Portia zapped by circus fun

2015-08-13 06:00
Portia Kewana has toured the world with her own circus act.

Portia Kewana has toured the world with her own circus act.

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When Nonkosi Mbula started working as a housekeeper for Zip Zap founder Brent van Rensburg 20 years ago, she never dreamt that her daughter Portia would one day have a circus act of her own and tour the globe with it.

Portia,29, grew up in Khayelitsha but now lives in Crossroads.

She was only ten years old when she first set foot in the Zip Zap Dome.

She was mesmerised by the trapeze artists and jugglers.

“I couldn’t believe that it was possible for children to do such amazing things. It was a magical experience to see the performers train.”

Kewana jumped at the opportunity when Van Rensburg, asked her if she wanted to join the school, and so her journey started with basic training on a trampoline.

From the word go, Portia gave it her all, striving to realise her dream of becoming a star.

“We were all amazed at her progression,” Van Rensburg recalls.

After only a year, with hard work and dedication, Portia, then 11, worked on her own act called ‘Poupée’.

This act was a combination of comedy and acrobatic movements. It was a crowd pleaser. After the success of Poupée, Kewana went into aerial work with first a single trapeze act, then a triple trapeze act and finally settled on a double trapeze cradle act with a female catcher.

This act gave her the opportunity to show the world her talent. She remembers her first vist to the Netherlands in 2006.

“The experience was exhilarating. I never dreamt that I would have this exposure to tour the world,” adds Kewana, who has since performed in Germany and the USA.

When she turned 18 years-old, she challenged herself to learn a new skill and enrolled to study fashion design.

“Sewing did not come to me as naturally as performing in front of a large audience! I was however determined to make a success of it.”

Once she mastered the skill of sewing, Kewana was appointed as costume maker for Zip Zap.

Today she passes on her knowledge to younger ones and her own daughter who she brings along to Zip Zap, just as she did as a young girl with her mother.

“Portia is such an inspiring young lady, she has taught us all so much about having the courage to pursue our dreams, and to continually challenge yourself to learn new skills,” said Van Rensburg

For more information about Zip Zap, visit www.zip-zap.co.za or find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/zipzapcircus

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