Orphaned by AIDS at 16, entrepreneur pays it forward

Sibu Sibaca is an entrepreneur, activist and change driver, with a mission to fight the stigma around HIV and AIDS Picture: Supplied/Instagram

Sibu Sibaca is an entrepreneur, activist and change driver, with a mission to fight the stigma around HIV and AIDS Picture: Supplied/Instagram

Published Dec 1, 2022


Johannesburg - Sibu Sibaca (39) is an entrepreneur with a difference. She is a social entrepreneur. She deals in human capital and measures her profit. It is not only about the number of zeros in her bank account but also about the number of lives she can impact.

“Very often, when we go into business, we go into business with one thing in mind, to make money and profit. And that's great. Usually, when we talk profit, we talk profit in monetary value, and that, too, is great.

“However, the kind of gains that set my soul on fire are human gains. When I’m able to track someone's gains from getting in touch with our organisation or working with our organisation and engaging with our organisation, I can see that their lives have changed. That's the profit for me,” said Sibu.

Sibu lost both her parents to Aids and was left orphaned by the time she was 16 years old. She became one of two million Aids orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa at a time when the stigma around HIV/Aids was rife. She endured being stigmatised by her community, based on her slight frame.

Sibaca took it upon herself to change the narrative around HIV/Aids and found her platform as a youth educator with NGO, LoveLife. She used the platform to tell her story and soon caught the eye of businessman and philanthropist Richard Branson.

“When I first met Richard, he offered me a job, which I turned down because I didn't know who he was”.

“He reached out a couple of months later and invited me to the G8 Summit, and that’s when I asked for my job back, and I got to work with him for a couple of years, which was absolutely amazing. That's where the love of social entrepreneurship blossomed for me. The love of business and the love of giving back,” said Sibu.

Sibu has taken her love for social entrepreneurship a few steps further, and through her organisation, Impact Drivers, she endeavours to positively impact the lives of young women.

“Impact drivers work primarily with our core group, adolescent girls and young women between the ages 15 - 24”.

“We engage with them on sexual reproductive health and life and secondly on personal development and thirdly on entrepreneurship, and we work around HIV prevention, treatment and management,” said Sibu.

Through Impact Drivers, Sibu hopes to groom a generation of young women who are able to take charge of their lives.

“For me, I will be happy when I see girls and young women who know who they are and where they come from. Girls and young women who are assertive and make key decisions from an informed position.”

“I can never stop girls from having their first sexual debut, because it's going to happen whether I like it or not, but I would love for it, that when it does happen, for them to be in control of that first sexual experience and every sexual experience after that,” said Sibu.

Sibu highlights the importance of putting the spotlight back on HIV/Aids, particularly on the back of the Covid pandemic, suggesting that some ground in the fight against HIV may have been lost while all the attention was thrust on covid-19.

Sibu reflects on the importance of commemorating World Aids Day as a day of reflection.

“On days like this, for me, World Aids Day, in particular, I remember my ‘why’, why I got involved,” she said.

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