Belvedere collaboration puts Esther Mahlangu in the spotlight, but where's her name?

By Lindelwa Masuku

Ndebele artist Esther Mahlangu's collaboration with Belvedere Vodka and John Legend for an AIDS awareness campaign has gained attention, yet the absence of her name on the special-edition bottle design has sparked conversations about proper recognition for her cultural contributions. 

Renowned Ndebele artist Esther Mahlangu has once again captured the world's attention with her partnership alongside American singer John Legend and Polish beverage giant, Belvedere. 

Esther Mahlangu and John Legend collaborate with Belvedere Vodka for an AIDS awareness campaign

Celebrated for her iconic geometric patterns that adorn everything from village huts to international commissions, Mahlangu's collaboration with Belvedere, in support of AIDS and STI awareness through the (RED) campaign, is both remarkable and poignant.

However, amid the celebration, a disheartening omission has caught social media's eye: the absence of Esther Mahlangu's name on the special-edition vodka bottle. 

Instagram photo of Belvedere Vodka

As the vibrant design, inspired by the campaign's core values, graces the Belvedere bottle, many question why this extraordinary artist's name isn't prominently displayed alongside her art. 

The partnership, while undoubtedly a significant accomplishment, raises concerns about equitable recognition and respect for Mahlangu's cultural contributions.

Instagram photo of a renowned Ndebele artist Dr. Esther Mahlangu

As the campaign's impact reverberates globally, it's crucial to acknowledge and celebrate not only Esther Mahlangu's extraordinary artistic talents but also her cultural significance. 

It's an opportunity for both Belvedere and the wider public to reflect on the importance of attributing rightful recognition to the artist behind the mesmerising Ndebele patterns.

Article Tags

Esther Mahlangu

John Legend

Belvedere Vodka


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