Spinning often gets a bad rep, but a new award-winning TV series about the motorsport and how it’s done on the Cape Flats will have you seeing it in a new light.
The new Showmax series Spinners is making its debut today and promises to have petrolkoppe glued to their screens.
The series was shot in Lavender Hill, and spinning co-ordinator Yaseen Damon says there is more to this motorsport than meets the eye.
Damon reckons: “Back in the day, spinning was seen as a hooligan sport. Spinning has evolved a lot since back in the day. It was never recognised as a legal sport and today its growing rapidly as a motorsport in South Africa.”
Damon was originally roped in to provide cars for filming and then later, producers asked him and his tjommies to do the spinning themselves.
Spinners follows the life of Ethan, a 17-year-old petrolkop who grows up on the gang-riddled and crime-stricken Cape Flats.
Cantona James, who plays the role of Ethan, says the spinning aspect of the film was an adventure.
Ethan is used as a driver for a local gang, but his passion for driving leads to him meeting a group of spinners, and also his love interest, Amber, played by Chelsea Thomas.
A co-production between Showmax and CANAL+, Spinners became the first African series selected in competition at the prestigious French film awards, Canneseries.
It won three awards at Dakar Series, including best TV series; and received standing ovations in Paris and at its sold-out South African premiere at Silwerskerm.
The film was praised by the local motorsport industry, including Cape Town legend DJ Ready D, who makes a cameo appearance and was responsible for the musical score.
Ready D says: “I was approached by [series creator] Ben Hoffman and his team.
“Ben spent time in South Africa doing research for this film, so he was aware of who the people were in the culture and he approached me to get on board... to supervise the music.”
Ready D, who also has a huge influence on the Cape Town spinning scene, says he is happy to be part of a series that challenges the stereotypical views of communities on the Cape Flats.
He explains local spinning culture began in Johannesburg and spilled over to Cape Town, saying: “Back in the day in Johannesburg, when a gang member passed away, guys from Soweto and other areas up north would spin their cars at these gangsters’ funerals and that’s how it became popular.
“Others then took it to the next level where drivers would incorporate stunts, the driver would jump out of the car as it was spinning in circles, jump on the roof, jump on the bonnet, go through the window and do all these crazy stunts.”