On Buitengracht Street there is a man straight out of a fantasized carnival. Using your imagination, one could colour in his story, with bright costumes, a stage and lights. Yes, he would fit right in as an actual carnival character. However, in reality, his clothes are dull and worn, his lights are the headlights of cars, and his stage is a tar road. But his moves are fearless, brilliant and bright as ever.
Anathi Maxhongo is a 30 year old homeless man who does acrobatic tricks for traffic tips on Cape Town’s streets. He performs in front of the traffic bravely and with precision.
But when the show is over, he goes to sleep under a bridge in the Foreshore, and dreams of using his talents to change his life.
In an interview with @thehumansnarrative, Anathi expresses that his talent could be his saving grace from his life of hardship.
“I want to change my life. I want to go on with this talent.”
Hardships are as much of Anathi’s story as the magic of his acrobatic skills. He has been open about his addiction problems. However, he believes that what he needs is some help. To catch a break. Honing his talents professionally would aid him in a double whammy of kicking his habits and following his dreams.
“There must be somebody who can help megs on with tis talent,” Anathi expresses with a twinkle in his eye.
He refers to the other people who also live under the bridge and on the streets and considers them family. He notes that he may not be able to make choices for them (in terms of getting off drugs and reaching for a better life) but he can for himself.
All he needs is a bit of help.
According to Times Live Anathi Maxhongo initially taught himself to dance but learnt the art of acrobatics from the Zip Zap Circus School when it toured in Cape Town. He has been practicing his acrobatics for many years now, and hopefully we will see the day where he lights up a stage instead of a road. Through sharing stories like Anathi’s, the opportunity arises to make a difference.
Picture: Instagram @thehumansnarrative