It was a lifelong dream come true for Old Crossroads illusionist Sonwabile Mekuto as he stepped up to receive his 2017 Western Cape Junior Stage Magician Championships trophy and prize.The awards were held at a dazzling ceremony at Bergvliet High School last Saturday, 23 September.Mekuto, 20, mesmerised the judges and beat nine other teenage contemporaries at the championships, the ultimate battle of the wands, by performing a jaw-dropping stage act that brimmed with classic effects like levitating balls, colour changing silks and a hilarious touch of miming.The Championships, hosted by the College of Magic, Cape Town’s only magical arts organisation, is a magical showdown unlike any other, testing the competitors’ mettle in showmanship, presentation, technique, originality and entertainment value.Mekuto said: “I’m so excited about winning the Championships! I’ve worked hard on my act for a very long time. The opportunities this recognition will now expose me to are incredible and I thank the judges, the College of Magic, my friends and family for their support and belief in me.”In addition to the Western Cape Junior Stage Magician Champion title and the opportunity to attend international magical events, Mekuto also walked away with a coveted registration for a very special magic cruise onboard the MSC Sinfonia in March 2018.Renowned Durban magician Mo Moorad (of MoMagic fame), one of five industry judges who were on the adjudicating panel for the competition, was impressed with the calibre of entrants at this year’s Championships.“This was my first year of judging the competition and just seeing the future talent, these youngsters who will be out in the industry entertaining audiences professionally in a few years, was heart-warming to see. Magic is about bringing joy and delight to the public and these young magicians are well on their way to making this happen, ” Mo said.The College of Magic, now in its 37th year of teaching the art of magic and its allied arts as well as vital life-skills to children and adults, has hosted the Championships for more than 30 years.“The Western Cape Junior Magician Championships were well attended this year and it is fantastic to see this level of support for the magical arts. “We are incredibly proud of our contestants and winners and we look forward to their future magical feats”, says David Gore, director of the College.For more information about the College of Magic and the 2017 Western Cape Junior Magician Championships, please visit www.collegeofmagic.com or call +27(0)21 683 5480.