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 recipient of the National Geographic All Roads Photography Award.
Her exceptional wealth of her African photographic talent remains vibrant and still receives the global appreciation that it richly deserve. Some of Ntsoma’s works have been exhibited at a variety of film and photo festivals, including the All Roads Film Festival in Los Angeles; the Santa Fe Film Festival in New Mexico; Contact Photo Festival in Toronto; Chobi Mela, the South Asia Festival of Photography; and Rome Festival of Photography. They have also been used in a host of local and international publications, such as The Washington Post, Time magazine, The London Telegraph, Marie Claire, Destiny & Destiny Man, Forbes Africa & Forbes Africa Woman, to mention a few.
Ntsoma’s photo-project, South African Youth ID: Kwaito Culture, appeared in the book, Moving in Time, an anthology of work from South African photographers in celebration of the country’s 10 years of democracy.
Ntsoma worked for The Star newspapers, before starting her own company, Neo Ntsoma Productions. She 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, providing creative direction and strategic advice for photographers at all stages in their career who what to take their work to the next level.
Ntsoma 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.
She has served as a judge on numerous photographic competitions, including the Fuji Film Press Awards and National Arts Festival/ BASA Arts Journalism Awards. She is also a member of the National Adjudicating Committee for the The Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Awards, as well as the SADC Media Awards..
Furthermore, Ntsoma co-edited the book, Women by Women, which is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1956 Women’s March. The largest demonstrations staged in South African history, 20 000 women of all races marched against legislation aimed at tightening the apartheid government’s control over the movement of black women in urban areas.
In 2006, she 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.
Ntsoma studied at the Tshwane University of Technology where she graduated in (1995) and the Cape University of Technology (1992-1993).