Kgabalatsane is the place to be. Exciting drivers, bursting tyres, seven 20 flips, four 50 monkey flips, 360, tokoloshe, to name but a few of the tricks and awesome skills and tactics that will be on display.
Twisting and turning cars is called “spinning,” and it’s a motorsport that has taken South Africa’s townships by storm. On the 1st of August 2015 the crowds will be flocking to Kgabalatsane village in Madibeng for an event boasting mainly BMWs known as ‘Gusheshes and Botsotsos.’The public is invited to come and witness the event. The gates will be opened at 11am, the entrance fee is R50 per person, R30 for kids under the age of 12 and R30 for a cooler box. The makeshift pitches in vacant lots will be used to accommodate spectators as they watch dapper young men raise massive clouds of smoke and hanging out the sides of their BMW 325is. In the 1980s, a thriving gangster culture gave rise to spinning motor vehicles at funerals, where it became a ritual to steal a car and spin it around in honour of the fallen. Then, during the early 90s, when the country looked almost certainly doomed to racial civil war, some youngsters in the country got together and decided to turn this into a recognised sport.
They didn’t know what exactly they were doing (stunts, drag racing, whatever), but it all centred on the BMW 325i, the so-called box shape or gusheshe. It grew from there, and these days it’s on the brink of being a certified official motorsport, having already advanced to a profitable industry with a network of promoters, spinners, and crowds. David ‘Papa D’ and Ashly ‘MaAsh’ are amongst those who will be entertaining the crowds at Kgabalatsane where paramedics, marshals, security personnel and people distributing water will also be available during the event. “We tried some funny tricks, like drag racing and stunts. And that’s how the whole thing developed. People have different perspectives in terms of spinning. People say it’s very dangerous but almost every sport is dangerous.” “Some people say we waste money on tyres and petrol, I do believe that you need to spend to make money. What I would say to them is, if you’re watching it, it looks dangerous. But in the car, it’s different. You just have to be 100 percent sober-minded.” said MaAsh.
Papa D added that their aim is to build a homeground for the spinners so that they can offer training around Madibeng. “We are changing the mindset of the people so that they can be entertained by what we do.” “We have agreed that there won’t be any weapons, no glass bottles and only cans allowed. There will be people at the entrance to conduct body search to ensure that no dangerous weapons are allowed to enter the area.” “We have prepared about twenty cars to spin and our drivers are all professionals. No drivers are allowed to drink alcohol while driving. By so doing, we avoid the issue of accidents. Our ring is secure and safe for the crowd.” said Papa D. The sponsors are VK’s Spares, Brits Auto Body, Polyzila and CdS Customs. The organisers also urged the Local Municipality of Madibeng to consider their sport. They need a safer place where they can spin their cars without any disturbance.