An atmosphere of euphoria and cries of jubilation were felt and heard by all as Khayelitsha’s terrific township duo Anele Dyasi and Dion Wabanie were crowned the 2018 Western Cape Junior Close- Up and Stage Magician champions, respectively, at Bergvliet High School on Saturday 8 September 2018.
The Championships, hosted annually by the College of Magic, Cape Town’s only magical arts organisation, tests the competitors’ mettle in showmanship, visual appeal, presentation, technique, originality and entertainment value.
Going wand to wand with seven of their equally talented teenage peers, Dyasi (20) and Wabanie (20) pulled out all the stops to thrill audiences with an elegant money-centric close-up magic act and a hilarious sponge ball manipulation and comedy act.
Dyasi, a student at Northlink College and an experienced international magical contest competitor, having competed in the 2015 South African Magic Championships and at the International College Magic Convention in Beijing, China, is ecstatic to finally clinch the Close-Up title:
“I’ve been competing in the Western Cape Junior Magic Champs since 2011. This is my fifth competition and I have finally won. I am so very excited!”, says the happy champion.
A stunned Wabanie, a captivating performer with aspirations of cooking up all kinds of culinary wonders as a chef someday, is in awe of his Stage magic champion award:
“This was the second time I entered to compete in the Championships and I won! I am so honoured and encourage other teen magicians to enter too. It is amazing!” says the proud winner.
In addition to their Western Cape Junior Magician titles and awards, the young champions were each awarded a much coveted performance slot at the prestigious Cape Town Magic Club, which opens the seventh season of its Monday Night Magic series at the Artscape Theatre on Monday 1 October 2018, by Club producer and founder Marcel Oudejans.
In a tense and exciting battle to charm audiences and judges alike, this year’s Championships’ runners-up, in Close-Up Magic, Siphesihle Ndayi (20), from Khayelitsha, and Luvo Mrolota (18), from Nyanga in Stage Magic, missed out on the titles by just half a point and 1 point in their respective categories.
The dazzling duo, who astounded audiences with a wondrous original paper cup, ice-block and pizza close-up routine and a breath-taking classics of magic Stage illusion performance, are in high spirits and proud of their runner-up trophies:
“To see months of hard work and preparation come to life on stage, to know that we gave it our all and still be recognised for it, is a huge honour. We look forward to going for gold again in 2019!”, say the thrilled youngsters.
This year’s Supreme Up-and-Coming Supreme magic Trophy, which recognises the most promising contestant with successful performance skills and great potential, was awarded to Sahil Samlal. The 15-year-old from Century City will soon be representing South Africa on a magical tour of Las Vegas and New York, the entertainment and magic capitals of the world.
“2018 has already being such an incredible year, having been selected to meet my magical heroes in the USA and now being recognised for my passion and progress in the art of magic! I am beyond excited to see what the rest of the year holds”, says the aspiring professional magician.
The people’s choice award, the coveted 2018 Street Magician of the Year, went to an excited 13 year old from Khayelitsha, Mbalentle Mahlasela.
Each year, a panel of esteemed judges from across a multitude of entertainment fields, adjudicate this ultimate teenage battle of the wands. Stuart Taylor, a renowned South African comedian, an award-winning magician and a graduate of the College of Magic, was delighted with the standard of magic acts seen at this year’s Championships:
“What an amazing show these young kids put on for us! The standard of magic performances was really high – so well done to the finalists.I know how tough these magical competitions can be because I used to compete in them. My advice to aspiring contestants is to experiment with their acts, be true to who they are and try many things – you never know what will impress future judges!”, says the celebrated entertainer.
The College of Magic, now in its 38th year of teaching the art of magic and its allied arts as well as vital life-skills to children and adults, has hosted the Championships for more than 30 years.