Vantura Into The Future – With Kiahra Vantura
Warren Lucas, 23 June 2021
As a kid growing up in Mitchells Plain, Kiahra Vantura used to struggle with her weight – but he knew that she had a fire burning within, a passion for movement and sport. And it’s that fire that led her to become a dancer, a gymnast and a sports scientist…and a true fitness fanatic.
During her school years, she was passionate about sports and used to display this zest for movement during physical education classes. And then in grade 6, Kiahra learned of some gymnastic skills being displayed by a classmate during break – and when she saw these skills on the playground, she was enraptured. Suddenly PE only taking place one day per week wasn’t enough for her; and this is when she embarked on her journey to becoming a gymnast.
Kiahra joined Cedar Gymnastics Club at the age of 11 years old, looking for gymnastics classes led by a qualified coach that could make her dream become a reality – and she hasn’t looked back since. Now the twenty-year-old sports enthusiast participates in High Performance Acrobatic Gymnastics with the Cape Town Gymnastics Association and has represented both the District of Cape Town and the Western Cape Province since 2016.
In addition to gymnastics, Vantura loves to dance – and dance loves her, too. She’s able to pick up choreography and movements through rhythmic interpretation, which makes for an achieving all-round dancer. Specifically, Kiahra specializes in contemporary and hip-hop dance genres. Currently, Kiarha is the the head choreographer of the Cedar Entertainment Senior Hip Hop crew and the Co-choreographer (alongside Riyaanah Dirks) of the Senior Contemporary crew. Kiarha is an avid soloist and duet contemporary dancer, and has been showcasing her dance talent by performing on stage since 2012.
She’s also a Personal Trainer at Body20 Studio, where electro-muscular stimulation is used to aid fitness and wellness goals of clients. And that’s not all, Vantura also debuted as a fitness model in 2019 and has been featured in two televised music videos.
And she’s even found time to study as well – in (what else?) Human Movement Sciences. Kiahra began her academic career by registering for a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Science at the University of the Western Cape in 2019.
Kiarha expresses that participation in sport means everything to her. She loves sport in SA and believes that this is a mostly untapped market – especially for South African Gymnastics.
“Gymnastics is an extremely high-level sport that doesn’t get nearly enough recognition and support. More marketing of the sport and the piloting of development programmes at district, provincial and national levels will help more people become aware of this masterpiece of a sport. There is so much to be discovered and exposed to the world.”
Kihra Vantura’s Big Adventure
While Vantura’s career is just beginning, she has big dreams. She sees herself learning from the best sports physicians, researchers, physiotherapists, federations, coaches, clubs and facilities. She hopes to work with some amazing brands to gain experience and wisdom in every step of her journey. This is incredibly important as she hopes to make a difference in the lives of athletes and special populations through the discipline of Biokinetics.
“We are what we say we are,” she says. “If our minds and hearts can believe it, then our bodies can achieve it.”
She’s also planning on continuing her academic studies: currently in her 3rd year of undergrad studies, Kiahra hopes to apply for her BSc Medicine Honours in Biokinetics when she graduates. She encourages the pursuit of academic attainment, regardless of your age or place you find yourself in life.
“Realistically, I recommend that you study when you are most ready. It is not written in stone that you have to study immediately after matric and it is not a sin to study later in life. If you want it, go for it. You can do it.”
Without sport, Kiahra expresses that she would indeed be lost.
“Sport has given me a home in Cedar Gymnastics Club, and the people there are equivalent to family – and that is something entirely apart from any medal or trophy that anyone could ever give me. My coaches have motivated me to keep going when I felt like giving up. They remind me that I am enough. I am strong and I can do absolutely anything that I put my mind to. I have overcome so many obstacles that I thought were impossible at first. Sport has changed my dreams to visions and my thoughts to goals. It changed my whole life.”
Her advice for the youth this Youth Month? Dream bigger.
“The best advice that I can give the youth who aspire to follow in my footsteps is this: overtake me,” she says. “Aim to overtake everyone ahead of you. Take your portion and learn from my journey that which is meant to help you in creating your own. Seek that which is inside you and let it out, be unashamed, be weird, be different and walk a path that no one has walked before, for you do not walk alone.”