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Zip Zap Circus School

Project Overview

What? Zip Zap Circus School was founded in Cape Town in 1992, to inspire young people and help build a new culture of peaceful co-existence 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. All Zip Zap’s programs are offered free of charge to its participants. Both nationally and internationally, 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.


Zip Zap is dedicated to supporting and conducting training in circus arts and performance as a powerful tool for social transformation, youth empowerment, team building and community upliftment. The programs provide opportunities for young South Africans from very different backgrounds to play, learn and live together using the medium of circus training and performance to model and demonstrate the possibility of true coexistence. Zip Zap operates predominantly within the Western Cape.


Since 2015, Zip Zap has partnered with the SOS Children’s Village in Cape Town to provide circus workshops twice per week (Monday and Thursday afternoons) in a safe and fun space to promote the wellbeing in children and youth from unstable domestic and/or community situations. The programme aims to address children’s’ needs for positive growth and self-development. Activities target challenges around learning, healthy behaviours, playing together, and building and maintain positive relationships with each other. Zip Zap’s intention is to use the medium of circus to inspire children and to offer them a brighter vision for the future.

A Second Chance

Since 2009 Zip Zap has targeted the most underprivileged kids in Cape Town, and now partners with the HCI Foundation and Golden Arrow to expose children and youth-at-risk from primary schools, high schools, ECD centers, NGOs, orphanages and children’s homes are to a workshop of circus techniques and acts. Participants experience a fun and creative circus skills training session, encouraging them to support one another, as well as inspiring interest and a willingness to learn about new skills. Age-appropriate activities are prepared in a way that is attractive to younger audiences as well as challenging enough for teenagers and older youths. The variety of circus and social skills presented to beneficiaries aim to enable participants to envision an alternative, more positive future and develop an expanded awareness about possible, different career opportunities and futures.



Coaches acknowledge and celebrate positive participant behavior and workshops are aimed at developing persistence, coping skills, a sense of community, and improved pro-social behavior. In 2016, 75% of caregivers noticed positive changes in behavior.

A Second Chance

Workshops are aimed at providing kids with a sense of belonging, and exposing them to new experiences and different avenues for learning, while promoting positive interactions. Children leave the circus feeling optimistic about the future.


Contact Zip Zap

Location: Cape Town

Contact: Tania Majavie



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