Young talented photographer from the streets of Langa wowed by the Big Apple

Sipho Mpongo is a 22-year-old photographer and a student at the University of Cape Town's Michaelis School of Fine Art.

The first in his family to study at university, he recently returned from New York City.

Mpongo was the first South African photographer to be awarded a fellowship by the renowned Magnum Foundation.

The young artist spent six weeks there on their photography and human rights programme and says it was an experience unlike any other in his life.

He was traveling the country for a project on being a born-free in South Africa at the time and received full support from the Magnum Foundation after showcasing his work to them.

Being in New York was something else for me - a wake up call. It was my first time ever traveling on a plane and it felt like a dream when I was there. I never thought that I could be so creatively inspired in my life.

Sipho Mpongo, township photographer

Mpongo says he loves telling people stories; most importantly stories about the contemporary issues in South Africa and around the world.

He started taking photographs with his mother’s phone when he was still in primary school.

He truly discovered his love for photography in high school and decided, when he was in grade 11, that he wanted to be a photo-journalist - to tell the stories of his everyday life in Langa.

When you live in the township, you see everything around you and it made me claustrophobic. I saw this life as too much to bare and didn't know how to express myself, my memories and experiences. I decided to take pictures everyday to capture the his world - it felt like a dream there.

Sipho Mpongo, township photographer

Listen to the full conversation from CapeTalk's Breakfast with Kieno Kammies:


Recommended

by THE NEWSROOM
Read More
LISTEN: Tannie Evita predicted Ramaphosa would be president in 1994

LISTEN: Tannie Evita predicted Ramaphosa would be president in 1994

Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout shares her thoughts on SA's new president.

'We look forward to an uplifting Sona' - Naledi Pandor

'We look forward to an uplifting Sona' - Naledi Pandor

Minister of Science and Technology Naledi Pandor expects Sona will outline the NEC's plans for improving the country.

Patricia de Lille: I'm determined to clear my name of corruption

Patricia de Lille: I'm determined to clear my name of corruption

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille, speaks out, following her survival of Thursday's DA motion of no confidence.

Water and Sanitation Dept kicks off #SaveWater campaign in Cape Town

Water and Sanitation Dept kicks off #SaveWater campaign in Cape Town

The department is encouraging all South Africans to keep saving water as parts of country grapple with one of the worst droughts.

Meet Peter, a homeless Cape Town skater, not defined by his circumstances

Meet Peter, a homeless Cape Town skater, not defined by his circumstances

Peter (18) lives under a Cape Town bridge with his family. When he's not skating, he spends his day begging for food or money.

Meet Anade Situma, hustling her way to Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism

Meet Anade Situma, hustling her way to Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism

Anade Situma is an SA Masters student who's been knocking on doors for funding to attend Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism.

Popular articles
‘Maimane, Malema will find Ramaphosa harder to deal with than easy-target Zuma’

‘Maimane, Malema will find Ramaphosa harder to deal with than easy-target Zuma’

Afternoon Drive’s Stephen Grootes interviews Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Security Studies Judith February.

Hawks video shows fugitive Ajay Gupta leaving SA

Hawks video shows fugitive Ajay Gupta leaving SA

The Hawks are in possession of video footage showing Gupta, wanted in connection with Vrede dairy farm scandal, leaving SA.

Eusebius says EFF misread the moment by walking out on President's election

Eusebius says EFF misread the moment by walking out on President's election

Eusebius Mckaiser asked callers what they thought of how opposition parties conducted themselves in yesterday's election.

LISTEN: Tannie Evita predicted Ramaphosa would be president in 1994

LISTEN: Tannie Evita predicted Ramaphosa would be president in 1994

Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout shares her thoughts on SA's new president.

Zwane, Dlamini, Muthambi and Gigaba may be axed in Ramaphosa reshuffle - journo

Zwane, Dlamini, Muthambi and Gigaba may be axed in Ramaphosa reshuffle - journo

Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to reshuffle the Cabinet as he takes over from Zuma and makes his mark the National Executive.

Hope Ramaphosa: Cyril never lifted a finger to me, he wouldn't beat a woman

Hope Ramaphosa: Cyril never lifted a finger to me, he wouldn't beat a woman

Cyril Ramaphosa's ex-wife says abuse allegations spread by EFF leader Julius Malema are an attempt to tarnish his reputation.