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Cirque My Ride
September 10, 2018

Leading from the front

By Laurence Esteve

I watched my first circus show as a young girl and remember not being impressed at all. Sad clowns. Sad animals. Sad tent. There must be more to circus and I was going to prove it. I set off on my quest and learnt how to fly on the trapeze. I instantly fell in love with this daring, exciting and unusual art. Happy times. I never imagined that it would become my life. Little did I know…

Following your dreams was a new concept in the 80’s. I had to prove my choice. Degrees and diplomas in the pocket, it was time to travel and explore. The world and myself. So much has happened since. Hard work and dedication first. Never looking back second. Zip Zap has had a tremendous impact on my life. It has pushed all my boundaries; socially, physically and intellectually. It has opened my soul to the harsh realities of life under the bread line but pushed me even further to change those realities and inspire kids through circus arts. Every day I am grateful for my education, my family, my health. Without these, I would not be able to be the change in the lives of so many children.

Sharing it, is the best feeling.

The past year was the most exciting, daring, busy, and tiring year ever – So much was achieved. What I am most proud of is my team. A young, resilient and passionate team who continuously go the extra mile to ensure that the Zip Zap vision is brought to life. From the staff to the volunteers, everyone is amazing. No stage, no glamour, no applause but they write, clean, drive, edit, create, build, carry, correct, teach, supervise, mentor. I take my hat off to all of them. Everyone, in their own areas of expertise, contributing to the Zip Zap magic.

Creating change through the circus arts

It is my dream, and that of Brent, for Zip Zap to belong to its children. This year, two young staff members – who started as kids at Zip Zap – joined the EXCO team. This is a fantastic achievement, which I am extremely proud of.

Zip Zap Circus was founded in Cape Town in 1992, to inspire young people and help build a new culture of peaceful coexistence in South Africa. Working with a diverse community of children from all backgrounds, Zip Zap helps kids to ‘dare to dream’ and learn to make those dreams a reality.

The programmes are all free to participants, with financial and material support coming from individuals, organizations, corporations, and foundations. In South Africa and the world, Zip Zap is recognized across Governments, Ministries of Education, Tourism, Arts & Culture and private societies, as a major contributor to the development within the iconic ‘Mother City’ and providing sustainability of the circus arts in South Africa.

The children have performed for presidents and world leaders. They have travelled the world to take part in more than 35 international tours and media showcases. Kids, who began as six-year-olds swinging from a trapeze tied to a tree, are now professional performing artists working in Europe and North America. Young people who grew up on the streets are now skilled and valued artists and technicians in the entertainment and film industries. Best of all, these kids have become teachers themselves. They are ambassadors and role models for others, demonstrating dramatically to young people and the wider public the possibility of a new way of treating each other.

I am proud to be their leader and creating the positive change in the lives of our future leaders. Age, culture, goal, occupation do not matter. The JOURNEY does.

laurence@zip-zap.co.za
083 233 7923