Sunday, February 16, 2014

South African capoeiristas visit UK for 13th annual Batizado!

 Now well into the new year we thought it was high time to reflect on the Trust's activities of 2013! The culmination of which was the visit from three capoieristas from the South African groups to the UK for the annual Batizado (capoeira grading ceremony and workshops) in December. Oxford and London capoeiristas welcomed the three friends from South Africa: Beija Flor, from Hamburg and Zumbi (from Hamburg but now in Cape Town) who brought new student Mandibula from the Abolicao Cape Town group he has developed and led while at university there.

 The Batizado weekend kicked off with a high-energy workshop given by Mestre Biscuim at Abolicao Synergy in London. The synergy crew then headed up to join the rest of Abolicao in Oxford for a great acrobatic workshop with Mestre Israel. On Saturday morning we had a workshop by Professor Cobra where we learnt some unusual new take-downs, followed by the Troca de Cordas. Saturday nights’ party went off in fine Brazilian style, with a forro class beforehand, and an extra special ‘zumba-Bahia’ lesson from CM Negao! More capoeira followed on Sunday for everyone to polish off their skills.

 However – no rest for our visiting capoeiristas, as they had another two weeks of training, visiting and learning ahead.
Zumbi and Mandibula spent time with both groups and visited several other capoeira clubs, culminating in a workshop given by Zumbi to show the London group some new moves. A great learning experience, the wealth of which they will share with their capoeira community back home.

This exchange was a great example of what the Abolicao trust can inspire – Zumbi has moved to Cape Town to study, and has now set up a successful new Abolicao group. Zumbi and Mandibula were successful in raising their travel funds independently, setting up a givengain website and petitioning for funds from their university. 

The Trust also supported with Batizado and living expenses while in the UK, and organised accommodation and activities during their stay. 

Zumbi says:
"Great! Three capoeiristas from South Africa attending UK Batizado. Best hospitality and support ever we've got from members of Abolicao. Relations between Abolicao Trust and Cape Peninsula University of Technology. We couldn't attend the funeral of our icon leader Nelson Mandela but Abolicao was there to comfort us."

A huge thanks goes to the many people in the UK groups who took the time to welcome the visiting capoeiristas and make them feel at home. What a wonderful international Capoeira community!