Cape Town - A teen from Hanover Park, Cape Town, is one step away from fulfilling his dream of becoming a professional ballet dancer.
Faakhir Bestman, 13, has been awarded a scholarship by The Christopher Kindo Dance Scholarship, a project of the Applauz Arts Initiative, to attend the National School of the Arts in Joburg next year.
But, he needs help to do so.
Faakhir will be attending the arts school for his entire high school career and while his first year of study in 2018 has been covered by the scholarship, he still needs funds to get there, and for other expenses.
“The school fees amounts to R50 000 (per year)," creative director of Applauz Arts Initiative Natalia da Rocha said. "This amount is sorted for next year but then he has another four years of school to go after that.
"He is also in need of a lot of other things such as stationery, a school uniform, his ballet gear and other necessary apparel for his stay. There is also his flight expenses. He needs to come home during certain holidays. Five years away from home is a long time.
"Faakhir is an exceptional dancer with a passion for what he does. We cannot afford to not support him in this venture of his," she said.
Faakhir is set to leave on January 16 to begin his schooling the next day.
“Faakhir will be leaving his grandmother behind to take care of his siblings. She, as a pensioner needs the help of the community too,” Da Rocha said.
Faakhir has been dancing for four years.
"I would really like to thank everyone who has supported me thus far," he said.
"I am doing this for my sister because she is fully paralysed and I would like to take care of her. I hope that the community can get involved in helping me reach my dreams of becoming a professional ballet dancer. I will really appreciate every bit of assistance."
Principal of the Eoan Dance Group, of which Bestman is a member, Abida Medel said that Faakhir is most deserving of this scholarship.
“He is not only talented but he has become a role model and a beacon of light to all at the group as well as in his community. He is humble, has a wonderful stage presence and he has the ability to learn choreography and take it beyond the steps given to him.
"It's bitter-sweet for all the teachers and his peers at the Eoan Group but it's too great an opportunity to overlook. Faakhir deserves the help of the community,” she said.
To help Faakhir with his expenses, contact Applauz Arts Initiative at [email protected] To help assist with ballet gear email Nigel Lucas at [email protected] and for school uniform items, Dominic Paulsen at [email protected]
Alternatively contact The Eoan Group on 021 637 1268.