The way this Eastern Cape teenager can twist her body will make your jaw drop!

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13-year-old Sesonsa Tshume taught herself to twist and stretch her body in less than a year. (PHOTO: Lady Dreamer)
13-year-old Sesonsa Tshume taught herself to twist and stretch her body in less than a year. (PHOTO: Lady Dreamer)

Many kids her age spend time on YouTube watching dance videos or makeup tutorials – but this little girl goes onto the platform to teach herself a skill that has made her something of a sensation in her hometown.

Sesona Tshume is a contortionist and often takes to the streets in Qonce (formerly King William’s Town) to perform manoeuvres that would make most of us wince, twisting and turning her body into unusual positions as if it were a piece of putty.

The 13-year-old now has her own YouTube channel, Sesonathecontortionist, where she shows how “easy” it is to do the splits and perform a backbend while you rest your head on your butt. She also executes her number-one move: the chest stand, where she lies on her stomach and then lifts her legs over her head until her chest is the only part of her body on the ground.

split, sesona tshume
The split is the first move Sesona taught herself to do. (PHOTO: Lady Dreamer)

Simple, right? Well, it is for super-flexible Sesona, whose joints are so stretchy and muscles so malleable she can get into pretty much any position she sets her mind to.

Most of us would do serious damage trying to copy her but the teen, who is in Grade 7 at Qonce’s Kingsridge High School for Girls, is made of superior stuff. She has never so much as pulled a muscle – although her mom, Zukiswa (47), did take her daughter to a physiotherapist to make sure she wasn’t doing herself any harm.

Her daughter was fit as a fiddle, Zukiswa was told – she just has extreme flexibility which allows her to bend as if she doesn’t have a bone in her body.

And that suits this young lady just fine.

READ MORE | Must see: this woman is so flexible she can bend her body in half

Sesona’s interest in becoming a contortionist started in July last year. She’d watch videos of her flexi-idols Sofie Dossi, Anna McNulty and Jordan Matter and copy what they do – the splits, backbends, forward bends, legs over the head, you name it, Sesona tried it.

“What I love about Sofie and the others is they don’t force anyone to do anything and they don’t add clickbait in their thumbnails, like ‘learn to do the splits in 10 minutes’ because that’s impossible,” she says. “Everything takes time to learn.”

Sesona has always enjoyed bending and stretching and spends about 15 minutes a day doing her favourite stretches, including the splits and the odd chest stand.

sesona tshume, contortionist
Sesona doing her all time favourite move. (PHOTO: Lady Dreamer)

“What I love about contorting is it helps me to relax,” she says. So what stresses does she have? Well, there’s homework, she answers – she’d much rather contort than get to grips with grammar and maths.

Working on her YouTube channel is her number one passion and she’s trying to build up her following. Her brother, Asamkele (15), was the one who encouraged her to start her own channel and she uses it to share tutorials on how to stretch before breaking into one of her astonishing poses.

sesona tshume, contortionist
The teen is the only one in her family to be so flexible. (PHOTO: Lady Dreamer)

It’s aimed at younger audiences, she says, and she hopes to inspire others to become contortionists too. There’s even a bloopers clip of her attempting a manoeuvre and breaking wind instead!

No one in Sesona’s family has her gift of flexibility. Her mom used to do karate but admits that doesn’t come close to what her daughter can do.

Zukiswa, a single mom, would love to find a trainer for her daughter to help her develop her skills but there’s no one like that in Qonce. “I also think she’d be great at gymnastics but there’s only a ballet school here. I think if she gets into gymnastics she could go far.”

sesona tshume, zukiswa tshume, asamkele tshume
Sesona has the full support of her mother Zukiswa and her older brother Asamkele. (PHOTO: Lady Dreamer)

However, things are looking up: Zukiswa, who works in broadcasting, will soon be relocating with her children to Gqeberha to start a new position. There are gymnastics schools there and young Sesona could soon be flick-flacking and cartwheeling her way to greatness.

READ MORE | WATCH| Ballerina born without arms becomes a social media sensation

 When she is isn’t assuming impossible positions, Sesona enjoys playing chess with her brother. She’s also a chess league player at school, her mom says proudly.

Sesona says her favourite subjects at school are English “and sometimes maths”. When she grows up she’d like to be “a professional contortionist”, she says. “Or a surgeon or a YouTuber or an actor,” she adds.

Zukiswa has high hopes for her livewire daughter. “She’s loving, sweet and respectful but she’s also a very determined child. She knows her own mind and I think she’ll go far.

“I’d love to see her represent our country in gymnastics at the Olympics one day. She just needs someone to give her a chance.”

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