Celebrated South African artist, Nelson Makamo, always dreamed of owning a Porsche 911, a dream that has just been realised with the delivery of his Jet Black Metallic 911 Carrera Coupé – but the story doesn’t stop there…
Nelson Makamo grew up in rural Modimolle in the 1980’s and is now a globally recognised artist, his vibrant portraits highlighting the hope and eternal joy of childhood, set against energetic urban sprawl. His works are included in various international public and private collections and he has exhibited in America, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Scotland and alongside fellow South African artists such as William Kentridge, Deborah Bell and David Koloane. His work also featured on the cover of TIME’s 2019 Optimists issue.
During a residency in Franschoek, Makamo came across a “modern day model,” and so the wheels were set in motion. At his studio in the heart of Johannesburg, Nelson hand-painted a number of his 911’s components which were then returned to the team at Porsche Centre Johannesburg. A final layer of lacquer was applied and the components fitted to his 992 generation 911.
In a subtle yet deeply meaningful acknowledgement, Makamo pays tribute to his mother for the first time in his artwork with the Sepedi word “Mma” for mother, inscribed on the left side door panel insert. It was she that inspired him to believe that success through art was possible, and what a foundation it set for this highly acclaimed talent.
Elements of the 911 to which Makamo turned his hand are the front seat mouldings, door panel inserts and handles, dash panel inserts and the parking brake console and externally, the rear bumper and side mirror covers.
“I always knew I was going to own a Porsche, I just never knew that my relationship with the brand would start this way – and it’s only the beginning,” said the artist of the project which he has dubbed ‘My Life in Motion’.
CEO of Porsche South Africa, Toby Venter, notes that, “[this] illustrates the lengths Porsche South Africa will go to and the creativity and flexibility of our team to accommodate a request as personal as this,” and that “when a unique customer such as Nelson chooses to do something extraordinary, we are delighted to accommodate his wishes.”
Makamo hopes that his 911 will “spark the imagination of African children – to help every young girl and boy see that it is possible to find success through their own passion based on talent, resilience, hard work and the unwavering support of family.”
This is not the first time a vehicle manufacturer has collaborated with a South African artist – in 2020, a Rolls-Royce customer commissioned Dr Esther Mahlangu to paint the ‘gallery’ (a trim piece on the dashboard) of his Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII, as well as a few other motifs around the car. Mahlangu was also commissioned by the BMW Group in 1991 to paint a BMW E34 525i art car, as well as the trim pieces in a BMW 750i Individual in 2016.