Magic works wonders for Sesona

2018-12-13 06:02
Young magician Sesona Gagana is flanked by his mother Thandiswa and his younger sister Ayema. And from left, standing are, Ongeziwe and Zezethu.PHOTO: unathi obose

Young magician Sesona Gagana is flanked by his mother Thandiswa and his younger sister Ayema. And from left, standing are, Ongeziwe and Zezethu.PHOTO: unathi obose

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Young magician Sesona Gagana from Makhaza is thrilled after the realisation that his dream of becoming a professional magician may ring true after he received a Siegfried and Roy Scholarship to further his studies with the College of Magic in Claremont, come next year.

Siegfried & Roy are a German-American duo of magicians and entertainers, who became known for their appearances with white lions and white tigers.

Gagana will be undergoing his final year (Course Six) of study at the college in 2019.

The College of Magic is a non-profit organisation which teaches magic tricks to people from various levels of society, with the goal of creating social empowerment.

The 15-year-old, currently doing Grade nine at Harry Gwala High School in Makhaza, said he couldn’t believe his ears when he was told of the news.

“This is what I’ve been dreaming of; to become a professional magician. Now that I’ve received this scholarship, it’s another stepping stone towards my dream,” he said.

Since Gagana started at the school of magic at the age of 10 in 2013, he has never looked back.

“I started with course one in July 2013, and continued in 2014 with course two from January to July. I progressed to an advanced course till December.

For the whole of 2015 I did course three, and in 2016 I did a Junior Magician Diploma.

Then in 2017 I did doing course four. And this year I was doing Course Five.

“The scholarship will pay for all the fees,” stated Gagana. He said he was inspired by a neighbour during street performances.

“I used to watch him during his performances; so the other day I asked him where to go if I wanted to acquire the same skills, and all fingers pointed to the college.

“But I first had to obtain the consent of my parents, he insisted.” Gagana said he is able to balance his studies and his performances.

“I don’t have a problem with my studies because during the week I focus on books and attend the College on Saturdays.

If there is any performance during the week, they (College) give me a letter to send to school,” he said.

In October, he was one of the few learners who attended a show in Las Vegas, Nevada, and New York, both in the United States of America, to watch magic shows.

“We stayed for a week in Las Vegas and another week in New York. Among the magicians that we met in Las Vegas was Terry Fator, Mat Franco, David Copperfield, Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn. In New York we met Joshua Jay and Jack Diamond,” he said.

This year, in June, he performed at the ‘Imagine Show’ at the Arts Cape, while in 2016 he once performed at V&A Waterfront, entertaining tourists there. Thandiswa Gagana(43), his mother, described her son as humble and a hard worker.

“He is passionate with what he is doing. And once he puts his mind to something, nobody can stop him. But I’m so excited now that he has a scholarship to further his studies,” said Thandiswa. The mother of four children said they’ve been struggling to support all the children as they don’t have stable job. “His father is doing odd jobs and I sell amagwinya, sweets and ice cream. But we ensure that whenever he is performing, we attend the shows,” said Thandiswa.

Yolandi van Jaarsveldt, ceo at the College of Magic, said they are committed to helping young students realise their dreams through the art of magic.

She said to have two of magic’s most iconic performers (Siegfried and Roy) support this initiative and assist them in helping Sesona achieve the impossible, is an absolute privilege and honour,

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