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Issue 07 | Free
Managing Director Usama Ahmed Executive Editor Augustine Rutasingwa Contributing Writers Ayman Babiker / Augustine Rutasingwa / Jaime Prins / Jason Martin / Sandy Alibo / Contributing Photographers Mohamed Mtamike / Augustine Rutasingwa / Hamis Muksin / Twalib Seif / Daniel Reiter / Andrew Munuwa / Ralphie / Jason Martin / Christopher Gelderbloem / Element Brand Europe / The views and opinions expressed in editorial and advertisements within Africa Skateboarding Diary do not necessary reflect the opinions of Africa Skateboarding Diary nor any of its associates. Africa Skateboarding Diary welcome all letters, e-mails, and photos. We will review all the contributions and assess whether it or not it can be used as print or online content. Everything contained within is copyrighted Africa Skateboarding Diary. No material may be reproduced without written permission.
GYST IN SOUTH AFRICA
GYST IN SOUTH AFRICA
Written By Jaime Prins / Photos By Ralphie GYST makes skateboarding accessible in Africa for kids who don’t have that possibility. We collect used skateboards so we can give them a second life in less fortunate areas throughout Africa. The past six months, we’ve collected nearly 100 skateboards in the Netherlands. People could send us their used skateboards or they could leave them at a local skatestore. Besides that, we’ve got a lot of support from skatestores and distributors who donated new equipment for South Africa.
It all started with an idea and, within a half year time, we realized our first project. For our first project, we planned a trip through South Africa: From Cape Town to Johannesburg, stopping at widely varying locations.
Besides giving away the collected skateboards, the goal of our trip was to film a documentary where we can picture the daily challenges and dangers that the local youth has to cope with. We want to illustrate how skateboarding has a positive impact on their lives, so we can increase awareness, gain support and eventually work on multiple projects throughout Africa. The documentary will be displayed on the SCENECS International Film Festival in Hilversum, The Netherlands. In the preparation of our trip, we reached out to local organizations who could help us in the preparations and the execution. Our partners are passionate skaters from organizations that work hard to take care of their community and they use skateboarding as a way to engage and let the youth escape from the daily challenges and dangers.
OUR PARTNERS ARE PASSIONATE SKATERS FROM ORGANIZATIONS THAT WORK HARD TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR COMMUNITIES. 06//AFRICASKATEBOARDINGDIARY.COM
ape Town is a touristic town with attractions like the Table Mountain and the Lions Head. In the center, you will only catch a glimpse of the enormous poverty that surrounds the entire city. Cape Town knows multiple townships like Khayelitsha, Valhalla and Mitchells Plain. Khayelitsha is the biggest township with 1,5 million people living there in mostly self-made shacks. The townships are one of the remainings of the apartheid, which only ended in the ’90’s. In Cape Town we worked together with Sean van Rooyen who is from Skate-Aid. Sean and Skate-Aid are working hard on enabling skateboarding for kids in less fortunate areas in Cape Town and all around the world
They do that by building skateparks on remote locations and by collecting used gear. This all with the main purpose to give these kids a stable social environment and strong, lasting, friendships. Together with Sean, we visited a childshome in the middle of Khayelitsha. Skate-Aid placed multiple skate-obstacles there and there were about 10 damaged skateboards that the kids had to share.
We all had a great day of skating and GYST donated 30 skateboards so more kids can skate at the same time. The interesting thing of this place was that it was surrounded by fences and there was a security guard at the gate. At this area, kids don’t have to fear the dangers in their surroundings. Skateboarding helps them to have a goal in life, to grow and to have friendships that are based on a mutual interest.
SKATEBOARDING HELPS THEM TO HAVE A GOAL IN LIFE
GYST IN SOUTH AFRICA
GYST IN SOUTH AFRICA The young kids who just started had their own section in the contest, so they could put their practice into action and experience how it is to be in the spotlights with something they love to do. After that, they got inspired by the advanced skaters who skated an amazing contest as well. Valley of a thousand hills Only 50 kilometers outside of Durban, there is a remote skatepark in the middle of an area called ‘Valley of a thousand hills’. Dallas Oberholzer founded the Indigo Skatecamp right next to a Zulu village. About 35 kids come to this park to skate after school every day. Indigo has a unique way of adding education to their program.
They have daily themes where kids can focus on like trainings on (social) life skills and after school support. The experienced kids grow out to be coaches theirselves so they can support the community even better. GYST donated about 20 skateboards since Indigo mainly relies on donations.
Port Elizabeth This beach-resort on the Eastern Cape is a beautiful, westernized city where a lot of families spend their times. It’s perfect for watersports and it has a great skatepark that has only been built recently. Our partner in PE is Rieyaad Saban, founder of the King’s Beach Skateboarding crew. Rieyaad started this crew only to strengthen the skateboarding community and he does that by filming and by supplying in skateboards and clothing of his own KBS brand. 08//AFRICASKATEBOARDINGDIARY.COM
Rieyaad is considered as an involved coach, a motivator and a role-model for his crew. Together with the KBS crew, we donated 20 skateboards to kids from the Missionvale Care Center. These kids come from poor townships and many of them have lost their parents. For two days, we offered the kids support in skating and they had the times of their lives. On the second day, we organized a skateboarding contest at the skatepark.
Johannesburg Johannesburg is the biggest city of South Africa. It’s the city of richer classes and at the same time has the poorest citizens of South Africa. For that reason, the city is known for its criminality. The goal of visiting Johannesburg is to go out to the streets and experience the city life the same way as locals do. We hung out with two skate crews: ‘Veg Squad’ and ‘Skateboard Society Soweto’. Together, we went skateboarding, visited the most familiar skate-spots and we got an amazing image of the street-life and the tough challenges that come along. We visited the One Love skate facility in downtown Johannesburg. This organization occupied an empty building and made their own skatepark where kids can come to after school.
We got to skate the mindblowing spot, where danger literally lays on every corner. We also did our final donation because the skateboards that they had were really damaged. Conclusion A first project to never forget and where we believe we have made an impact in South-Africa.
The documentary will show what is really going on in countries like South Africa and it will definitely show the importancy of having the opportunity to skate. Check www.get-together. world/en for more information about us and our future projects. Follow GYST_Skateboarding on Instagram for daily updates and more information about the premiere at the SCENECS International Film Festival this May!
GYST IN SOUTH AFRICA
GYST IN SOUTH AFRICA
Written By Augustine Rutasingwa
February 2017 Africa Skateboarding Diary launched a movement to support local skateboarding communities across African countries through a prestigious event, ‘Flat Ground League’ whose purpose from the early beginning is to offer a world class renowned event to the unexposed African skateboarding communities. The idea was to host country wise games and a continental final in February/April 2018. The event took off in May 27th 2017 of which Abubakar Amour won in Tanzania, later in September 23rd and 30th respectively in Angola and Zambia; Mario Felipe and Innocent Sichande won the events. Later in event was cancelled after failed to happen in Uganda after being planned two times. This at some pointed affected the support that FGL had from various sponsors and donors. This has pushed to the current state; uncertainty in whether the continental championships shall happen or not. To keep the idea alive, Africa Skateboarding Diary through her HQ in Tanzania partnered with other key stakeholders; Ride BMX Africa, Mbezi Theory Inc and Pakaza Means Paint to reshape and run a program that will suit
all skateboarders as well as featuring BMX and Roller Skaters.
The Official Results For Every Program were; Skateboarding – Mark Mugendi Roller Skating – Cyril Survoret BMX Brakes – Kesi Ismail BMX Brakeless – Hamis Muksin The event had refreshment to contestant and crowd as well.
all skateboarders as well as featuring BMX and Roller Skaters. This program however has not fully at a capacity stopped or replaced the original Flat Ground League – Skateboarding, of which will keep happening in other Africa countries. On February 25th 2018 wasn’t only the last Sunday of the Month but the beginning of the new FGL for Tanzania.
The program was hosted by Don Bosco Youth Centre – Upanga, Dar es salaam. The event attracted many not to miss and recognize including Miki Deo, who is a skateboarder and fashionist and modal as well. Miki was among the Judges including Other Judges; Augustine Rutasingwa, Husein Athuman, Mohamed Mtamike and Twalib Seif.
At 11:45 AM Skateboarding qualifier started featuring Eight Skateboarders , out of which only four;Mark Mugendi, Hassan Takashi, Patric Michael and Danny Makindi Entered the final. Other qualifiers for roller skaters featured five roller skaters and the BMx program was divided into two; Brake and Brakeless.
Top Left; Winners in together Picture Top Right: Kesi Ismail, Winner BMX with Brakes
Hamis Muksin Winner BMX Brakeless
Muddy 2nd Winner BMX Brakeless
Mark Mugendi Winner Skateboarding
ALWAYS BE PART OF AFRICA SKATEBOARDING DIARY
Specialist concrete skatepark design and construction for the African continent. Contact: email@example.com
GO SKATE NIGERIA
GO SKATE NIGERIA
T: When was ‘Go Skate Nigeria’ founded? L: I started ‘Go Skate Nigeria’ about 3 years ago. Initially it was named ‘Curb skateboarding’ and I realized it did not have enough impact at first so I came up with the name ‘Go Skate Nigeria’ because I needed it to relate to the everyday Nigerian youth.
‘Go Skate Nigeria’ challenges
Since, youth unemployment in Nigeria is a pressing issue and I want young Nigerians to know that ‘Go Skate Nigeria’ is a skateboarding community for Nigerians. And instead of unemployed Nigerian youth engaging themselves in bad vices they should just come out and be a part of this skateboardin community.
Youth Unemployment Words And Photography By Temitope Owolabi
‘Go Skate Nigeria’ is a lifestyle magazine, shop & community primarily focused on empowering Nigerian youth through skateboard culture, fashion and art. Lukman Abdulrahman, 29, the founder of ‘Go Skate Nigeria’ talks about his dream, vision and hopes for a larger skateboarding community in Nigeria and most importantly in Africa.
T: Why is the skateboard culture / movement so important to you? L: The whole movement was because every time I came out to skate I was always alone, like a lone wolf so to speak. And it somewhat concerned me the way the skateboarding movement was getting bigger all over the world and not in Nigeria. T: Would you say the skateboarding movement is perceived in a negative light? L: Exactly! Even now with brands like WAFFLESNCREAM out there doing their thing they still get a lot of negative backlash and things of that nature in the streets, because it’s like you’re a skater and you’re too happy.
GO SKATE NIGERIA
T: Shout outs to WAFFLESNCREAM man! L: Shout outs to WAFFLESNCREAM, shout outs to Motherlan, they’re out there doing their thing and it’s so cool to see skateboarding coming out in Nigeria.
GO SKATE NIGERIA
T: What would you like to accomplish in the next 3 to 5 years? L: To see people skating now, is an accomplishment on its own. But for me personally skateboarding has always been fun and I would use my last dime to like ship in skateboards because even if there were no skate parks in Nigeria I will find a way even if its just to send my friends over from abroad to get me boards and everything. For me skateboarding is fun and like I said earlier I want kids from here in Nigeria and all over Africa to have that access to something they can be proud of.
I feel like everybody needs to know the magic and culture of skateboarding because it’s the most diverse culture there is. With the culture of skateboarding, everybody is their own and everybody has their own style, individuality and uniqueness. T: Is there anything else you would like to add or tell the viewers/readers when it comes to ‘Go Skate Nigeria’? L: Like I mentioned earlier, ‘Go Skate Nigeria’ originally started out as connecting skaters in Nigeria. And with anything new, you just start, and since then the company has started evolving into something incredible. Now it’s like other companies are coming out and people are noticing and ‘Go Skate Nigeria’ is becoming like Thrasher or Berrics and everyone is coming together to bring skateboarding to Nigeria. 35//AFRICASKATEBOARDINGDIARY.COM
GO SKATE NIGERIA
THE SWAZI SKATE SCENE
Outlined By Jason Martin
I’ll be honest, creating the Swazi skate scene took me longer than I hoped it would. Skateboarding in Swaziland is still a progressing sport, a lot of the youth in recent years have taken up an interest in skateboarding. Unfortunately there is still no area to practice or allow the youth of Swaziland to skate either for recreational purposes or for leisure. However I expect that this will all soon change. My Name is Jason Martin, I am one of the pioneers of skateboarding in Swaziland. Ever since I was very young my mother always used to buy me skateboards, which I would take with me all over the country. My passion for skateboarding would only grow from this point on. At the age of 10, I was lucky to get a trip of a life time to Sweden. When I arrived I was very taken up by the new scenery that seemed to be adapted and convenient to skate, however, the most memorable moment for me was the journey to what was soon to be my home while in Sweden.
I also wanted to see what interest people had in skating and actually move forward with those that were interested, particularly with growing the culture with me. This created a new wave in Swaziland. Since then more and more people have become keen to the idea of skateboarding. We were lucky to receive 3 kickers, 3 rails, 3 grindboxes and 2 half pipes from the contests I had hosted. We used this to start our own portable skate park. As a result of this, more and more individual Swazi skaters have begun to make their own efforts apart from those made by my own friends and team. We still don’t have a permanent skate park but that hasn’t stopped us from pushing because the unifying factor of this activity is my ultimate quest.
As we got close I remember seeing a few people on skateboards rolling down the street. As I looked up I saw a boy doing what seemed to be a kickflip (something that mesmerized me at the time). Eager and excited to get home, I started asking questions. This is when my cousin took me to the nearby skate park with a few ramps set up on a closed road, which I had never seen before. He told me how all these ramps were made by a group of kids who really wanted something to skate. That story inspired and stuck with me my whole life. At the age of 16 I decided I was tired of being the only skater, so I started teaching other kids to skate and actually begin to grow the skateboard culture in the country, this quickly expanded but we still did not have a skate park, so I wanted to push and try develop something. ‘Go Skate Nigeria’ is becoming something like a Hub for Nigerian skaters and more importantly for skaters everywhere. Not to mention, we’re getting noticed by the skateboarding community out in Ghana, South Africa & Ethiopia. All these skateboarding communities are all noticing that Nigeria is into Skateboarding which is so cool and I feel every neighborhood should have a skate park.
I started by hosting skateboarding competitions (with the assistance of other enthusiastic up and coming skateboarders) in an attempt to create, build or receive ramps.
Be sure to check us out on Instagram @GOSKATENIGERIA ! www.instagram.com/goskatenigeria 36//AFRICASKATEBOARDINGDIARY.COM
A. We couldn’t keep it to ourselves, you are the only skateboarder with Instagram Profile sharing contents in Black and White, is there any significant reason to that?
Interview By Augustine Rutasingwa | All Pictures From Elementbrand Website A. Hello, would you start by telling us who you are! P. Im Phil Zwijsen im from Antwerp Belgium. I’ve been skating for 18 years now. My sponsors are Nike SB, Element, Monster, Carhartt, Lockwood skateshop, Ashes griptape, Octagon,Venture and spitfire. A. When you were a kid, what made you start skateboarding? P. I got into it because of my brothers and his friends. So I would say my brother. A. Who were your favourite skateboarders growing up? Who are they now? P. I loved to look at daewon song and bastien salabanzi. Now I really like omar salazar, oski and jarne . 56//AFRICASKATEBOARDINGDIARY.COM
A. Were you a sponsor-me-video kid or were you found out from skating local contests and stuff? P. We made some video but it was never a sponsor video. I did made those when a was a bit older. I got hooked up from contest. A. What does a day in the life of a professional skater consist of? P. I try to wake up early and have a really good breakfast. And then try and do some emails and other stuff at home. And then depending on the weather and if there is surf. I go surf or skate. A. When did you realize skating was becoming less of a hobby and more of a profession? P. I still feel like its not really a job. But I guess it started feeling more serieus as soon as I starting to get payed for it.
A. What are your favourite shoes for skating?
P. When I start doing it it was because most of the stuff I was shooting was looking better in B and W. And after I just sticked with it.
P. My favorite sshoes are the koston hyperfeel. The once with the sock. They are amazing
A. We’ve noticed an old skate deck on your name by Element. Were you ever officially on Element?
A. Would you like your own signature shoe?
A. Do you feel like you’ve been seeing the world enough?
P. Yeah for sure
P. I feel you can never see enough of the world.
A. Do you think social media is important for today’s pros or amateurs?
A. Also we haven’t find any of your contents in Africa, have you ever visited Africa? If you are to go on skate trip in Africa, which countries would you like to visit.
P. Sadly to ay but yeah it is. It can help you a lot.
P. I do and I still have one with element.
P. Ive been a few times to Morocco and been a few time to south africa and also been to tunisia. And loved it. Theres so manny places I still want to visit. Senegal is one of them. 57//AFRICASKATEBOARDINGDIARY.COM
A. Do you have political views? P. World peace A. Many debate on Olympic and skateboarding, what are your comments? P. I have my ups and downs. Sometimes I think it would be good and sometimes I don’t understand why it should be in there. So im kind of in the mix of what I think. A. Do you think corporate sponsors are ruining skateboarding? P. It think it’s a bit of a double edged sword. People can say that but than again those businesses pour in the capital to help the next generation and they support of lot of people and make a lot of things happening in skating so. A. What do you think is still missing in skateboarding? P. More skate teams with girls and more teams with riders from all over the world. A. If you get a chance to start a brand, which name would you use. P. Maybe jacky. That’s how are videos are called. A. Speaking of drugs skate life, well skaters are pointed as weed guys. Is there any comment, does weed ruining skateboarding? P. I guess doing anything like drugs alcohol etc to much is never good so I would say if you cant handle its not good. Im not a weedsmoker. I Have friends that do and they can hande it and theyre fine but. Over using it is never a good thing. A. And last big question, what are your words to young skateboarders? P. Have fun and enjoi skating all day and everyday 58//AFRICASKATEBOARDINGDIARY.COM
SUDAN AND SKATEBOARDING Story By Ayman Babiker
I started touring in Khartoum. It was surprising to find how Khartoum was skateable town, with so many beautiful spots.
I am a sudanese skateboarder. I started skateboarding in 2016. In short while after learnt few basic tricks into skateboarding I was hooked into a skate tour around KSA and Egypt. I joined group of skateboarders from Makkah, Jeddah and Cairo.
Above: Jeddah Below: Makkah
This oppened a new perspective into skateboarding. I came to realize on how far skateboarding is a culture than a sport. I later got pushed to travel around Sudan and skate more.
“SKATEBOARDING IS A CULTURE THAN A SPORT”
Into my amazement I came into a private owned skatepark in Khartoum. Well it was challenging at first but later I adapted. The bad part is there were few skateboarders. I hocked up with Yalla Khartoum Organization. Madam Larissa Nour was very helpful to get me settled and meet fellow skaters while in Khartoum. The details of which I can write a book. Into the next Trip I travelled to Kamakol, Northern Sudan - Small Village. Although I couldn’t skate there but there was not to miss International Music Festival - Enjoyed!
In this tour, a trip to Swakin (an old Island town) was a must visit place. Well historic to see old buildings and other ruins still standing for so many years. We stayed for two days with my mate; Flyboy “Amer” and enjoyed spots to put kickflips. We later moved to Portsudan in the east. We enjoyed many places; Alsegla, souq alsamak, and Akilo. I closed the tour by visiting Madani along the bedside of river Nile. The banks were so gorgeous and mesmerizing. I dont believe a stereotype that you can not skate in Sudan! Wait until you visit and you will see how disapproving it is on your side. Welcome to #SudanSkateboarding 60//AFRICASKATEBOARDINGDIARY.COM