Spotlight On… Sibu Mpanza

We caught a very interesting up-and-comer under our #DigitLabSpotlight, and we thought we’d share.

A student currently studying his Bachelor of Social Science in Social Development and Gender Studies at the University of Cape Town, Sibu Mpanza is probably better known by his YouTube channel, Sibu MpanzaSA.

We noticed that Sibu is a bit of a story-teller, so without further ado, we’ll hand his story over to the man himself.

Sibu Mpanza


1. Which came first, videography or photography? And tell us more about how you got into it?

Photography came first. I started my YouTube channel using my friend’s camera. A few months later I received my own camera for my 20th birthday. Not wanting to waste it by just using it once a week to film a video I started taking photographs this year. I fell in love with it right away. I can remember the exact moment I knew it had become my passion. I had just finished a week of taking photographs at South African Menswear Week, invited by a blogger friend of mine, TheThreadedMan. After editing all those photographs and looking back at my work, I was so incredibly proud.

Videography and filmmaking are something new that I’m really getting into. I’ve always loved watching the kind of Youtubers who are also Filmmakers such as Casey Neistat, Will Darbyshire, Jacksgap and Ben Brown. It’s a really incredible part of YouTube.


Sibu Mpanza Photography

2. Talk us through your workflow?

Right now I have lectures from Tuesday through Friday as I’m a full time student at UCT. I make sure I always have my camera to take pictures and document my day. Most of those pictures I’d then post on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook. I have all my business meetings after my school day is done and usually have gigs on weekends. My usual post production time for videography and photography for other clients is late on weekdays between 8pm and 2am. Rest day is MONDAY, My favourite day of the week.

My YouTube video ideas I get from everyday interactions with my friends or just simply documenting something exciting happening on a particular day. After that I spend a day or 2 scripting the video in between lectures. After I’ve filmed the videos it takes +- 4 hours to edit, then it’s good to go!


3. What’s the most unlikely place you’ve found inspiration?

My mother’s Tupperware cupboard. That cupboard gave me the idea for my second YouTube video, Tupperwares and Tantrums.


Sibu Mpanza People Photography

4. What’s the most exciting door that’s been opened for you since starting your YouTube channel?

This year has been nothing short of incredible. Everything just moved so quickly, but I have to say my greatest achievement is collaborating with Educape and being given the opportunity to creatively direct short clips showcasing children performing Shakespeare via the Shakespeare schools festival. The founder of Educape is an amazing woman who has opened so many doors for me. I’ve even had the opportunity to fly to different locations around the country to film and produce these clips.



5. What’s your favourite subject to shoot?

People. People, people, people! In my opinion there is nothing more amazing to shoot than people. Whether it’s a portrait, a function or on the runway. I love taking pictures of people. I think there’s something incredible about how different we all are and how we interact with each other. I always hope that is something that comes through in my photography.


6. Do you remember what your first Instagram picture was?

YES! It was actually a picture of me attempting to be a model with one of my closest friends, taken by one of my biggest photography inspirations, Robyn Walker.


7. What would be your ultimate film to shoot?

Right now I’m really into documentaries surrounding social issues, such as race, class and gender. I love watching those films that tackle issues and make me think deeper and see thing from different perspectives.


Sibu MpanzaSA


8. What’s next?

I am currently working on my first photography exhibition. It’s happening at the end of this month at Mother City Live, a Cape Town Arts Festival and I am incredibly excited. Next up I am launching my website and Blog, I’m planning to launch it on the 13th December, (my 21st birthday). It’s going to be a blog surrounding all my creative work, my photography portfolio and my films. It will also be a place where people can watch all my YouTube videos.

I have also been chosen as one of the Top 3 in the Samsung #SocialStar competition hosted by Jo-Ann Strauss. We’re going to Mauritius from the 12-16 of this month to battle it out for an online mentorship with Jo-Ann Strauss.


Good luck Sibu and thanks!

Catch up on the rest of our #DigitLabSpotlight series, or drop us a mail with your own choices for spotlight interviewees.

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