Abracadabra! It’s Anelisa

LAUREN O’CONNOR-MAY

Magician Anelisa Ntlonti, the youngest daughter of a family from The Leagues, has been given a rare opportunity.

Anelisa has been chosen to represent the College of Magic in Las Vegas for the Magic Live Conference in August.

The 19-year-old aspiring interior designer was selected because of her willingness and interest, said Marion Williamson, the college’s fund-raiser. Every year the college sends its most diligent students on an overseas trip to take part in conferences, festivals, student exchanges and competitions, she added.

“Every year we have many people who apply but we use honours points to determine who gets to go.

“Honours points are about how they participate in classes, charity shows, how well they do in contests – how seriously do they take their magic?” Ms Williamson said.

This year Anelisa, a Grade 11 pupil at Woodlands High School, was one of two students selected because of her eager attitude and overall achievements – which includes a bronze medal in close-up magic that she attained at the 2015 South African Magic Championships and her continued voluntary work she does at the college’s food kitchen. The other student is Qaqambile Mnqika,15, from Khayelitsha.

Anelisa came to the college, which is in Claremont, for the first time when she was 13. Her mom, a domestic worker, had discovered the college online and decided to let Anelisa visit for a day.

“I didn’t even know I was going to the College of Magic until we got there,” Anelisa said of the visit.

After just the one visit, she was smitten with the college and with magic. Her mom enrolled her and for the next five years she travelled by bus to Claremont, every Saturday, and sometimes more frequently, to learn the art of showmanship, illusion and slight of hand.

The shy teen’s confidence quickly grew and soon she was a seasoned and professional artist with good friends among her magical peers and a preference for close-up magic – especially with coins.

And now the magic is affording her the opportunity to go abroad but none of the coin magic Anelisa has learned can help her to conjure the R70 000 for the Las Vegas trip. So the college, which is the only one of its kind in the country, is assisting the pair with fundraising. For every R2 000 that is donated, they will perform a charity show in the donor’s name. Anelisa says that they have already performed several such shows, mostly for children’s homes.

For details, to donate or to book a show, call 021 683 5480 or email info@collegeofmagic.com

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