Zip Zap Circus School scooped the top prize recently as overall winner at the Saville Foundation Pan-African Awards for Entrepreneurship in Education in Kampala, Uganda. The social circus school received a prize of over R109 000 in recognition of its work in confronting youth unemployment and promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship in education. Above: Nik Kafka (left), Managing Director of Teach a Man to Fish, hands over the award to Natasha Meyer (right) from Zip Zap Circus School.  

The circus school has worked with high risk youth in the Western Cape for twenty two years, empowering young people with much more than just circus skills. With the confidence to reach for their dreams and rise above challenging circumstances, some of Zip Zap Circus School’s students have gone on to perform with the internationally renowned, Cirque du Soleil and have become role models in their communities.

Brent van Rensburg, Co-founder and Artistic Director of Zip Zap Circus School explained that, “circus magic just isn’t a phrase; it’s a feeling. It’s a way of life!” Van Rensburg said that, “from the beginning the emphasis had always been to create a Zip Zap family.”

The Pan-African Awards for Entrepreneurship in Education was established to reward organisations in Africa that take an innovative, entrepreneurial and sustainable approach to education. Over 380 different organisations from across the continent took part in the competition which showcased best practice in this sector. More than R624 000 was awarded to organisations from 40 different countries.

Natasha Meyer, Special Projects Manager at Zip Zap Circus School accepted the prize at the prestigious awards ceremony which coincided with, ‘Education That Pays For Itself,’ an international conference about sustainable education. It was at this conference that the Zip Zap Circus School’s success was showcased on an international stage.

The conference was arranged by international education charity committed to tackling global poverty, Teach A Man To Fish. The organisation’s Director, Nik Kafka said, “This competition draws international attention to organisations’ achievements so others can learn from their success and imitate their approach. All the evidence shows that programmes which are innovative and sustainable are the most effective way to address educational challenges.”

For more information about Zip Zap Circus School, please contact 021 421 8622 or visit the website www.zip-zap.co.za and find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/zipzapcircus.

About Zip Zap Circus School

Zip Zap Circus is a social circus that was founded in Cape Town in 1992, to inspire young people and help build a new culture of peaceful coexistence in South Africa. Working with a diverse community of children from all backgrounds, Zip Zap helps kids to ‘dare to dream’ and learn to make those dreams a reality. Zip Zap’s programmes are all free to participants, with financial and material support coming from individuals, organization, corporations and foundations. In South Africa and the world, Zip Zap is recognized across Governments, Ministries of Education, Tourism, Arts & Culture and private societies, as a major contributor to the development within the iconic ‘Mother City’ and providing sustainability of the circus arts in South Africa.