After being a runner-up for four years, Ronnie has finally raised the Red Bull BC One trophy. His trip to the final round was not an easy one as the elimination round format pushed each of the 16 B-Boys to the limit. He battled B-Boying giants such as defending champion Hong 10, from South Korea and Roxrite, a fellow American, in a gripping final battle.
Roxrite took to the floor first, bringing his signature moves and battle strategy to the mat. Ronnie replied with his technical style, taunting Roxrite and showing his own signature moves in response. Roxrite was a tough competitor but in the end, it was Ronnie who mastered his technique and showed his original style
Rakaa, who is part of the independent Hip Hop group Dilated Peoples, opened the Red Bull BC One final with his unique Hip Hop style and had the 1200-strong crowd roaring as he introduced the judges and dancers. On stage, one could feel the anticipation and Rakaa was all too happy to give them what they wanted, a unique experience with the new-age icons of B-Boying while DJ Renegade, the backbone of the event, provided the B-Boys with the tracks they needed to perform at their ultimate level.
The side acts kept the momentum going and added an African flair to the event with Red Zebra blessing the opening of the event with a traditional Zulu prayer cry and then breaking into a full scale African drum act that set the tone.
Cyber, another local talent, was on hand to amaze the crowd with his "mouth percussion" as his beat-box routine had the crowd in disbelief. Cyber is making his mark on the Hip Hop scene as perhaps one of the best beat-boxers in the country.
France's Salah was in a class of his own as he morphed his body from one move to the next. His pop and lock routine sometimes bordered on the impossible. It is a huge honour to have had him in South Africa and after seeing his act, one understands why he is considered one of the best.
The B-Boys were all on top form and the hours of practising finally paid off for one B-B-Bboy. When it got down to the contest, Ronnie took on battle after battle, maintaining his strength and enthusiasm and was crowned Red Bull BC One champion. He gained victory by taking on each B-Boy with force and confidence. He had the crowd in the palm of his hand and showed the judges just why he is considered one of the world's best.
After winning his title, Ronnie was joined on stage by his fellow B-Boys who all showed their support for him. Even after eliminating them one-by-one, Ronnie had a huge fan base in his fellow competitors.
Linked directly to the discovery of Gold in 1885, the township of Soweto was established, following the settlement of thousands of migrant workers, in search of work and possible fortune. The city of Johannesburg or 'Egoli' – The City of Gold - as it is known, mushroomed in four short years and Soweto became 'home' to the majority black population who provided the labour needed to meet the demands in this fast growing gold mining industry.
In the 1930's the demand for housing grew, which led to James Mpanza, known as the "Father of Soweto" orchestrating the first land invasion of some 20,000 squatters near the area of Orlando. During this period the Orlando Power Station was being built with the purpose of producing power for the more affluent metropolitan area of Johannesburg. Due to the racial segregation enforced by the apartheid regime the power station only generated electricity for the minority white population in the north, but not for the black majority, residing in its shadow in the South – Soweto.
The imposing 24 000m² plant was closed in the latter part of the apartheid era due to it being too expensive to run, but now has been given a new purpose. The structure has never been used as a location for an event of this nature and will never be used again, due to the proposed redevelopment of this landmark into a multi-purpose retail, business and residential space. The democratic change in South Africa has led to this iconic space being given back to the people of the Soweto region.
The name Soweto was derived from the first two letters of South Western Township which was the original description of the area. Presently Soweto is the largest township in South Africa, boasting an astounding 52 zone district with a population almost 900.000 and remains a symbol of transformation, which still openly bears the scars of the Apartheid past and yet shows what's possible in the New South Africa.