Multiple congratulatory emojis, thundering online applause and a charming sense of magical sportsmanship were in the air when Cape Town's teen illusionists Sahil Samlal and Alfred Baba won the virtual 2020 Western Cape Junior Magician Championships on Saturday 5 September 2020!
The College of Magic, in association with Web Shows, hosted this year's online Championships seeing nine teen illusionists from around the province go wand to wand for top honours and the ultimate teen champion titles in Close-Up Magic and Stage Magic.
Contestants each submitted a ten minute pre-recorded act, which was then played to virtual audiences and the esteemed panel of judges, including local comedy magicians Colin Underwood and Charles Tertiens, via the Web Shows platform on Saturday.
Competitors were judged on the visual impact and presentation of their acts, their technical and magical abilities and showmanship.
For Crossroads resident and aspirant professional magician Baba (17), it was an enchanting victory two years in the making, having clinched the runner-up award last year and now being crowned the 2020 Western Cape Junior Stage Magician: "I am overjoyed and so proud of my accomplishment! To be acknowledged for the many hours of rehearsal at home and working so hard at my magical craft is incredible. Thank you to the judges, audiences and College of Magic for this honour", says the thrilled teen magician.
Samlal (18) from Century City, whose magical journey has included representing South Africa on an educational trip to Las Vegas and New York in 2018, the entertainment capitals of the world, echoes Baba's sentiment: "Winning with an act I fine-tuned at home shows that in magic, anything is truly possible!", says the excited youngster.
Joining the dynamic duo in receiving top honours are Riyago Maartens (16) from Durbanville as the 2020 runner-up in the Close-Up magic category and Sebastien van den Hoogen (16) from Somerset West as the 2020 runner-up in the Stage magic category. The queen of hearts amongst the teen magical contenders was Jenna Shorkend (15) from Milnerton who won the Supreme Trophy for Up-and-Coming Junior Magician.
The College of Magic, Cape Town's only magical arts organisation and the only one of its kind in the world, celebrates its 40th year of teaching the art of magic and its allied arts as well as vital life-skills to children and adults in 2020. Since the start of the national lock-down, the non-profit organisation has reinvented the way it shares the wonder of magic with its students and audiences through offering its classes online and hosting various virtual shows, including the Stars of Magic hosted by graduates and renowned entertainers Stuart Taylor, Conrad Koch and Riaad Moosa, in June.
The College of Magic welcomes donations from members of the public. Please donate at www.collegeofmagic.com/donate if you are able to.