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Founders

Brent van Rensburg

Co-Founder and Artistic Director

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“Never give up.”

Brent van Rensburg

Brent brings 40 years of experience and passion for the circus to train young performers from all walks of life. Born in 1961 in Cape Town, he started to learn daring aerial skills at the circus school, YMCA Observatory, Cape Town, from 1973 until 1978. For the next 15 years he performed internationally in Italy, Holland, Denmark, Norway, France, England, Monte Carlo and America. Due to an accident, he decided to leave the performing side and started as an acrobatic instructor at the Ringling Brothers Clown College in Florida for two years. Then he performed in Disneyland LA with a comedy aerial act over main street and then a high-wire act in San Diego Sea World. Afterwards he spent three years conducting circus workshops for Club Med Holiday Resorts. There he met his future wife and Co-Founder of Zip Zap, Laurence Estève. In 1991 they turned 30 under a big top performing their flying trapeze act together for Circus Arlette Gruss in France. In 1992 Brent and Laurence returned to his native country South Africa and founded Zip Zap.
Brent has done a great deal of rigging and stunt work in addition to his Zip Zap responsibilities. On top of rigging huge zip lines across a canyon in Tanzania for the US TV show “The Amazing Race”, he also set the world record for the highest flying trapeze in 1997 for a Sanlam commercial “Sometimes you have to put your trust in someone else’s hands”. In June 2008 Brent was awarded the title of Men's Health Best Man 2008 (Public Service). In April 2011 the immense value of Brent's work was recognised by his home town. He received the Mayor's Medal for Youth Affairs for his "great contribution towards developing youth affairs in South Africa”. In 2012 he received the Western Cape Government award for his contribution towards the promotion of the performing arts and he also spoke at the TedX Conference about alternative education. In 2016 he was awarded the highest recognition from the Rotary internationally: the Paul Harris fellowship.

Laurence Estève

Co-Founder and CEO

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“Never ever give up."

Laurence Estève

Laurence was born in 1961 in Rueil-Malmaison, France, and started her career as an internationally recognised athlete in Windsurfing and Artistic Snow Ski. After her high school diploma, she studied Physical Education at university and collected numerous teachers' diplomas: gymnastic, sailing & windsurfing, swimming and bodybuilding. In 1988 she finished her Masters in Science & Technology of Economy and Administration of Sports Institutions, University de Paris IX, Dauphine, Paris. After completing her MBA, she worked extensively as a business administrator for numerous Club Med Holiday resorts around the world. There she met her future husband and Zip Zap Co-Founder Brent van Rensburg. While in South Africa she created a duet on a trapeze with her friend and performed more than 600 shows in Sun City from 1994 to 1996. Back in Cape Town she performed stunts for commercials and movies, when Zip Zap was still a weekend passion more than a career! Using her diverse talents, Laurence has managed the financial and managerial aspects of the organisation in addition to aiding in the artistic development of the Zip Zap shows. Laurence was knighted of the national order of Merit by the President of the French Republique Nicolas Sarkozy in 2012 for her contribution to social development. In 2016 Laurence was the 2nd runner up for the BBQ Community Builder award. She was also awarded the highest recognition from the Rotary internationally: the Paul Harris fellowship. In 2017 Laurence was invited to preside the jury for the International Festival of the Cirque de Demain (circus of tomorrow) in Paris, FRANCE. She was also part of the jury for the EXIT show of the ESAC (Ecole Superieure des Arts du Cirque) in Brussels, Belgium. In 2019 she was selected as a finalist for an AWIEF award for Social Entrepreneurship

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