Born in Orlando East Soweto in 1940, Sibeko started drawing at an early age, demonstrating maturity beyond his years. A self-taught artist of considerable talent, his brother Walter and fellow artist David Mbele provided encouragement and helped to create opportunities for Sibeko to earn a living as an artist full-time. Sibeko was also inspired in his early years by his friendship with artist Solomon Sekhaolelo.
Sibeko’s works reflect his social surroundings: township life in his Soweto community. Happiness, suffering, landscapes, and everyday activities all inform his work. He moves easily from pastel, charcoal, watercolor, pencil, oil and a combination of oil and mining sand. Sibeko is also adept at many styles of painting, from abstract to impressionism to cubism. The influence of many great western artist are evident in his works, adapted and presented with a distinctly African flare in terms of color and subject and his unique interpretations.
In addition to making art, Sibeko is actively involved in fundraising activities for underprivileged artists as well as supplying art materials, holding workshops, and hosting exhibitions. He also is active in the Mandela Children’s Fund.
From 1980 to present, Sibeko’s works have been part of many group and solo exhibitions in South Africa and throughout the world. Some significant exhibitions include:
Litchi Gallery, Athens, 1983
Soweto Image Exhibition, London, 1988
Atlanta Athlope University, in mem. Of Dr. Martin Luther King, USA, 1989
Friends of the Earth Gallery, Melbourne, Australia, 1990
ACFF Centre, Nottingham, England, 1990
Art of Africa, Miami, Florida, 1995
Afrique Art International, Washington D.C., 1995
From Cape to Cairo, Egypt, 1996
ABSA Gallery, Johannesburg, 1996
Top of Africa, Carlton Centre, 2000