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HENDRIK AT NOT FESTIVAL (article first published : 2002-05-17)

Popular children’s performer Hendrik Baird will present his new children’s show at the forthcoming Not the Grahamstown Festival.

Hendrik arrived in Durban almost three years ago and has managed to establish himself as a successful entertainer of children. After obtaining his BA (Hons) Drama degree from the University of Pretoria in 1988, he was employed as a full time actor at the old Performing Arts Council of the Orange Free State in Bloemfontein. Three years (and about 50 plays) later, Hendrik decided to join the team at the newly built Mmabana Cultural Centre in rural Taung in the Northwest.

At the Mmabana, Hendrik was responsible for managing the drama unit, which not only taught drama to around 500 schoolchildren per year, but also produced and hosted plays, competitions and ran apprenticeship programmes. It was during the eight years here that he initiated and managed the North West Cultural Calabash Arts Festival, sponsored by Transnet. This developmental festival grew from a modest one-day event to the proud provincial showcase it has become today.

Hendrik has always been interested in performance and from an early age he started studying the art of magic which prompted him to take further studies in drama. However, being busy on stage all day or managing a huge drama programme or organization left no or little time for magic. When he suddenly found himself unemployed in Durban in 2000, he decided to turn his focus towards making performing for children his full time occupation.

Using magical props and the stage name of Magic Man Hendini, Hendrik soon started appearing successfully at children’s parties, pre-schools and primary schools. He has regularly performed at the old Animal Farm. Apart from local performances, his shows have also been available in Pretoria, which he visits often. He regularly performs at the annual KKNK festival in Oudtshoorn and often travels to festivals and events around the country.

One of his special passions is entertaining children in crisis and he often performs in hospitals and children’s homes. His laughter therapy is just what the doctored ordered. Working in conjunction with amongst others the Cordis Trust and Reach for a Dream, Hendrik hopes to touch the lives of many more children in need.

To catch his newest show Magic Man Hendini’s Fantabulous Cheat-O-Rama, visit the Not the Grahamstown Festival at Durban High School at the end of the month. There are two performances: June 22 at 10h00 and June 23 June at 16h00. For bookings, contact the festival organisers or book at Computicket.

For more information about the show, call Hendrik on 083 698-7998 or 031 261-5686.




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