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Being bold: Dancer, Xola Phakane shows his fierceness for the camera.                                   Photo: Olwethu Boso

Lights! Camera! Action! This is the life Wits first year student Xola Phakane has become accustomed to as a professional dancer and make-up artist.

The twenty year old studying towards a BA (Music) degree, hails from Meadowlands Zone 6, Soweto, exudes sass and has an energetic aura to him.

Growing up his mother didn’t want him to pursuit dancing but his persistance saw him grow as a professional dancer to working with the likes of one of South Africa’s most talented choreographers and entertainers, Somizi Mhlongo.

Xola, or rather Sasha as he prefers to be called on stage, had his first professional dancing gig at the 2010 Soccer World Cup opening ceremony stage, where, as a child from the streets of Meadowlands, he met the likes of R Kelly and other celebrities he’d only ever seen on television but never dreamt he could ever share a stage with. Last year, Phakane toured the country as a dancer with gospel group Joyous Celebration.

Phakane says he is inspired the most by his people, gay people, and the LGBTI community as a whole because “these are people who’ve struggled to find themselves in society and to be accepted. We all fight for acceptance.”