From London to Kagiso via Thembisa, Orange Farm and Braamfontein, we bring together some of Joburg and London’s coolest creative collectives at our next free networking session on Thursday 30 May in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. More details and register for the event.
Collective Hustlers: Real Actions Pantsula – Inspiration with Real Actions
Photography by Lebogang Tlhako
With ages ranging from 16 to 30 years, they are young, black, talented and they’re representing South Africa in ways that most of us can only dream of. Based in Orange Farm Township Real Actions Pantsula is a group of 10 boys and 4 girls are going places with original African moves.
Formed by Sello Madiga in 1992, he didn’t know that its third generation would be travelling to Czech Republic, performing on the stages of China and Poland, flying the South African flag with nothing but pure talent and dedication. I met up with them at the Orange Farm Multipurpose centre to find out more about this group of youngsters.
The road they’re travelling hasn’t been all sunshine and roses. They’ve had their fair share of mistakes but they’ve learnt from that and continue to soldier on. As one member of the group Sibusiso Mthembu puts it “The Bible says three things shall be left on earth, Faith, hope and love and we continue to hold that hope, no matter how tough it gets.”
So why do they do this? Why Pantsula dancing?
Group Facilitator Joseph Maleka says they are pushing a positive lifestyle and trying to teach the youth that it’s possible to make it without resorting to crime and drugs.
“The youth look up to us, they idolize us. This dance is taking us places, we’re planting a can-do attitude in the minds of the youth in our community.”
It hasn’t been easy without parental support from some of their parents, poverty and little support from the community but they have dreams to train the youth in the future. They want to have their own dance academy where they will impart this talent to others and achieve financial freedom. They have such big dreams from a group of youngsters who hail from a so-called dangerous township, but the question is can they achieve them? Well, they have done some television adverts, they’re performing in France in September, Poland in October and now promoters are fighting each other to book them. So yes, their dreams are very possible.
There are many Pantsula dance groups in our townships but what sets this one apart from the rest is that Real Actions strategize, they are aware of their weaknesses, they’re constantly improving them and they’re theatrical. I have no doubt in my mind that these young ones will make it. I walk away from the interview inspired, motivated and proud to be a South African.
Supported by British Council