Inspirational story on how Sipho Mpongo became the first South African to be chosen for the Magnum Foundation Fellowship, this is how it happened.

The Magnum Foundation is a non-profit, photographic foundation located in New York. It was founded by members of Magnum Photos to encourage and fund independent photojournalism efforts. To be awarded the opportunity to participate in a Magnum Foundation Fellowship program, is every young photographers dream. That dream became a reality for 22 year old, Sipho Mpongo, who’s work as a photographer has earned him entry as the first South African to be chosen to participate in the Magnum Foundation “Human Rights” fellowship this winter.

Sipho will be joining 6 other fellows who have been chosen from countries around the world, including, the Ukraine, Haiti and Syria.  The group will participate in an intensive, six week program at New York University (NYU) in New York City. About what’s lying ahead Sipho says “What I hope to achieve in New York is to become a better person behind the camera.” This is a wonderful opportunity, it just goes to show that if you have the courage to take a chance you never know, your dreams might just become your reality. This is how it happened for Sipho…

If you are not familiar with Magnum Photos, it’s a renowned collective of photographers that chronicle the world. According to co-founder Henri Cartier-Bresson, “Magnum is a community of thought, a shared human quality, a curiosity about what is going on in the world, a respect for what is going on and a desire to transcribe it visually.” [Wikipedia]

The mission of The Magnum Foundation is to “support, train, and mentor the next generation of photographers and seek to increase the impact of both historical and contemporary documentary photography in the digital age. The programs encourage compelling, independent documentation, active collaboration with media and grassroots organisations on distribution strategies, and the innovative presentation and exhibition of high-quality documentary work.” []

As a former student from The Cape Town School of Photography, we are extremely proud of Sipho and this achievement – well done and enjoy!

Video production by Ginkgo Agency.  Shared with permission.