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Clowns Without Borders Delivers Laughs With Purpose

Using humanitarian clowning, Clowns Without Borders aims to bring psychological relief to South African communities through laughter.

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Deep in the hilly hinterland of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, members of Clowns Without Borders South Africa, Sibusiso “Fish” Dlamini, Sibusiso “Benini” Khambule, Bongekile “Sister Boss” Mabuyo and Annabel “Banana” Morgan take to their makeshift stage among the cattle, sheep and pigs of the rural community schools near King Williams Town, to use the method of humanitarian clowning to bring an important message to schoolchildren and local community members.

KIM LUDBROOK / EPA
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Experienced humanitarian clown Sibusiso “Benini” Khambule has worked in other fields of clowning but says that doing the humanitarian work really resonates with him. Under a hot summer sun, he entertains the crowd during a show near King Williams Town on March 2.

KIM LUDBROOK / EPA
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Annabel “Banana” Morgan peeks out from a washing bag backstage while Sibusiso “Benini” Khambule and Bongekile “Sister Boss” Mabuyo prepare for next act of their show at the Dubu community hall near King Williams Town on March 2. Funded by the National Arts Council of South Africa, and working with partners Sinovuyo Teen Program (Oxford University) and Hope Soap, the clowns aim to bring emotional and psychological relief to communities through laughter and play.

KIM LUDBROOK / EPA
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Clowns Banana and Fish hold a young school girl aloft during their show on March 2. Clowns Without Borders South Africa also aims to help educate people about the importance of saving water, as water resources in South Africa face a serious shortage and the worst drought in three decades.

KIM LUDBROOK / EPA
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Banana plays with children outside the Dubu Community Hall prior to a show by the Clowns Without Borders South Africa near King Williams Town, March 2.

KIM LUDBROOK / EPA
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Banana blows bubbles while school children try to catch them prior to the start of a show at a school near King Williams Town, South Africa, March 1. The clowns incorporate basic hygiene and the importance of using soap in their shows.

KIM LUDBROOK / EPA
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Fish, Banana, Benini and Sister Boss perform in front of school children near King Williams Town, South Africa, March 1.

KIM LUDBROOK / EPA
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School children laugh during a show by the Clowns Without Borders South Africa at a school near King Williams Town, South Africa, March 1. The children and community members are entertained by their energy, but the clowns hope their messages of saving water and good hygiene stay with them after the smiles have faded.

KIM LUDBROOK / EPA
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Clown and musician Sibusiso “China” Khoza says goodbye to the children of the Dubu community after their show on March 1.

KIM LUDBROOK / EPA
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