Zip Zap Circus School - Photo by Anne Barbotteau

CAPTION: Children from the Zip Zap Circus School entertain the crowd at the 2015 World AIDS Day show in Khayelitsha. This year’s theme is “ACT NOW: TEST & TREAT!” Photo: Anne Barbotteau [High-resolution image available on request]                                                                                                                                                                        

Zip Zap Circus School will entertain locals at an action packed, free event on World AIDS Day, Thursday 01 December 2016 at the O.R. Tambo Hall, Govan Mbeki Road, Site B. in Khayelitsha from 14:30. The event, now in its twelfth year, is a highlight on the local calendar.

A procession will start at 11:00 from the Ubuntu Clinic, and the O.R. Tambo Hall doors will open at 11:30. Community members will start the event with a variety of performances, including theatre, gospel singing and dance. The Children’s Radio Foundation will also attend the event. The Zip Zap show will feature trampolines, trapeze, juggling and acrobatics performed by children between the ages of 8 and 19 years old from Zip Zap’s Intermediate, Simunye, SOS Children’s Village and Dare to Dream projects.

Zip Zap is a non-profit organisation that provides free circus training to children from all backgrounds. It also teaches them determination, hard work and to pursue a healthy lifestyle. Co-founder and Director, Laurence Estève says, “This show provides a great opportunity to address the stigmas around HIV/AIDS, especially amongst the youth. The children are directly involved in creating awareness in their communities and it builds their self-esteem as they teach others. The HIV/AIDS pandemic cannot be overcome without communities realising that they need to take precautionary actions to reduce the likelihood of contracting the virus and knowing how to treat it.”

The theme for this year’s show is “ACT NOW: TEST & TREAT!”. The message is simple: Know what your status is, and if positive, start treatment now. Antiretroviral (ARV) treatment is easily accessible and when it is taken as part of a daily routine, it helps to keep the virus under control.

The show is presented in partnership with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF – Doctors Without Borders), Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), Gearhouse, the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, City of Cape Town, Western Cape Government, Children’s Radio Foundation, Kheth’Impilo and the TB/HIV Care Association. Cirque du Soleil has been supporting Zip Zap’s social action since 2002 and funds the outreach programme in Khayelitsha by organising various benefit shows around the world. For more information about Zip Zap or to find out how you can support them, visit www.zip-zap.co.za. Find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/zipzapcircus.