Known for his work in the social realism and urban black art genres, Sekoto is remembered for paintings such as Poverty in the Midst of Plenty; Mine Boy; and Jazz Band. Also a musician and composer, he worked as a pianist and singer at a Paris nightclub and had some of his original songs purchased by a French publishing house.
After taking art classes at the Diocesan Teachers Training College, he briefly taught at a local secondary school before relocating to Johannesburg to pursue full-time work as an artist.
The Johannesburg Art Gallery's 1940 purchase of one of Sekoto's paintings marked the first time in South African history that a piece by a black visual artist was made part of a museum's collection.
The child of a Lutheran missionary, he was raised in an area of South Africa that was then known as the Province of the Transvaal.
Sekoto was a contemporary of fellow South African artist Walter Battiss.