As the platitude goes, “necessity is the mother of invention”. For Cape Town’s magical youngsters Lihle Bomsini, Liyema Bovu, Anathi Fodo, Vuyolwethu Kwatsha and Sisonke Mkwela, that charming innovative spirit has been rewarded with them receiving the prestigious Colin Marshall Memorial Trophy for their incredibly unique lockdown performances from the College of Magic, the Mother City’s only magical arts organisation.
The Colin Marshall Memorial Trophy is awarded annually at the College of Magic’s graduation in November to a team of college students deserving special acknowledgement. Despite encountering difficult circumstances and limited resources in their township communities as well as the various challenges they faced in being unable to attend lessons and rehearsals in person during the national lockdown at the College of Magic in Claremont, these tenacious youngsters dug deep and channelled their creativity to stage awe-inspiring acts for the virtual Stars of Magic fundraising show in June 2020.
Holding their magical own amongst some of the most renowned artists in the magic fraternity, including the UK’s Guy Hollingworth and R Paul Wilson, Canada’s Julie Eng and the US’s Ran D Shine, the amazing learners held global audiences in thrall with their spectacular group juggling performance (Liyema, Anathi and Vuyolwethu) and close-up and stage magic acts (Sisonke and Lihle) .
The winners of the 2020 trophy, who are collectively known as the “Lockdown Performers”, are:
Lihle Bomsini (15), from Gugulethu, is one of the up-and-coming young ladies in magic. Her captivating dramatic stage magic performances in the College of Magic’s World of Magic! and Imagine! theatrical shows at the Artscape Theatre, as well her regular participation in charity shows, are a joy to watch.
Liyema Bovu (14), from Phillipi, who began his magical studies at the College of Magic in 2019. In addition to his incredible juggling skills, this charming teen is in the top group of balloon-modellers in his class and he was recently awarded admission to an advanced balloon-modelling course in 2021.
Anathi Fodo (14), from Phillipi, is a highly skilled juggler and clown and was previously awarded the Colin Marshall Memorial Trophy when he was just 11 years old! This magical juggernaut is at his happiest performing onstage.
Vuyolwethu Kwatsha (14), from Philippi, is a bright, extremely driven youngster whose sense of fun makes him quite popular with his fellow students and audiences. This multi-talented performer was also awarded the Junior Juggling Trophy … And the Junior Mime, Clowning and Drama Award which is presented to a performer with dedication and a special flair for the art of mime and clowning.
Sisonke Mkwela (14), from Khayelitsha, is a dedicated learner who is committed to practicing and performing his magic as well as his juggling to the best of his ability. He clinched First Place for magical performance in both Close-up Magic and Stage Magic Contests in his Course in 2020.
Sinethemba Bawuti, manager of the College of Magic’s outreach programme Magic in the Community and the fantastic fivesome’s instructor, is proud of the youngsters’ achievement:
“2020 has been a tough year but our star performers managed to excel despite this, and I congratulate them on this well-deserved honour! It’s been a privilege to watch them hone their skills and see how their creative thinking has developed. I’ve seen them juggling with cool drink plastic bottles and vegetables as well as reinvent ways to personalise the close-up and stage magic experience while adhering to the social distancing protocols, proving that where there is a will, there is always a way to continue to make magic possible!”
The College of Magic, a non-profit organisation and the only one of its kind in the world, celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2020 and has been teaching the art of magic and its allied arts as well as vital life-skills to children and adults since 1980. As the national lockdown restrictions have eased, the College has been inspiring the next generation of magicians with a combination of in-person lessons at its mysterious Victorian manor in Claremont and online lessons via Zoom. A key part of the College of Magic experience is having learners perform in public and receive positive reactions and support from their audiences, which the award-winning group received in abundance from their community.
“Magic really does bring people together. I would like to thank the community members for making sure that the students and I were safe during rehearsals and performances. The home-based support has made all the difference to our talented youngsters’ confidence in their public performances and I cannot wait to see how they incorporate that into their acts when we return to the College in the new magical school year.”
Learn to make the impossible possible with the College of Magic in 2021:
Aspiring young entertainers keen to discover the wonderous world of magic and its allied arts, including learning to juggle just like gravity-defying performers Lihle, Liyema, Anathi, Vuyolwethu and Sisonke, are invited to register for the College of Magic’s introductory Course One in 2021!
The entry-level Course One is suitable for learners aged 10 to 13 years old. Course One will run at the College of Magic, 215 Imam Haron Road in Claremont each Saturday for six months from Saturday 6 February 2020 with classes at 09h00 and at 11h00. Fees are R2 900 and include all course equipment and notes, as well as participation in any or all of the allied arts on offer.
Students outside of Cape Town may register to attend lessons online. These students need to have their own internet connectivity to join sessions on Zoom or similar platforms.
Please register online at www.collegeofmagic.com or call +27(0)21 683 5480 for assistance.
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