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Sandy Alibo spent the past few years building and promoting Surf Ghana, the very first Surf and skate crew to come from Ghana.

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE PROJECT “SURF GHANA” AND HOW
DID IT ALL START?

Surf Ghana is a collective of surfers and skateboarders based in Ghana founded in 2016 by Sandy Alibo. The collective collects used sports equipment in Europe and the U.S and teach the youth how to skate and surf, organize numerous events during the year to promote the surf and skate culture in Ghana.

For example, The Skatetour Gh, Noise!, MASS, Skate Gal Club, are our signature events (for us and made by us). This year, we’ve just started to create a program to develop job opportunities and we team up with brands like Jameson, MTN, United Nations, etc.

It all started in March 2016 in Busua, a fishermen village in the Western Region of Ghana. We met Peter, Ben, Justice all surfers.  We started an Instagram account to showcase this beautiful area of Ghana and tell the stories of these new athletes. They received a lot of good feedback on social media about this initiative from Ghana but also from the diaspora living abroad. And with a little elbow grease, we started some surf lessons and skate lessons with the local community.

surf Ghana

WHAT IS THE GOAL BEHIND SURF GHANA?

We use the practice of extreme sports as a driver for diversity in education, social inclusion, and empowerment of the youth. Surf Ghana is a voice of diversity that pushes a narrative of freedom and self-expression creating a counter-culture, a platform for the Youth. Our collective also wants to improve physical and mental health. For example in Ghana, life expectancy is currently 63 years, and in Europe, it is 81 years. We think skateboarding and surfing can offer full-body workout and reduce major health problems in Ghana like diabetes and obesity. Also, we create a platform for local artists to promote a culture of tolerance, respect, and celebrate African young creatives.Finally, we teamed up with talented local artists like Art Soul Kojo, Ahmed Partey, David Alabo, Awo Tsegah…

Our main goal is to create a sporting ecosystem that could benefit sports athletes and Ghana as a tourist destination. Plus, our next project is to create the first skatepark in Ghana in 2020: A safe space to practice sport and to connect the youth through art.

surf Ghana

WHO ARE THOSE INVOLVED IN THE SURF GHANA PROJECT?

We can count today 25 active members based in Accra, Busua, Krokrobite, Kwahu, Kumasi. They all practice skateboarding or surfing and they also contribute as filmmakers, photographers, writers, artists, journalists, carpenter, mixologists, etc. Joshua, Justice, Kwaku, Addy, Mensah, OG, Sandy, Kuukua, Lauren, Jovita, Harmonie, Sarah, Anastasia, Ria, Ben and many more.

Moreover, we have implemented the process of design thinking in our collective (zero hierarchy, brainstorming culture, test and learn the process, WhatsApp group culture) to grow faster and try a new way to work in Ghana that can directly benefit the youth and help them to be a better entrepreneur. Spmething like a youth leadership program, maybe ?

TELL US ABOUT WOMEN AND SKATEBOARDING IN GHANA?

Skateboarding is new in Ghana. And in the past 5 years, less than 10 girls tried to practice it regularly. Despite the fact that our events were opened to everybody, girls and women didn’t seem interested.

Therefore, seeing this, in June 2019, Sandy Alibo (Founder of Surf Ghana) and Kuukua Eshun (a Ghanaian writer and filmmaker) decided to create the skate girl club, an initiative to empower women through skateboarding. The main goal is to connect creatives women and improve their wellbeing. The access to the club is free and the organization offers skateboarding lessons and also different art workshops (tye and dye tee-shirt, water painting, gardening workshop, nail art) and activities like yoga, hula hoop, soul sister circle, etc. We count now more than 60 active members who come regularly at our monthly meet-up.

This project is a success, we received so much support and positive feedback about this initiative.

 

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE BIRTH OF SKATE TOUR GHANA?

The skate tour is our annual road trip that we plan with 20 Skateboarders, filmmakers, photographers, event managers, web developers, etc.

With the help of the tour, we get the opportunity to meet all kinds of children from different towns that have different backgrounds. We are trying to build a community that children can rely on. For our last trip, we taught up more than 1000 children how to skateboard in exactly 12 days. In the past two years, we toured in Busua, Cape Coast, Cape three points, Takoradi, Abonom, Accra, Kumasi, Peki, Ada, Akosombo, Ho, Keta, Ada, and even Lomé.

We believe, this project has a huge positive impact in the Ghanaian community and above all has encouraged the youth to practice sport to improve their mental and emotional wellbeing. Moreover, we believe traveling is the best way for Ghanaians to discover their own truth.

Surf Ghana

African Women’s Legacy: From Hatshepsut to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

HOW DO WE GET MORE WOMEN TO PRACTICE SPORTS IN
GHANA, AND IN AFRICA?

For example, the number of attendees at the Skate Gal Club keep increasing and prove than Women-only spaces are a necessity. This, because they provide an opportunity where women can talk about anything from skateboarding to mixology, from fashion to domestic violence and more, all in a “safe space”.

However, for this project, we aren’t attempting to change Ghanaian’s mind about feminism; we’re creating a space where all women can talk about whatever the subject might be.

We also noticed that in Ghana, many women find physical training in the presence of men to be intimidating. Plus, we think that creating this kind of welcoming, inclusive, safe spaces could be handily accomplished by providing exclusive places for women and girls to train.

HOW DO YOU EXPECT SURF GHANA TO IMPACT WOMEN IN
SPORTS AND IN GENERAL?

Our collective craves a space to call women, where they don’t have to feel threatened, hit on, talked over, or mansplained to. Where they can learn from each other, feel positive and get inspired.

We hope that with this project, we can create a better equal representation of women and men.

Through extreme sport, women practice being open and authentically themselves, we think that we help give them the courage to feel more comfortable in Ghana, knowing that a skate gal club is here and got their back.

 

Last week we had a chat with Okiinshowara from Ivory coast, We continue our series of discoveries of African creatives. We are pleased  to feature Derrick O Boateng from Ghana. He is a contemporary Art photographer who was born in Ghana and resides in Accra.

Portraying beauty is one of Derrick’s main aims, because he strives to change perceptions about Ghana and Africa in general through his Art.

 

Hi, can you introduce yourself to our readers… Who is Derrick O Boateng?

I am Derrick Ofosu Boateng. I was born on the 2nd of June. I attended Kumasi High school in the Ashanti Region of Ghana and I am currently a student at the University of Ghana business school. I am a fan of Soccer, music and watching movies.

How did your encounter with photography come about?

My encounter into Photography was quite Unexpected. I realized I was into photography when followers on Instagram kept commenting under my post that I had Good images and should keep it up.

How powerful is photography in changing people’s perceptions about Africa?

Photography has always being a Tool to interact with different people in different places. The stories told with photography are exceptional, emotional and live. Some Photographies portray Africa in a positive way and it strongly changes the perception and mindset about Africa. I have had so many testimonies on the fact that my photography has changed their perceptions about Africa and it feels so great.

Can you talk us through  a specific example of a photo you have taken and its “back story”? What inspired you to take this specific image? What specifically about the situation you witnessed did you want to capture?

The story about this man and lots of people I have listen, who have similar stories inspired me to

create this picture.”

Fabrics

I spoke to Baba Abdul Mohammed about his cloth business and why he came to Ghana. Baba Abdul Mohammed is from Niger and he is in Ghana to make a better living to reach his family in Niger. I asked him why he came to Ghana and he explained to me that making life better in His country is a bit difficult as compared to Ghana. He also said, aside from his cloth business, he does sell herbal medicine and beads.

He ended saying he finds peace and freedom living in Ghana.

#Africancreativeseries: Meet Mobile Photographer, Derrick O Boateng From Ghana

Is there a particular story you are trying to tell with your photography?

 

Who or what influences you?

My main mission as a photographer is to change the bad perceptions and mindset about Africa. Also, I want my pictures to promote love among People. I also want to showcase the rich and extraordinary lifestyles and cultures of We Africans which the world has not recognized.

Where do you see the future of photography heading within the continent? What is the future?

Photography in Africa is growing with Time and it looks great. A lot of young people have started fond interest in it and they are changing the world with their images. I see African Photographers winning all big competitions and changing the lives of people.

 

What is your creative process like? Where do you start? Where do you get your ideas?

My Creative process is quite simple and easy. Firstly I find concepts and it normally comes from the environment, People, music, and imaginations. I search for the needed materials for the

pictures. I then look for preferable models and locations for the pictures. I personally direct the

models and shoot them. After the shoot, I sit quietly and edit

 

What is your particularity and your unique selling point as a Ghanaian creative?

I think my unique selling point is the type of images I bring out and the inspiration People get from. A lot of people see my uniqueness as clock blocks and others also think the use of children which are fine.

#Africancreativeseries: Meet Mobile Photographer, Derrick O Boateng From Ghana

 

According to you, what is the way for creative Africans to make themselves known and make a living from their art?

I think the best way to get known as a creative person is to work hard and be very consistent on your work. I believe everyone should have a particular style as a creative in order for his works to be known everywhere. Branding and interacting with people who appreciate your works is also very important

#AfricanCreativesSeries : Meet Okiinshowara, Ivorian, Self-Taught Photographer

What is it like to be a young creative in your country and what  are your daily struggles as a young Ghanian creative?

The Problem as a young creative is no interest and value from the People in our localities. My struggles are difficulties in finding some needed materials for a project and a lack of enough capital to finish a project.

 

Sho Madjozi will be sharing the stage with Black Eyed Peas and Diplo as they are set to perform at BUDX during Super Bowl LIV weekend.

The Super Bowl LIV will take place on February 3rd at the Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida, United States.

Along with Madjozi, two other South African “Kings of Culture” – Karabo “Poppy” Moletsane and Moonchild Sanelly – will join 200 influential creatives from over 20 countries in a curated jam-packed itinerary of imaginative activations including being a king of music, art, fashion and sports together with electrifying live performances and unforgettable collaborations.

“It’s such a privilege to be invited to show the world’s creatives the vibrancy of African music,” the starlet said in a press statement shortly after the announcement was made

In representing Mzansi’s creative voice, joining Sho Madjozi is Illustrator and street artist Karabo “Poppy” Moletsane. She will be stamping her unapologetic expression and her Afro-futuristic visuals at the official live BUDX Art activation by customising sneakers, coinciding with the biggest sporting event of the year: The Super Bowl LIV weekend

Watch : Fatoumata Diawara’s Beautiful Performance on A COLORS SHOW

International influencers at BUDX are also in for an unfiltered taste of African Imagination from the innovative mind of Moonchild Sanelly as she curates content of her BUDX experience. Moonchild’s signature blue hair, poetry-turned-rap and spectacular stage performances have earned her 1000s of fans internationally, including Beyoncé who included Sanelly on her album “The Lion King: The Gift”.

“African creatives have a unique voice, style and edge with a worldwide influence. Budweiser “King of Beers” is excited to have identified exceptional culture shapers from the continent. We have created the BUDX platform for these Kings to claim the spotlight on the world’s biggest stage while sharing their inspirational stories,” said Thomas Lawrence, Marketing Manager of Budweiser Africa.

BUDX is taking over a hotel in South Beach with a series of curated events and performances for the “Kings of Culture” from around the world. Influencers and trailblazers spanning diverse cultural fields that include art, music, fashion and sports will join Budweiser’s global creator community BUDX. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity enables “Kings of Culture” to claim the spotlight on the world’s biggest stage, tell their stories of ambition and collaborate and network with the world’s top creatives to seize a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to claim the spotlight on the world’s biggest stage.

 

 MoyoAfrika has decided to take you on a journey through Africa, through its many and diverse talents, by offering you a series of interviews with young creatives on the continent. We want to show you the diversity of our cultures, the innumerable talents on the continent and how our young people use new technologies to showcase their creative minds.

Africa has a youth bulge; at least 40% of our population consists of the youth. Creativity and innovation are the best tools the youth have at their disposal to chart a new path for their respective countries. Our main goal is to showcase the upcoming artists and give them the exposure they deserve.

For the first interview, we met Ouattara Moussa Idriss Mahaman as known as  O’kiins Howara. He is an Ivorian, self-taught photographer and student of communication. His main working tool is his smartphone.

Some sculptors need a ton of marble or  steel to get creating. Laetitia Ky, an artist based in the Ivory Coast, just needs some wire, thread, and her own hair.  When we talk about art, we introduce ourselves in an unlimited space: there are no rules about content, nor matter, nor tools. innovative hair sculptures of Laetitia Ky it makes us expand the look towards a new concept.

Having amassed over 250,000  followers on Instagram, Ky explains, “Thousands of people can say the same thing without it having the same impact. What makes the difference is the way you say it. Art makes it possible to reach more people because it finds an original, particular way to speak about the subject so that many people will linger.

Her Instagram posts range in emotion and topic, from a playful light bulb to a pistol meant to symbolise her opposition to gun violence.

Meet Sean McCollet born in Johannesburg and raised in Cape-town, Sean McCollet’s is television presenter for the SABC 1 show Instapreneurs – a reality show that follows the lives of modern-day public figures who have created a brand for themselves online.

 

He’s also an artist manager and publicist who has managed the likes of Boity Thulo, Pearl Modiadie, Khanya Mkangisa, Lehasa Moloi and more.