Twisting and turning cars is called “spinning,” and it’s a motorsport that has taken South Africa’s townships by storm. 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 are to be displayed. 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. Places such as Bapong, Kgabalatsane, Majakaneng and Hebron in Madibeng are where mostly the spinning sports is played.
One would think that the game is dangerous but according to those playing it, they say it is safe and easy to play. They try some funny tricks, like drag racing and stunts. People have different perspectives in terms of spinning. People say it’s very dangerous but almost every sport is dangerous. Some people say they waste money on tyres and petrol. A reality is that you need to spend to make money. The hilarious part is that when you are watching it, it looks dangerous. But in the car, it’s different. You just have to be 100 percent sober-minded to complete your mission. Their aim is to build a homeground for the spinners so that they can offer training around Madibeng. The sport is changing the mindset of the people so that they can be entertained by what is done which is a complete different thing to playing soccer or other activity. No drivers are allowed to drink alcohol while driving. By so doing, they avoid the issue of accidents. The ring is secure and safe for the crowd. The organisers are asking for assistance from the Local Municipality of Madibeng and request that the municipality should consider their sport. They need a safer place where they can spin their cars without any disturbance.