In one fell swoop, two of Cape Town’s top magicians, Stuart Lightbody and Olwethu Dyantyi took top honours at the 2015 South African Magic Championships, held at GrandWest from Friday 9 to Sunday 11 October, 2015!

Going wand to wand against dozens of their nationwide competitors, Lightbody (31) and Dyantyi (21) impressed judges and delegates alike with their captivating acts, claiming first place in the Close-up Magic and Stage Magic contests respectively. Dyantyi also clinched the coveted Grand Prix title, a prize awarded to the magical competitor who scores 85% and above for their acts.

Hosted by the College of Magic, the Mother City’s only magical arts organisation, the 2015 South African Magic Championships is a triennial event held to select the best magician nationwide. This year’s activities saw GrandWest transformed into the ultimate magic convention venue with series of exhilarating contests, demonstrations, panel discussions, gala magic shows and more.

This 2015 victory marks the second time Lightbody, a Claremont resident, has claimed the SA Magic Champion title since 2005. With several international accolades, including Weekly Best of Fest Award at the Adelaide Fringe Festival and the Creative Award at the Prague Fringe Festival beneath his wand too, the psychological illusionist is elated with his latest triumph:

“I’m in awe of the international and local magicians I was able to compete with and learn from this weekend. To walk away with the Close-Up Champion title for a second time is an unbelievable honour! Thanks to everyone who helped me share the wonder of magic.”

Likewise, rising magical star Dyantyi has been floating on air since his double win. Having just returned from performing at a festival in Beijing, snagging the 2015 Stage Magic Champion and Grand Prix titles are a dream come true for the township youth.

“I am speechless with awe at receiving these honours! It’s incredibly satisfying knowing that all of my hard work and practice has paid off and was so well received by the judges”, says the Khayelitsha wizard about his fantastic accomplishments.

The dazzling duo proudly accepted their awards, alongside fellow competition winners Colin Underwood and Chris Gore in the Children’s Magic category; Anelisa Ntlonti and Aaron Simon in the Junior Close-Up category, Anele Dyasi and Colin Underwood in the Open Close-Up category; Sonwabile Mekuto and Caitlin Hutchison in the Junior Stage Category and Mawonga Gayiya and Luzuko Bedi in the Open Stage Category.

Both Lightbody and Dyantyi are graduates of the College of Magic, the only organisation of its kind in the world, which celebrates 35 years of teaching magic and its allied arts to children and adults in 2015.

“We’ve had an incredible weekend of magic at GrandWest and to see two of our star graduates crowned as winners of the 2015 South African Magic Championships has made this celebration of our 35thanniversary extra special! ”, says David Gore, director of the College of Magic.