MOYA is back with New Acts! New Original Music! New Members – Same MOYA Magic!

The circus is coming back to town after a successful tour of Europe earlier this year. 

By CityLIfe Arts Writer

Over the course of 90 shows in 13 cities, Zip Zap Circus performed to over 350 000 people during their tour of France and Switzerland at the beginning of 2023, showcasing their Proudly South African talent to the world.

With the wind in their sails from this life-changing opportunity, they return to the Teatro at Montecasino to share MOYA with Johannesburg audiences from 31 August – 10 September 2023, in response to the incredible demand for their return, following their successful 2022 season.

The circus spectacular, MOYA – which means Spirit – encapsulates not only the spirit of Zip Zap’s proudly South African roots but also tells the story of this non-profit organization which had opened its doors to thousands of South African youths completely free of charge over the last 31 years. The show tells the story of how a sense of belonging can change the narrative of the youth of this country. 

This revamp run of the mesmerizing MOYAwill be a foot-stomping, heart-warming event, an infusion of heart-pounding performances that will leave you on the edge of your seat and ideal for the whole family. Prepare to be amazed by a flawless display of aerial skills, a masterclass in juggling as well as a thrilling acrobatic wheel routine and so much more.

Prepare to be transported into a world of wonder and excitement as MOYA takes you on a thrilling journey like no other. 

At the centre of the tale of MOYA, we find Trompie (Jacobus Claassen)whose own story reflects the transformative power of circus. 

Jacobus’ Story

Things were tough at home – money was scarce and domestic violence pervasive – so around the age of 10, Jacobus decided to rather live on the streets. Handouts dried up as he grew older and he started using drugs as an escape. A chance meeting with a good Samaritan led him to a shelter in Salt River.  He was able to go to school and sleep with a roof over his head for the first time in years.  At the shelter, children were given the opportunity to be part of Zip Zap’s 2nd Chance programme, which helped vulnerable youngsters develop their talents. 

‘Trompie’ as he’s affectionately known, chose the circus and he’s never looked back. He completed his schooling in 2011 and after progressing through Zip Zap’s youth and outreach programmes he became a full-time performer. 

He now uses his craft to share his story on stage.  

Trompie has flourished as a performer and excelled at circus disciplines. He’s performed around the world and was also the main character in the Canadian documentary ‘First Man’ for 5 months. He performs unicycle, juggling, hand-to-hand, and Cyr wheel, and is a talented acrobat. His sense of fun, comedy and quirky character makes him an endearing audience favourite!

“You make your own choices in life. You can choose to stay on the streets forever or you can decide to step out of that life.” – Claassen

NEW! Enjoy a sneak preview from rehearsals last week (19 July) at the Zip Zap Dome:

MOYA’s New Music

Since MOYA was last in town, the show has been infused with new life, new acts and completely new music. Zip Zap engaged the rhythmic talents of Josh Hawk, former bass player for Freshlyground, to produce a soundtrack that amplifies the vibe and vivacity of MOYA. 

Hawk partnered with local musicians and voices, including Freshlyground’s Zolani Mahola as well as Zip Zap performer, Jason Barnard. Barnard not only recorded with Hawk but performs some of his self-written lyrics live during the show. His lyrics tell a story of struggle, hope and eventually joy. 

To get a taste of the show, please watch the MOYA trailer:

MOYA is also welcoming a stellar line-up of new cast members:

 Akho Narwele joined Zip Zap in 2016 after being introduced to circus at the DCAS (Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport) afterschool programme. Akho was part of the cast of Rhapsodie that toured France and Switzerland in 2022-2023. He is currently completing Zip Zap’s vocational programme, Dare2Dream (D2D). Akho’s acts in MOYA include Club Juggling and Group Acro. “Being part of the MOYA cast is helping me achieve my goal of becoming a professional circus artist,” says Akho.

 Masizakhe Kovi: A passionate handstand artist, Masizakhe fell in love with circus when he joined Zip Zap’s Ibhongolwethuprogramme in Khayelitsha in 2015. He is currently completing Zip Zap’s vocational programme, Dare2Dream. He’s now mastering Contortion, Handstand, and Acrobatics for MOYA. Masizakhe shares, “It feels amazing to work with professional circus artists and learn from them.”

Silumko Ndulula: Having started his Zip Zap journey in 2009 at the Ibhongolwethu programme in Khayelitsha, Silumko progressed to Simunye programme in 2014, and Dare2Dream (D2D) vocational programme in 2018. Silumko is a seasoned performer known for his versatility. His acts in the show include Diabolo, Group Acro, and Dance. Silumko is thrilled to be part of a professional production, stating, “I now have more time to practice my specialties.”

These incredible newcomers join the existing MOYA cast members, who recently wowed audiences during their successful tour of France and Switzerland with Zip Zap’s production, Rhapsodie.

Let’s reintroduce you to the fantastic talents gracing the stage:

 Bridgette Berning: An accomplished aerial performer, Bridgette discovered circus at Sisonke, an after-school circus programme created by a Zip Zap alumnus in Stellenbosch. Watch her soar through the air with her trapeze and silk acts.

 Jason Barnard: This multi-disciplinary performer brings a compelling stage presence like no other. He joined Zip Zap when he was just 8 years old, for an initial 4 years, and returned when he was 19. As one of South Africa’s premier jugglers, Jason astounds with the only gravity-juggling act in the country. Don’t miss his poetic rap and performances as Porter, Bounce Juggler, Acrobat, and Dancer.

 Luqmaan Benjamin had big dreams of becoming a football player but lost interest when he discovered acrobatics and tricking at the age of 17. In 2020 he discovered Zip Zap Circus during a flash mob performance in Cape Town City Centre, and joined its vocational programme, Dare2Dream. In MOYA he performs as an Acrobat, Porter, and Dancer. 

 Matthew Risk has been part of Zip Zap Circus since 2012. After he matriculated in 2020, he joined Zip Zap’s vocational programme, Dare2Dream. Having a love for music, he is also a music producer and often makes instrumental tracks for musicians to rap/sing over. His acts in MOYA include Unicycle, Acrobat, Porter, and Dance.

 Phelelani Ndakrokra, also known as ‘Ree’, joined Zip Zap in 2010. Ree has remarkable physicality which he blends artfully with intense creative expression. He won Best Performer at the International Circus Awards 2021 for his performance in MOYA, An Acrobatic Art Film. He provides a captivating display of his craft on the ground with his Cyr Wheel and in the air with Straps. His other skills in the show include Acrobatics and Dance.

 Vuyani Lottering has been part of the Zip Zap family since 2015. He graduated from Zip Zap’s vocational programme, Dare2Dream last year after receiving the Zip Zap Student of the Year award in 2019. He is a polished, dedicated, and talented performer you will see in MOYAas a Ball Juggler, Acrobat, Porter, and Dancer.

 MOYA runs for 1h20 with no interval and is appropriate for all ages from 3 years, with ticket prices ranging from R200 – R300. Bookings are via Quicket

The Teatro at Montecasino, Johannesburg: 31 August – 10 September 2023

Thursday, 31 August                               19h30

Friday, 1 September                                19h30

Saturday, 2 September                           15h00 and 19h30

Sunday, 3 September                              14h00

Thursday, 7 September                           19h30

Friday, 8 September                                19h30

Saturday, 9 September                           15h00 and 19h30

Sunday, 3 10 September                          14h00

For corporate and group bookings please contact Liz at

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