View Full Version : Spinning Round and Round we go in Jo'burg and Soweto

5th November 2011, 06:00 PM
For Joburg's yummy mummies spinning refers to donning a lycra outfit and sweating it out on stationary bikes in a gym. But for the youth of Soweto, it is much more dare-devil.

In Soweto, it refers to drag racing, specifically the act of spinning a car in circles, usually surrounded by screaming onlookers.

Spinners make a name for themselves by doing tricks, the most impressive being getting out of the car and walking around it while it continues to spin, smoke rising from its tyres.

Despite the danger of watching cars spin from a very close distance, it is attracting an increasing number of spectators

A quick look at videos on YouTube, and you will see that Soweto's spinning trend is only gaining traction.

In fact, with events popping up such as WesBank Street Race and Spinning Legal in Soweto, it is becoming less of a rebellious hobby performed by teenagers with nothing better to do and more of a sport.


Despite the danger of watching cars spin from a very close distance, it is attracting an increasing number of spectators.

Some of the spinners who take part in the events are attempting to give spinning a better name.

They want it to be viewed as a serious skill as opposed to an illegal hobby that started at the funerals of thieves and gangsters.

Pule Motloung, a film-maker and avid spinner from Soweto, has made a documentary on spinning in an attempt to drive the sport away from its criminal connotations.

"You can be ambassadors for your community by just taking this thing and revamping it and making it a positive thing," Motloung told local newspaper The New Age.

Spinners are hoping that younger members of the community will see the sport as an escape from life on the streets, giving them something to focus on that is not illegal.


But there are sceptics.

"I'm not sure that will work. Those spinners are still bad guys," says one Soweto resident.

One thing is for sure, the spinners have their work cut out for them if they want to take this pastime from illegal to inspirational.