Ilvy Njiokiktjien was born in the Netherlands, where she studied journalism and photography. In 2006 she started working as a writer and photographer for the Dutch newspaper Sp!ts and for the Dutch Press Agency, ANP. In 2007 she went to work for The Star, a daily newspaper based in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 2008 she won the prestigious Canonprijs, part of the Zilveren Camera (Silver Camera) in the Netherlands, and first prize in the National Geographic Photography Contest. In 2011 Ilvy won the Canon AFJ Female Photojournalist Award and in 2012 she won two World Press Photo awards. Her work on adolescents in South Africa is being shown during Visa pour l'Image 2012 and in 2012 she was listed by PDN as one of the '30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch'.