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Sunday, February 27, 2011


Kenyan acrobats steal the show
Riyan Ramanath V, TNN, Feb 26, 2011
BALANGIR: They are skilled acrobats, but there's little scope for them to display their skills back home.
So they have come all the way from Kenya to eke out a living in Balangir by joining an Indian circus. They get about `300 a day and have to work in three shows daily. Though they have to stay in small tents under unhygienic conditions, they are not complaining as they have a family to maintain back home. And anyway, till their contract is on, they don't have much choice but to compromise on their living standard. Their shows have already drawn huge crowds in three cities in India.
Ronald Onzere, one of the acrobats, said there's no circus in Kenya and that his acrobatic skills would have gone waste had he not joined the circus here. "In India, circus is very popular. In our country, nobody appreciates circus. I joined an Indian circus only for this reason. But what I earn is really little and the entire sum goes into my living," said Ronald. He added that he took up the offer despite the poor pay because he and his team wanted to garner enough experience to set up their own circus in Kenya. Ronald has two sons and a daughter.
He felt the demand for circus in India is high but the standard is poor. "The hygienic conditions are not up to the mark. People have little regard for the environment. Besides, there's a lot of malnutrition here," he observed.

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