Sipho Mpongo was born in the Eastern Cape in a rural village called Nqamakwe in 1993 and was raised in Langa, Cape Town. Iliso Labantu, a local photographic mentorship programme, provided the platform for Mpongo to launch into a photographic career. Mpongo completed a full time course at The Cape Town School of Photography and in 2014 he undertook a four-month tour with photographers Wikus de Wet and Sean Meterlerkamp – known as Twenty Journey – around South Africa documenting the “Born Free Generation,” 20 years after the conclusion of apartheid. He is also a member of the photography collective, Iliso Labantu. Mpongo is currently studying at the Michaelis School of Fine Art in Cape Town.
The Magnum Foundation selected twenty-two year old Mpongo as one of their 2015 Human Rights Fellows. The Photography and Human Rights program provided photographers from the Global South with scholarships and intensive training in the ethical use of photography in the advancement of human rights. In May to August 2015 he attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in New York City; where Mpongo explored strategies for creating effective visual stories with the aim of advancing Human Rights.