Our co-founders are a dynamic duo with a heart-warming story to share about how and when the Zip Zap magic all started.
Born in 1961 in Cape Town, Brent van Rensburg started to learn daring aerial skills at the Circus School YMCA Observatory in 1973. For the next 15 years he performed in Italy, Holland, Denmark, Norway, France, Monte Carlo and America. After an accident he started as an acrobatic instructor at the Ringling Brothers Clown College in Florida, then he ran circus workshops for Club Med Holiday Resorts.
There he met his future wife, Laurence Estève, who was managing the Club Med Resort, and in 1992 they returned to South Africa for a brief six-week visit. South Africa was at the height of political instability. This dynamic pair were acutely aware of the social issues facing a fledgling democracy, so instead of packing their bags, like many were at the time, they decided to stay and become part of the solution. So, a six-week visit turned into six months, six years and now 29 years later and the rest they say…..is history!
Laurence holds a B.Sc. and a Masters in Sports Management. She was Knighted of the National Order of Merit by the French President and was a runner up at the BBQ Awards. In 2017 she was the president of the jury at the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in Paris, France. In 2019 she was a finalist at the African Women Innovation Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) awards for her social work. Estève also received the Paul Harris fellowship from Rotary International.
In 2008, Brent was awarded the title of Men’s Health Best Man (Public Service). He also received the Mayor’s Medal for Youth Affairs for “his great contribution towards developing youth affairs in South Africa” in 2011. In 2012, Brent was the recipient of the Western Cape Government prize for contribution towards the promotion of the performing arts and was a guest speaker at TEDx Cape Town on “Your failures are our Superstars”. Brent also received the Paul Harris fellowship from the Rotary. He brings over 30 years of experience and passion for the circus to training young performers from all walks of life. He has done a great deal of rigging and stunt work in addition to his Zip Zap responsibilities.
President Nelson Mandela’s 77th birthday
Johannesburg, South Africa
Images of Africa Festival
Houston Arts Festival
Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival
Ikarus Night at Hanger7 for Red Bull
Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain
African Cup of Nations
Barack and Michelle Obama Halloween at the White House
Washington DC, USA
Match for Africa #3 for the Roger Federer Foundation
African Circus Arts Festival
Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Match in Africa #6 for the Roger Federer Foundation
Cape Town, South Africa