Bambo Sibiya completed a Design certificate at Benoni Technical College in 2005 and with a friend opened a small graphic design business where they were able to purchase a computer to enable them to design logos and pamphlets for local entrepreneurs. His teacher, Paul Madi Phala, recommended that he should apply to Artist Proof Studio (APS) to attend printmaking classes in the Saturday programme while continuing to support himself. His determination to succeed and his natural talent convinced Lucas Ngweng, a teacher at APS, to recommend him as a full-time student. Sibiya, at this time explains that he caught “the printmaking bug”. In 2008 he was offered a full bursary to enter second year as a full time student.
He has fared exceptionally well, particularly when in 2008 he was a finalist in the Ekurhuleni Art Award. Again in 2009 and 2010 he was a semi-finalist in the Thami Mnyele Award, receiving a Merit Award and in 2011 he was in the top ten of this competition. In 2012 he was a finalist in the Absa L’Atelier top ten awards and the winner of the prestigious Gerard Sekoto Award which would provide him with a three month residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris in 2013. His recognition in November at the Arts and Culture Trust (ACT) awards for the most promising visual artist for 2012 has given him the recognition by the Johannesburg art community as one of the most promising emerging artists.
His supporters feel that an investment in this young artist’s career is an investment in the talent of the best and brightest that South Africa has to offer.