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Teen magicians honoured

Ruby Park, 2019 College of Magic Junior Student of the Year. PHOTOS: Andrew Klazinga
Ruby Park, 2019 College of Magic Junior Student of the Year. PHOTOS: Andrew Klazinga

A whirlwind year of theatre shows, charity outreach shows, and learning the art of magic culminated in the College of Magic’s Students of the Year Awards at Rondebosch Boys’ High School on Saturday 16 November.

Ruby Park and Sesona Gagana were named Cape Town’s most magical teens. The two students were honoured alongside their peers at two graduation ceremonies.

The Student of the Year trophy is awarded to the two students who have a record of excellence in performance and participation in college activities throughout the year.

Park (13) from Constantia, and one of only a few young female magicians, has captivated her instructors and audiences with her abilities at several contests, the winter school holiday programme, the 2019 Traditional Children’s Magic Festival, and as the co-lead of the college’s annual Artscape Theatre show this year.

Park says she loves creating performances. “I’ve worked so hard and it’s amazing to be recognised for it. The College of Magic provides so many opportunities to learn from the instructors and my fellow students and I look forward to the next phase of my magical education.”

Clinching the 2019 Senior Student of the Year award is the pinnacle of Gagana’s final year at the college as he graduates from the Course Six year. An incredible all-rounder in magic and its allied arts, including juggling, puppetry and mime and clowning, this skilled 16-year-old performer from Makhaza, Khayelitsha represented the college and South Africa in the United States of America (USA) in 2018.

He was voted top street magic performer at the 2019 Western Cape Junior Magician Championships.

Gagana reflects on his time at the college:

“Since joining the college in 2013, learning to be the best in all aspects of magic has been my motivation. Perfecting my art day by day, year by year, will help me achieve my dream of being a professional magician when I grow up. Receiving this award as I graduate is a huge honour.”

The graduations also honoured staff and this year’s recipient of the David Berglas Millennium Award for Outstanding Contribution to the College of Magic is Santika Naidoo, a graduate and volunteer instructor at the organisation.

Instituted in 2000 by David Berglas, the Millennium Award is presented each year to the person who has contributed significantly towards the college.

Naidoo, who directed the college’s annual magic extravaganza, the World of Magic!, at the Artscape Theatre in October, was recognised for her direction of the show, her generosity in donating her time, her dedication to the improvement of the college, her tireless efforts to promote and support young women in magic and assisting the college in the roll-out of its new digital platforms and online communications.

“It’s been an incredible year of hard work and immense growth for me at the College of Magic and I thank them for the recognition,” says Naidoo.

The College of Magic, Cape Town’s only magical arts organisation, will celebrate its 40th anniversary by welcoming a new generation of aspiring magicians in February 2020.

Registration for the College of Magic’s 2020 Course One is now open. Call 021 683 5480 or send an email to to secure your spot.

V For more information about the College of Magic, please visit

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