Mpumelelo
South Africa

I was born in the heart of the struggle, in Pimville in Soweto, Johannesburg’s largest township, a sprawl of formal and informal housing where culture drums the heartbeat of resistance.


I was born in the year of democracy, 1994. They call us the Born Frees but education didn’t come free.


I taught myself to become a photographer. I did it because I wanted to interpret the time and place I was born into, to tell the untold stories of the communities of my country, to present them as narratives, full lives lived in the margins.
My parents had a different dream for me, their born free child. I was sent to study formally and I obtained a Diploma Degree in Engineering at the Central Johannesburg College in 2016 even though I knew I would never become an engineer. Now I could focus on my freedom, which was represented by my passion to take photos.


Everyone knew about the famous Market Photo Workshop, home to David Goldblatt and Zanele Muholi, and that’s where I studied photojournalism and documentary photography, graduating in 2017, the year that protesting students finally won the first signs of a free education. 
My freedom now came equipped with technical skills and my journey has led me to the unfamiliar spaces of society that we are all familiar with but do not stop to examine.