The College of Magic, Cape Town’s only magical arts organisation, has conjured up a crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy to help its new students, in particular, those from disadvantaged areas, pursue their dreams of magical training online during the global pandemic.
The College, like many NPOs and similar organisations, had to adapt its educational offering in 2020 – moving from weekly Saturday morning lessons at its spellbinding campus to teaching 200 students via online platforms including Zoom and WhatsApp.
Young Lulo Stofile (10) from Old Crossroads, Nyanga, got his first peek behind the wizard’s curtain by watching a virtual tour of the College of Magic and meeting his new instructor and classmates via a Zoom call on his mother’s cellphone.
With limited data supplied by the College of Magic, Stofile and his fellow new students were whisked through the organisation’s premises virtually – exploring Africa’s largest magical museum, South Africa’s only brick and mortar Magic Shop, the multipurpose Imagination Centre, the Magic Lab and theatres before a special meet and greet with their new instructors and each other.
“In my township, there aren’t many things to do or to learn for young people like me. Everyone else enjoys playing soccer but I love learning to perform magic. When I first saw my teacher’s son perform his magic act at my school last year, I knew magic is what I wanted to do. Attending the College of Magic is my dream come true and I hope I can continue to do so online until I am able to experience the wonder of this unique institution in person!”, says the excited aspiring young magician.
Should Stofile be able to continue his magical education with the generous assistance of the public’s donations, he will be following in the beguiling footsteps of College of Magic graduate, SA’s Got Talent finalist and international performer Olwethu Dyantyi.
Joining the College in 2005 as a student funded by the Magic in Community programme, a College of Magic community outreach initiative, and going on to become the 2015 South African Stage Magic Champion, Dyantyi is now an instructor at the College of Magic. Teaching the art of magic online, thanks to COVID-19 and the national lockdown, provides unique challenges for the instructor.
“Teaching magic, which is a very interactive art form , online is very tricky. Lessons need to be hands-on and it is particularly frustrating when I cannot be there to assist my students physically. Having said that,I’m very impressed with how our current students adapted to their online magical training in 2020, exceeding expectations with their creative acts and dedication to practicing their techniques. I’m looking forward to seeing how our new students grow in this new magical learning environment”, says Dyantyi.
Crowdfunding on BackaBuddy
“Many prospective students do not have access to online facilities and here at the College of Magic, our voluntary team of instructors and staff are helping these students achieve their dream magic training through devices, data and connectivity ideas. We’re appealing to the public who would like to enable one of these disadvantaged youngsters and help them to light their flame of hope to go to our ‘BackaBuddy’ page and contribute to ‘connecting’ one lucky young magician. Please help us to keep the magic alive!”, says David Gore, director of the College of Magic.
The campaign has thus far raised over R12 000 towards the fundraising target of R50 000.
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