Siphiwe Sibeko

Siphiwe Sibeko

Based
Johannesburg, South Africa
Born
Soweto, South Africa
Status
Photographer
Camera
Canon 1D Mark IV, 5D Mark III
“We are the eyes and ears of the people. We have to go out there and inform them about what's happening.”

Beat

I am based in Johannesburg, South Africa, where we cover mostly news, lots of sports and features as well.

One Shot

. VENTERSDORP, South Africa. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
A dog and a guard stand next to a poster of white supremacist leader Eugene Terre'blanche before his funeral outside his farm.
“I find it difficult to choose a favourite image from my work, however this is the news photograph I like the best. As a black male from Soweto, it was very difficult to cover this story - the death of right-wing leader Eugene Terre’blanche, who it was believed had been killed by his black workers.”

Profile

I remember fiddling with my father's camera when I was very young. I managed to buy myself an SLR camera while at high school and started taking pictures of my schoolmates just to earn extra cash. That made me famous with them because they liked my pictures.

Victor Matom was very important to me. As a renowned South African photographer, he taught me how things work in press photography and social documentary.

There are several South African photographers who wrote our history. Long before Nelson Mandela became a politician, there are pictures of him as a lawyer, when he was still dating Winnie. There are pictures of his children reading letters from Robin Island. It is a photographer’s dream to have that kind of body of work.

I was deeply moved when covering anti-foreigner violence in Reiger Park, an informal settlement in Johannesburg. These Africans had come to seek better opportunities in South Africa, the continent’s largest economy, but ended up being attacked because some locals believed they were competing for scarce jobs. At times the mob attacked journalists, but as a photographer I wanted to capture the moment.

I recently covered the story of Nelson Mandela being hospitalised. People were driving past swearing at the journalists as if we were waiting for the worst to happen, but we were just doing our job and trying to inform the world.

Over the years I have learnt to be patient, to approach my work professionally and to be able to tell a story through my pictures.

One of the best parts of my job is travelling. I have a different office view every day.

We are the eyes and ears of the people. We have to go out there and inform them about what's happening.

Behind the Scenes

. REIGER PARK, South Africa. Reuters
Siphiwe Sibeko covers xenophobic attacks in Reiger Park, east of Johannesburg.
. Johannesburg, South Africa. REUTERS/Lefty Shivambu
Sibeko takes pictures while covering the opening ceremony of the 2010 World Cup at Soccer City stadium.