Olwethu Dyantyi performing. Picture: Sam Burrows

Cape Town - The bustling town of Piketberg in the Western Cape is now the proud hometown of nineteen of the brightest young magicians who have graduated from the College of Magic’s Juggling and Cards Skills course.

The Juggling and Cards Skills Course, a six-week training programme, which ran from August 15 to September 19, was run by the College of Magic, Cape Town’s only magical arts organisation’s Hope in Flight rural community project, and is funded by the National Lotteries Commission (NLC).

The six-week course saw youngsters, all pupils at Steynville Primary School, successfully master basic card tricks and the hand to eye coordination necessary for juggling, under the magical tutelage of their course instructors Anele Dyasi and Olwethu Dyantyi.

Dyantyi, a renowned South African magician and the face of Coca Cola’s global relaunch campaign, is also the proud programme coordinator. 

"It has been amazing to see how learning the art of magic has changed these students’ lives in such a short period of time," Dyantyi said. "Their renewed sense of purpose and confidence are a great indication of how necessary the Hope in Flight programme is in rural communities and I hope to continue its success to other areas next year."

One student who is on a promising magical studies trajectory is 10-year-old Patricia Links. 

"I really enjoyed the challenge of learning a new magic effect and performing it for my classmates! I’m so keen to learn more about magic and visit the College of Magic in Cape Town someday," she said. 

The College of Magic, now in its 37th year of teaching the magic theatrical performing arts and its allied arts (including juggling, puppetry, mime and clowning), with a social and life- skills component to children and adults, is a non-profit organisation, based in Cape Town, and the only one of its kind in the world.

The College of Magic is thrilled with the programme’s success.

"It’s been an exciting year for our organisation as we’ve rolled out the Juggling and Cards Skills course to learners across the Western Cape, with the generous support of the National Lotteries Commission," College of Magic director David Gore said. "Seeing the remarkable difference learning the art of magic has made in these youngsters’ lives and giving them hope for a better future has inspired us to double our efforts in continuing the Hope for Flight rural community project in 2018."

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Cape Argus