Lotto aid boost works like magic

2017-03-02 06:01
Newly appointed ‘Magic in the Community’ Project co-ordinator, Olwethu Dyantyi, engaging with students in the Project, Sesona Gagana and Azande Baliso . Dyantyi position has been funded by the National Lotteries Commission. Image by the College of Magic

Newly appointed ‘Magic in the Community’ Project co-ordinator, Olwethu Dyantyi, engaging with students in the Project, Sesona Gagana and Azande Baliso . Dyantyi position has been funded by the National Lotteries Commission. Image by the College of Magic

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Cape Town’s only magical arts organisation, the College of Magic, has received a substantial grant of R500 000 from the National Lotteries Commission.

The grant is to enable the college to roll out its successful Magic in the Community project to rural areas in the Western Cape.

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

In addition to boosting the College of Magic’s training efforts, the NLC grant will assist the institution in sharing the wonders of magic with youth from poor communities and the development of a new rural areas programme.

Magic in the Community project was launched in 2000 as a means to provide young people from poor communities with the opportunity to participate in an innovative performing arts training and development programme and promote a platform for the understanding and affirmation of South Africa’s cultural diversity.

The new rural project will see the College grow its reach to the rural areas of the West Coast, Winelands and the Overberg during 2017:

“The pressing need for innovative interventions to transform and empower our youth, equip them with employable skills and give them hope for the future is well known. Thanks to the generosity of the National Lotteries Commission, expanding this project to the greater Cape is now possible and we are so thankful”, says David Gore, director of the College of Magic.

Plans for the rural areas programme includes actively recruiting new students from outlying areas, opening up the possibility of joining the College of Magic’s six year magical training and development programme available to them as well as providing food, transport and equipment support.

A portion of the generous NLC grant has been used to appoint renowned South African magician and the face of world-famous beverage brand Coca Cola’s global relaunch campaign, Olwethu Dyantyi, as the Magic in the Community coordinator.

A 2015 South African Magic Championships Grand Prix winner and a charming illusionist from Khayelitsha, who has performed all over the world, including China, USA, UK, Croatia and Italy, Dyantyi is a natural choice for the role. His new responsibilities will include the co-ordination of the Magic in the Community programme and setting up and running the rural areas programme.

Dyantyi is thrilled with his captivating new role:

“Learning and performing magic has changed my life and given me the chance to see the world. I can’t wait to share my magical knowledge with eager new students in the community and help them realise their own dreams! ” says the excited magician.

The NLC relies on funds from the proceeds of the National Lottery. The Lotteries Act guides the way in which NLC funding may be allocated. The intention of NLC funding is to make a difference to the lives of all South Africans, especially those more vulnerable and to improve the sustainability of the beneficiary organisations. Available funds are distributed to registered and qualifying non-profit organisations in the fields of charities; arts, culture and national heritage; and sport and recreation. By placing its emphasis on areas of greatest need and potential, the NLC contributes to South Africa’s development.

“We support the College of Magic’s vision for improving the lives of these disadvantaged youth through the art of magic and are proud to be associated with the Magic in the Community and rural areas programme. We look forward to seeing how these programmes and our contribution positively influence their futures”, says Ms. Marcelle Musson, the NLC Provincial Manager of the Western Cape.

Please visit the National Lotteries Commission website www.nlcsa.org.za to find out about the NLC mandate and other projects they fund.

For more information about the College of Magic and its social outreach initiatives, please visit www.collegeofmagic.com or call +27(0)21 683 5480.

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