Neo Ntsoma When Neo Ntsoma started her career as a photojournalist back in 1998, there were only a handful of black female professional photographers in South Africa, herself included. The profession was largely the preserve of white males. “Like the other black upstarts, I had to work hard to prove myself to a sophisticated market not known for giving too many second chances.” The absence of black female photographers was mainly a hangover from the apartheid years. It was not safe for any photographer to take images that carried any political message – and this danger applied particularly to women. “Many photographers were regularly locked up, while others went into exile. As a result, my generation of women was left without any role models.”Neo Ntsoma

Ignited with the fuel of passion and confronted by the towering odds of a market, known for not giving second chances, Neo Ntsoma, pioneered her way forward, as a talented photojournalist, in 1998. In the wake of a law that divided a nation, and armed with a vision to prove to South Africa and the world, that African women could excel at professions; that had solely been associated with men. To date she is the first female recipient of the CNN African Journalist Award for photography and the National Geographic All Roads Photography Award.

Her thought-provoking photographs have appeared in major publications around the world.

Ntsoma is recognized as one of the firmament lights among the new breed of photographers in South Africa. With the quintessential understanding of the importance of mentorship, she lectures frequently, both within and outside of the country. She is a regular speaker at the Johannesburg's Market Photo Workshop and at the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism (IAJ). She has been a guest at the New York International Centre for Photography (ICP), Stanford University in San Francisco, as well as Pathshala, the South Asian Institute of Photography in Bangladesh, where she taught for a year.

Ntsoma has served as a judge on numerous photographic competitions, including the Fuji Film Press Awards and The Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Awards. She is also a member of the National Adjudicating Committee for the SADC Media Awards, as well as the National Arts Festival/BASA Arts Journalism Awards.

In 2006, Neo Ntsoma was named one of the ‘100 Most Influential Women’ alongside Oprah Winfrey, Sheila Johnson and Indra Nooyi in a list published by Media24, Africa’s largest media group.