Orphaned at 16 years old, Sibulele Sibaca has grown up to join forces with the UN to empower girls

Sibulele Sibaca
Sibulele Sibaca

When Sibulele Sibaca was 16 years old both of her parents had passed away. Following the rest of her turbulent childhood, she came out victorious to become a motivational speaker and the founder of the Sibulele Sibaca Foundation.

When she was a young adult Sibulele started work with social activism organisation LoveLife – this, she said in an interview with 702 FM, changed her life.

“LoveLife gave us a platform to trial anything, to try out anything we wanted to do,” said Sibulele in the interview. 

Since then, she has spoken on global stages, inspired many people and started her foundation, which educates and supports girls and young women.

She told 702 that her foundation aims to get the 300 girls they work with to be “economically and financially free”.

Recently Global Citizen announced that Sibulele’s namesake foundation has partnered with the United Nations Girl Up Club to educate and empower girls.

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According to this report, the foundation, together with Girl Up Club, are hosting roadshow events until the end of this month to schools in Soweto and Orange Farm to teach young women between the age of 15 and 25 about sexual reproductive health services and assist them know their rights.

“I wanted to bring government services to the girl child, I believe that had I had access to these facilities and information I would have known what to do and things would have been easier for me growing up,” Sibulele told Global Citizen.

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In an interview with Health24, Sibulele shared that both her parents died as a result of HIV/Aids and that she suffered discrimination from some community members because of her appearance as a result her parents' passing.

“I’d always been skinny, and my mother battled to get me to eat. But when my parents died, rumours spread that I was also HIV-positive. I hated the way I looked and had a very poor self-image,” she said.

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Things have changed. Her biography on the Leadership 2020 website, where she is listed as a speaker, lauded her “authenticity, courage and contagious passion”.

She is described as “an astounding voice that is determined to create a legacy of impact and inspiration”.

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Sibulele has openly shared how her brother, Sonwabo, helped her set the basis for her successful life. Her foundation can easily be seen as her way of paying it forward.

It's fantastic to hear how her sibling is helping her help other young women and girls.

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