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Contortionist Mpeoane Seaja: Twisting dreams into reality


Pheello Mosesi

Mpeoane Eliza Seaja, a 21-year-old body contortionist from Khanyane in Leribe, is among the few Basotho who have ventured into the unique art of body contortion.

Embracing the challenge, Seaja says she is relishing every moment of her journey.

“What I do is called body contortion; it is an acrobatic skill that involves extreme flexibility and strength. It involves bending, twisting, and contorting the body into extreme positions, such as folding the body into a small box or twisting the torso 180 degrees. It is also known as contortionism,” Seaja explained.

Her journey began during the COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020.

“I started back in 2020. I was a big fan of a movie titled The Greatest Dancer. In particular, there was this one character called Eva Igo who was so flexible. I was so fascinated and inspired to try this,” said Seaja.

Despite her impressive skills, Seaja considers herself at an intermediate level. “I am still eyeing to go places,” she said.

Now signed with the modeling agency Sotho Kids, Seaja is no stranger to the arts, having previously been a model, rapper, and poet. Though her passion for rap and modeling has waned, she still dreams of pursuing poetry alongside contortionism.

Joining Sotho Kids has been a pivotal step in her growth.

“Beyond finding the agency appealing, joining a team of devoted members like that of Sotho Kids will contribute to my growth. I also procrastinate a lot when I am not correctly motivated,” she noted.

Reflecting on her past as a rapper performing under the stage name Rainha, Seaja laughed.

“I don’t know how I could describe how my rapping career was, but I do believe that if I stuck with it, I would be a little further since I got to show face and give performances on a few occasions,” she said.

Seaja acknowledged the physical risks associated with contortionism. “This thing is very dangerous. It is very challenging to keep leveling up with the flexibility. The journey’s cost for me has been having my arms broken, dislocated kneecap, constant arthritis injuries, and a lot more,” she explained.

However, since joining Sotho Kids, she has found relief and support, training with a partner, 19-year-old Nthabiseng Ralebese from Ha Matala in Maseru.

“It has been so much fun, especially now that I have a partner,” she added with excitement. “I enjoy performances and rehearsals a lot more now. I have found someone who pushes me to be who I aim to be.”

Seaja advised those interested in contortionism to be prepared for a challenging yet rewarding journey. “It only takes a single step to start, a brave mind for someone to try, and a strong mind for one to reach the life of their dreams,” she exclaimed.

Looking to the future with positivity and excitement, Seaja declared: “Not long from now, I will be performing on bigger stages, swimming with the big sharks of this game. My biggest wish is to meet Eva Igo and thank her personally for her inspiration.”

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