Children from the Zip Zap Circus School perform at the 2014 World Aids Day concert in Khayelitsha. Last year’s theme centred on stigma, this year the theme is “My health, your health, our health.” Photo: Irene McCullagh [High resolution image available on request]
Zip Zap Circus School in partnership with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) will entertain locals at an action packed, free concert on World AIDS Day, Tuesday 01 December 2015 at the O.R. Tambo Hall, Mew Way, Site B. in Khayelitsha from 12:00. The show which promises not to disappoint has become an annual highlight on the local calendar and is now in its eleventh year.

Zip Zap is a not for profit organisation that provides free circus training to children from all backgrounds where they also learn lessons in determination, hard work and healthy lifestyle. Co-founder and Director, Laurence Estève says, “There is something incredible about watching self-confidence blossom in a child that has learnt a new and impressive skill. The World AIDS Day concert is a celebration of this fresh talent and a very proud moment for the children who are the stars of the day instead of victims of the virus.”

The World AIDS Day concert will feature performances on trampolines, trapeze, juggling, without forgetting comedy and acrobatics by children between the age of 8 and nineteen from Zip Zap’s projects in Khayelitsha. There will also be a few other surprise Zip Zap acts to thrill the crowd. Contemporary African dancers from Jazzart and local artists will join the celebration.

Ubuntu, meaning humanity is the name of Zip Zap’s project hosted once a week on the site of the Ubuntu clinic in Khayelitsha next to MSF’s Khayelitsha office. Children attending the clinic are removed from their daily trauma to enter a world of fun and magic through games and circus skills. Once they show dedication they can progress to the next programme, Ibhongolwethu, for more advanced training. Children attend Zip Zap’s Ibhongolwethu project twice a week after school where they receive a meal before preparing this world AIDS day show under the guidance, care and watchful eye of their instructors.

The theme for this year’s show is: “My health, your health, our health,” a call to all young people who find themselves in short or long-term relationships to test for HIV and get treatment if they are positive. Ruth Henwood, Child & Youth Patient Support Manager at MSF says, “Testing for HIV and starting ARV treatment benefits both the individual and whoever their partner may be. Testing for HIV allows the individuals to know their status and take action to protect themselves as well as the health of others, for example by using a condom.”

For more information about Zip Zap or to find out how you can support them, visit Find them on Facebook