Ibali is a workshop program that teaches photography to talented youth in Cape Town’s underprivileged communities. Through the medium of photography, the kids are encouraged to raise awareness about important social issues in their communities, and voice their opinions.


South Africa is a country of huge potential but also of immense need. The youth of South Africa reflect this dynamic; many live in challenging circumstances and don’t have the opportunity to see beyond their immediate environment. However, when given the opportunity, these same young people have great potential to succeed, to see their lives and their world in a different perspective, and to positively impact their community.

Photography is a powerful tool in assisting an individual to engage in a deeper understanding of themselves and their world. The primary purpose of Ibali, which means ‘story’ in Xhosa, is to empower young people by teaching them basic photography skills, creating a space for creative expression, and offering ongoing personal mentorship. In addition, their photography has the power to positively impact the broader community by creating awareness of social issues through the eyes of young people. Their images can start conversations that inspire these youth and their community members to bring about solutions to some of the challenges they face.


Participants will be young men and women aged 16-18. The school will help to identify candidates who are particularly at risk and who would benefit most from personal mentorship and interaction from positive role models. Furthermore, the school will assist in identifying students who have some proven creative or artistic talent leading to a greater chance that the program could act as a catalyst to changing the trajectory of their lives.


The project has the following main aims:

  • The program is designed to provide participants with usable photography skills and tangible results in the form of a portfolio and an exhibition.
  • The program will empower participants in the situation they are in and give them tools to help explore the issues they need to. The program will foster growth in the participants and provide a platform for them to develop personally.
  • The photography program will positively affect the participants’ communities by igniting discussion and debate, highlighting issues that need to be addressed, and encouraging relevant local organizations to get involved.

Measures of Success: 

Participants will be interviewed before, during and after the photography program, so that we’ll be able to gauge the level of impact on the their lives in the following areas:

  • Personal growth – this is not prescriptive and will present differently for each participant but it is hoped that individuals participating in the photography program would experience personal development that could range from confidence and self-esteem, to self-awareness and awareness of their own position in their community, as well as practical photographic skills, creativity etc.
  • Community impact – participants will be challenged to engage with their communities through their photography and to try and utilise photography as a tool to create awareness of issues that affect their communities.

Funding Needed: 

We are looking for a combination of in-kind and monetary sponsorship. For the workshop to operate effectively the following equipment would be invaluable:

  • A camera for each participant (a digital point and shoot with manual over ride functions) with a memory card and a camera bag
  • Laptops and software to share between students in order to download and process images and learn basic editing skills
  • Hard drives for participants to store their images on
  • A data projector and screen for teaching and feedback sessions
  • A work book for participants to keep with notes from all the sessions
  • A budget for printing, framing and displaying final work in an exhibition
  • Administration and training budget to ensure quality teaching and the smooth running of the program

If you are happy to offer sponsorship in any way, please get in touch!

About Dave Fisher:

The Ibali program is a creation of and will be facilitated by Dave Fisher, a Cape Town based photographer and educator. Dave’s experiences working in education and youth development in South Africa has led him to identify a huge gap in society where young men and women are not being challenged and equipped to make significant decisions that will direct the course of their lives. As a result, he has become particularly passionate about empowering young people to make positive decisions that set them up for future success.

Dave is also very passionate about photography and has run a number of photography workshops over the past few years teaching basic photographic skills to senior high school students. He is particularly interested in encouraging students to use their photography skills to explore the world around them and communicate important stories from their communities.