Sigrun Lingel was born in 1959. At the age of 10, she went with her family first to Zanzibar and then to Tanzania. Her father, Werner Geyer, was employed there as a mathematics teacher from 1968 to 1972 and again from 1975 to 1977. In Dar es Salaam, he also coached the football team at his school. He was one of many teachers sent abroad by the DDR to support and teach the development of a new education system. In the course of establishing diplomatic relations, several groups of teachers, as well as experts in agriculture and medical personnel, were sent to Tanzania.
Sigrun Lingel accompanied her parents during their first stay and attended a school for DDR children in Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam, where her mother also taught at a school.