Samkeliso Thupane is a shy 12-year-old boy .?.?. until he climbs into the driver’s seat of a gusheshe – a BMW 325i or 325is in township lingo.
The Grade 8 pupil at Kings High School in White River spins a gusheshe with aplomb.
“Sam Sam”, as Thupane is better known when doing his thing, says: “I don’t know what to say, but spinning is the only sport I truly love.”
Spinning is an off-road game where drivers perform tricks – revving up the engines, yanking up the handbrake and dangerously turning in circles at high speed. They screech tyres, jump in and out of the spinning car and even stand on the bonnet while it is in motion.
Thupane is member of the Hazy Crew from Mahushu, near Hazyview. They are affiliated to the Gauteng Spinners’ Association (GSA), which is part of Motorsport SA.
GSA president Monde Hashe says a national league in spinning will be established this year.
Spinning is legal, provided it is done in an enclosed arena, which revellers call a spin city.
A familiar figure at spin city competitions in Mpumalanga, Swaziland and Gauteng, Sam Sam doesn’t have a driver’s licence yet.
What he has is a spinning licence from GSA, which does not take age into account. He started spinning cars in February last year – thanks to his father and friends.