Zip Zap Phephelani Ndakrokra and Re orchestra
Phephelani Ndakrokra with the orchestra

Zip Zap Circus will bring a fun-filled performance to the Artscape Lunch Hour Concert on 6 June from 1pm – 2pm. Amongst the artists taking part in the concert with juggling, Cyr Wheel and hand-to-hand will be Phephelani Ndakrokra. He was fortunate enough to have gained a second chance in life following a traumatic upbringing on the streets.

Phephelani (Ree) was born in 1995 in the alleyways of Cape Town. He spent his early years living on Long Street as a street-child. At the age of 11 years, he and his family then moved to the Eastern Cape only to return to Cape Town two years later where they still had to pick up from where they had left off.

Says Ndakrokra: “On the streets, you learn from everything you see. When I was seven I saw a guy walking on his hands, I kept trying until I also could stand on my hands”.

A second chance” programme

Phephelani then moved into the Multi Service Centre, a shelter for youth at risk where he was introduced to Zip Zap as part of their extramural activities and began attending Zip Zap’s “A Second Chance” programme in 2010. His love for the circus and the performing arts aided his career development which turned his fortunes around.

Phephelani now specializes in acrobatics; being able to perform Cyr wheel and straps. Joining him on the bill is Jacobus Claasen (24) who grew up in the Cape Winelands, Paarl in a suburb rife with gangsters and alcoholism. Facing many challenges at home, he spent many years sleeping on the streets before finding himself a youth shelter where he discovered Zip Zap. He has come a long way and has now performed around the world. He was also the main character in a Canadian documentary called First Man in 2016. He currently manages the beginner’s programme and is able to perform two solo acts and three duets at a high level.

The concert follows two very successful tours to Zurich and Reunion Island where the company received standing ovations.

Who: Zip Zap Circus
What: Artscape Lunch Hour Concert
When: 6 June, 1pm – 2pm
Where: Artscape Theatre Centre, Cape Town