EL majorettes crowned two-time world champs

REPRESENTING THE NATION: East London majorettes, from left, Onwabe Mbanjwa, Ilke de Lange and Khanya Simelane celebrate receiving their SA blazers for majorettes in Croatia last week. Picture: SUPPLIED.

Three East London majorettes recently traveled to Croatia to represent the country the country and returned with excellent results.

Onwabe Mbanjwa, Ilke de Lange, and Khanya Simelane participated in the MWF World Championships 2023 this past weekend.

Simelane is now a two-time world champion and came first in both the large group mace and the small drill.

Mbanjwa is also a two-time world champion and received first place in the mini mace formation and the small drill.

She also made sixth place in the baton and fifth place in non-prop.

De Lange came first in the large group mace and a small drill, sixth in the baton, and fifth place in non-prop.

Simelane said she hoped to encourage other majorettes to achieve their goals, too.

“Getting the best results means so much to us and it is indeed a great reflection of how hard we’ve worked.

“The judging process was really different compared to what we’re used to in our provinces but we managed to tick all the boxes.

“Making friends and being able to meet people from all over the world was such an exciting experience.

“My aim is to encourage more girls into joining this sport as well as to embrace the uniqueness of it because drummies can take you anywhere,” Simelane said.

De Lange said the experience taught her to work even harder to make her dreams come true.

“It’s been an amazing experience and I enjoyed the process of working for these results. The judges look at many different aspects, like what your feet do, the prop work, the theme and many more.

“The easiest part for me was performing my best because I was able to enjoy it and just have fun. The hardest part was dealing with the stress of getting back our results as well as the long practices.

“This whole experience has taught me that rewards need hard work and that will contribute to my majorette career. I hope that I can attend another tour representing SA in the years to come,” she said.

Mbanjwa said she enjoyed the opportunity to showcase her talent and meet other majorettes from around the world.

“I am blessed to have had this opportunity to compete in Croatia and to represent SA.

“I was worried I would make a mistake or forget a movement, but I believed all my hard work would pay off and the love and support from our coaches and team pushed those fears away.

“The easiest part was the performing the hardest part would be the placing.  We were able to meet a lot of other teams from across the world.

“We made new friends and within team SA, we formed a strong sisterhood bond.

“I am excited to share my new skills with the Eastern Cape teams and to try to help majorettes grow.  My dream is to achieve my senior SAMCA and SA colours so that I can be part of the team representing SA at the World Champs in Cape Town in 2024,” Mbanjwa said.

The girls are part of the Eastern Cape Majorette & Cheerleading Association (ECMCA), which is affiliated with the SA Majorettes & Cheerleading Association (SAMCA), the organisation that facilitated the trip to Croatia for all the girls.

ECMCA chair Eleanore de Kock said this was a great achievement for the advancement of majorettes in the country.

“This is an incredible accolade for the Eastern Cape.

“Currently, we have five Protea blazers in our province, and this is an inspiration to further develop our sport in years to come. We are excited for the future of majorettes and cheerleading in the Eastern Cape and will continue to strive to develop the skills and passion. Majorettes is a sport of skill, precision and determination, and we look forward to seeing the Eastern Cape prosper.

SA will be hosting the World Championships in Cape Town in October next year, which we look forward to with great anticipation,” De Kock said.


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