The circus saved my life, says street kid

2013-01-23 11:53

Cape Town - A homeless boy from Cape Town is travelling around the world after being trained as a circus performer, it was reported on Wednesday.

Phelelani Ndakrokra, 17, told the Daily Voice he was born in Greenmarket and moved into a shelter run by the Zip Zap circus in 2010.

"The first time I walked into the circus tent I couldn't believe it. There were people on those one-wheel bikes, jugglers and acrobats," he said.

The teenager first learned simple tumbles and how to juggle.

He soon progressed to the "Second Chance" troupe and his education was sponsored by a circus benefactor.

"This is the place [where] I belong. If I wasn't here, I'd be on the streets robbing people and breaking into cars."

Ndakrokra had since performed on stages across Europe as a trained juggler and acrobat.

The circus was founded in the early 1990s and has taken many children off the streets.

Project manager Natasha Meyer told the newspaper it was a struggle to fund its social outreach programmes.

"A third of our funding comes from performances, but we rely heavily on donations because it's expensive to put on these shows."

  • ulandi.potgieter - 2013-01-23 12:05

    Well Done Ndakrokra for becoming who you are today I hope you can change some other street child's life as well.

  • tim.mthimkhulu - 2013-01-23 12:05

    that sounds like a positive move for positive minded person in life.

  • RosieV20 - 2013-01-23 12:07

    So if he didn't get into the circus, he would have become a criminal, incapable of getting another job????

      carmen.pentelow - 2013-01-23 14:39

      He is 17 and homeless............y some ppl only see the negative ill never understand

      traci.ostermeyer - 2013-01-23 17:46

      homeless with no education. Yeah he could have become CEO somewhere.

  • sudika.harkhu - 2013-01-23 12:10

    A little help goes a long way.

  • Wentzel Radcliffe - 2013-01-23 12:28

    Where there's a will, there's a way. Well done

  • stirrer.stirrer - 2013-01-23 13:58

    Zip Zap has been doing wonderful work with street kids for years now.

  • veejayanathasat.ananthalekshmi - 2013-01-23 14:26


  • vernor.koopman - 2013-01-23 15:49

    Keep up the good work zip zap.guys go to carte blanche page and give zipzap a like for the CB25

  • DikgosiThokoane - 2013-01-25 14:13

    Awesome..... We need more success stories such as this one...... Enough with the sad news around here.......

  • Janet Gordon - 2013-04-09 20:39

    Great news. Does anyone know of a similar organisation in JHB? I would like to steer a street kid in the same direction, however I am finding it difficult to find a place that offers the same as Cape Town. Any suggestions or advice?

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