You can’t choose your family. Unless you join the circus


Grabbing a vertical pole with hands stretched wide, Johannes ‘Timo’ Gunther braces himself and lifts his body parallel to the ground, forming a perfect human flag. Somewhere above him, Phelelani Ndrakrokra is suspended upside down, loving life.

Both high-flying performers know what it means to fall. Gunther, a pole acrobat, ran away from his Namibian home seeking a fresh start in Cape Town. Ndrakrokra, a wheel artist, was born to a single mother living on the streets. They both have found a home at Zip Zap Circus through its Dare to Dream project. The programme looks to help people from all walks of life realise their dreams through circus art.

Ndakroka and Gunther’s stories are representative of the possibilities contained when potential, opportunity and commitment meet. While Gunther has moved on from the circus today, Zip Zap gave both a home and an outlet, a way to experience the raw thrill of unfettered, synchronised movement.