Outside In View
‘Sometimes we go to a country to skate with the community there but we don’t bond very much with the locals. In Nairobi we just clicked with the kids…’
What countries are still on your wish list?
Actually too many. Having been stuck in Hong Kong during Covid19 has made travel impossible because we face a three week hotel quarantine on return. Had to focus my attention in exploring the territory here with a magnifying glass. When things become normal again, I would love to explore more in Africa in nations like Eritrea, Tanzania, Chad. I have also never been to South America, so when the chance pops up, I would be also on the next flight to Rio, Brazil.
What are the must have essentials in your backpack when travelling to those exotic places apart from your passport and some money?
Analog cameras to document. For a short time I used to have a fake thumb in my bag which can be used as a magic trick to make a napkin disappear. My photographer friend Bialecki used to do it in Myanmar to entertain people on long buses. It has definitely made people laugh and breaks the ice in certain scenarios.
If you could pick your skate team and brand for a trip, who would they be?
No doubt I would pick my bros, The Visualtraveling crew (laughing).
‘My photographer friend Bialecki used to do it in Myanmar to entertain people on long buses. It has definitely made people laugh and breaks the ice in certain scenarios.’
Which skate filmer do you like?
Fred Mortange & Anthony Claravall. Hands down biggest influence on me when growing up. Menikmati and 411/On videos were the gateway to the outside world for me.
You also been documenting the skate scene in Kenya for RedBull. Compared to other skateboard communities you experienced across around the world, how is Kenya different?
Loved filming the kids at Uhuru Park, Sam & Balo became friends as well and made sure we had a good time in Nairobi. The skate community is quite similar to other ones, tight knitted, very skate focused and easy going. Happy that they have this one spot with smooth ground and a stage which provides them with ledges, gaps and manual pads. Best of all, its covered and has a roof, so can always skate even when its raining. But indeed a shame that the government has shut down the area, forcing the locals to look elsewhere to practise. When talking to George a couple days ago, I was told that the University is a new haven for the locals to skate.
What did you like most during your time in Kenya?
Sometimes we go to a country to skate with the community there but we don’t bond very much with the locals. In Nairobi we just clicked with the kids and George who is more or less providing them with help and is currently setting up a SkateNGO to support the progression of the Keedz to a higher extend. I enjoyed the architecture of Nairobi, the random spots it entailed, the food and being able to see Rhinos literally within city limits.
The corrupt police unfortunately.
What is the biggest challenge for the Skateboard community Kenya from your perspective?
I must say I have high hopes for the community since the Keedz are motivated to skate and go bigger and bigger. It would really help the locals to have a skatepark that is easier to access.
‘Ah man I wish I had an answer for this.’
How can this be best achieved with a corrupt government?
Ah man I wish I had an answer for this. Luckily one of the skaters mom has connection within the police force which can be handy if some of the skaters have trouble with corrupt cops. Otherwise I would say best is to figure out a way to manoeuvre around it, maybe charismatic small talk, jokes or anything to divert their attention in illicit acts or trying to rob the civilians with bribes.
Last question: If you could interview a person, who would it be and why?
Sebastian Salgado. One of my favourite photographers.