The “Billy Elliot” of the Cape Flats is spreading his wings and flying.
Today Hanover Park dancer Faahkir Bestman is jetting off to the USA where he will be dancing at the American Academy of Ballet Summer School for the next two weeks.
The 10-year-old, who hopes to “dance for the Queen of England”, earned his spot at the larney school early this year.
Besides this, the little boy was also recently awarded the Christopher Kindo bursary to pay his tuition if he’s accepted at the National School of the Arts in Johannesburg.
Faahkir’s dance teacher Abeedah Madell says they haven’t even started their application for the prestigious school yet.
Instead of enjoying his school holidays, Faahkir was locked in the dance studio at the Joseph Stone Auditorium in Athlone, hard at work perfecting his steps.
He tells the Daily Voice: “I feel excited about leaving and I am looking forward to meeting new friends.
“I am not really nervous about anything,” he adds in a whisper.
Abeedah, who is accompanying him, says the most stressful thing was getting Faahkir’s visa.
“We got it at the last minute,” she says.
“He’s been practising really hard and I know he’s going to do well. He must just have lots of fun.”
Abeedah says she got a call from local actress, director and youth activist Natalia da Rocha about the bursary.
“She offered him the Christopher Kindo scholarship and I just burst into tears. We didn’t know about this until I received the call.
“Natalia said she read about Faahkir’s story and she thought he should get the scholarship because [his and Kindo’s] stories are so similar,” she says.
The late Christopher Kindo was the founder of Jazzart, a local contemporary dance company.
He studied at the University of Cape Town Ballet School where he was the only person of colour in the 70s.
Faahkir is the first recipient of the scholarship.
Natalia says she was inspired by the young ballet dancer’s story after reading his story in the media.
“This scholarship will come into effect when he enters Grade 8,” she says.