Middelburg, a small town in the north-eastern province of Mpumalanga.
At the early age of ten, she began to paint under the guidance of her mother and grandmother. According to tradition, Ndebele women decorate the exterior walls of their houses with elaborately painted patterns and graphic elements. Esther Mahlangu has, however, found new ways to express the artistic heritage
of her people. In 1991, the South African artist became the first woman to create artwork on a BMW 5 Series Sedan, thus turning it into a BMW Art Car. Her second BMW project, 25 years later, was the BMW Individual 7 Series by Esther Mahlangu. In collaboration with the BMW Individual Manufaktur, she transformed this vehicle into an extraordinary and dynamic work of art by painting her characteristic motifs on the fine-wood trims.