Who is Laurence Estève, and what is your role as CEO of ZipZap Circus?
I am a dreamer and a facilitator bringing a new tool (the circus arts) in the hands of our youth to bring fun, hope, skills, social cohesion, entertainment, education and employment.
My role at Zip Zap has changed throughout the years and is now more a guidance and support role than hands-on (except for finances) – but I still wash all the costumes after every show!
24 years is a long time, what has made the ZipZap circus so sustainable?
Circus people are strong and resilient. We live by ‘No Play No Pay’ motto. What made Zip Zap survive 24 years is that we never never ever give up. We bend, adapt, squeeze and push through – with the help of many friends along the way.
Rather than just a source of entertainment, ZipZap has a social purpose. What made you and your husband go this route?
Brent’s life revolves around the chance he took leaving the country to perform in Europe in 1977. With no school degree he speaks 6 languages. He rigged the highest flying trapeze in the world and impossible floating high wire. He wanted to give back and offer opportunities the same way he had.
I was raised in a culture of volunteering at home, at school, in my home town, at my gym club. I started teaching the younger ones and then studied Sciences and Technology of Physical & Sports Activities.
It makes us both happy to help kids and contribute to the building of our nation with our own 2 cents. “If everyone put in 2 cents, the world would be a better place”
What are some of the challenges in keeping the ZipZap Circus afloat, and how can the public and corporate sector help?
Our biggest challenge is financial resources. We started with an idea and a passion and now have to provide for 17 staff, 8 programmes, 4 vehicles, 3 trailers, tons of equipment, 1’400 beneficiaries. It is bigger that what we can handle alone but because we always make a plan to deliver our services and keep everyone happy the public doesn’t know that we are struggling financially.
The public and corporate sector can help by making donations that are tax deductible because we are a registered Public Benefit Organisation and a Section 18A. We are also a level 1 BBBEE and using our services brings score card points.
Finally we have an impeccable track record and would make a naming rights sponsor really proud and happy.
Is there are female figure that has had a positive influence on your life? If yes, who and how so?
All the women I have come across who work, raise their children, support their husband and take care of their friends, houses and themselves and are still smiling are role models to me.
Do you think, in 2016, it's important having a month dedicated to women in South Africa?
Of course. Women are the back bone of all societies and are still taken for granted and abused in so many ways. When the abuse will stop then the month dedicated to women can stop.
What is your message for Women's Month?
Take care of yourself first, it will make you stronger to look after others.