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Life in Motion

Nelson Makamo’s Artistic Porsche 911 Carrera Coupé |

Nelson Makamo’s striking work has featured on the cover of TIME Magazine – under the heading “The art of optimism – 34 people who are changing how we see the world” – and has been snapped up by celebrities and collectors the world over. However, some of his latest work – which he created on his new 911 – is very much for himself.

A Childhood Dream

Growing up in the 1980s in rural Modimolle, in Limpopo, a young Makamo fantasised that he would one day hold the keys to his own Porsche 911. What he could not know then was that his time would come after a chance encounter with a modern-day model during a residency in Franschhoek, in the Western Cape, when that childhood dream was reignited. Now a successful artist, Makamo ordered a Jet Black Metallic 911 Carrera Coupé and set about turning his car into a moving canvas.

Art in Motion

At his Johannesburg studio, he hand-painted a number of the components and panels of his 911 before returning them to the team at Porsche Centre Johannesburg for a final layer of lacquer and fitting. These elements included the rear bumper, front seat mouldings, door panel inserts and handles, dash panel inserts, the parking brake console, and side mirror covers. 

He picked the left side door panel insert to feature the inscription “Mma” – three letters that mean ‘mother’ in Makamo’s native language of Sepedi. It marks the first time he has mentioned his mother in his artwork. The subtle yet deeply meaningful acknowledgement pays tribute to a woman who supported him throughout his life, inspiring him to believe that success through art was possible.

Makamo says the project, which he has called “My Life in Motion”, is a representation of his success and a nod to the various people he has encountered along the way. “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 is only the beginning,” he says.

Bespoke Beauty

Toby Venter, CEO of Porsche South Africa, says that the project has provided great motivation. “Working with Nelson Makamo has been inspirational, and this commission is on a level we have never seen before. This is a truly bespoke art installation worthy of any gallery. It also 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.”

“Porsche customers have a virtually endless array of options available through Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur to make their Porsche completely individual, but then 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.

Report & Images © Porsche South Africa

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