Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Nic Manshon

For the skateboarders, by the skateboarders: uniting, connecting and growing African skateboarding.

Skateboarding has always been an influential part of modern society and many young people embrace the culture wholeheartedly. Whenever you drive through the city you are bound to encounter a skater or two. This subculture has many pros and cons but there are some great benefits starting to emerge from the culture – especially in South Africa and Africa.

Initiatives like Promenade Mondays shows that skaters are for the community and value new sustainable modes of transport.

Promenade Mondays is a celebration of the lifting of the ban on skateboarding & rollerblading along the Sea Point Promenade.

October is transport month in Cape Town, South Africa and the city lifted the ban for the month and many enthusiastic skaters jumped at the opportunity to skate the scenic route of Sea Point promenade.


The initiative started to celebrate the lift of the ban but soon the city saw what a great impact it was having on the community and decided to extend the lift until the end of summer.

This was groundbreaking news in the skate community.  Support and check out Promenade Mondays on Facebook.

Promenade Mondays is but one of many skate initiatives that African skaters are involved in.

This is where Africa Skate comes in. It’s an online presence that serves the community of skateboarders at grass roots level with news, events, interviews and video features, as well as government and industry insight.

Andrew Nero is a passionate, proudly African skater that has a great vision for the local skate scene. Here he encourages us to persevere in pursuing our dreams.


Aleph Surf International: Changing lives through faith, community and creativity..

Rehgert Van Zyl is the founder and president of Aleph Surf International and he has a desire to serve his nation and people through faith in culture.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology, Rehgert wanted to use his knowledge to influence the youth of the nation.

In 2005, he began working for an NGO as a houseparent to street kids in George, South Africa. After spending 6 months with the kids, Rehgert saw that the main problem in South African society was that the ‘father figures’ were missing amongst households. The kids had already been set in their destructive ways of living. In order to have an opportunity to speak truth and wisdom into their lives he needed to capture their attention at a young and influential age.

Changing Lives

 He saw the need and looked at what he had: three surfboards, a car and time. He began offering street kids surf lessons in townships of Borcherds and Parkdene. The kids jumped on the opportunity to learn to surf and swim. With a group of 12 kids between the ages of 10 and 15, Rehgert discipled, mentored, tutored and loved on these youth. The mission developed into Aleph Surf International. Aleph means ‘beginning or foundation’ in Hebrew. Rehgert’s vision and hope is to see every child in every nation have a foundation set in Jesus Christ and to know they were created for a great purpose.

Rehgert has a love and passion for South Africa and wants to be a part of the solution. Here is an inspiring view from Rehgert van Zyl.

The Aleph Surf International is a pioneering program that mixes surf coaching, life skills workshops with biblical values and mentorship. This program is rolled into one package that challenges youth on the way they see the world, themselves and others around them. Throughout the process the children learn to surf and ride some fun waves!

TOTE bag


‘Incomparable’ is a poem using clever metaphors describing the battle of words many face in their lives. Words that encourage. Words that break. Yet in the midst of all the positive and negative talk, knowing who you are.

If we take a look at all the media you’ll see there are so many different opinions of how we should and shouldn’t be as humans. Incomparable encourages you to listen to your heart and be you.

Tina Schouw is a heart artist, making connections through music and words to the heart of healing. She is a singer /guitarist /songwriter/ teacher/ inspirational speaker/ music and word facilitator and author who works locally and internationally. She loves performing solo or with her band and continues to produce her own shows. She enjoys collaborating with various artists from South Africa and abroad. Her music draws on an eclectic blend of styles including, folk, jazz, latin and contemporary.


If you know anything about surfing, the abbreviation JBay is easily recognisable to many in South Africa and around the world. It is synonymous with cooking swell and clean lines. With spots like Kitchen Windows, Magna tubes, Boneyards, Supertubes, Impossibles, Tubes, the Point and Albatross, Jeffrey’s Bay is one of the most famous surfing destinations in the world.

I recently hung out with a rather cool bunch of surfers, skaters and muso’s while I was there; and these guys and gals really knew how to have a good time and were super committed to their ‘Dawnies


As I chatted to many of them, I soon realised that these weren’t just surfers; they were surfers with a difference. While most of the surf culture is about surfing, these guys make the time to get together annually to talk about the surfing community and some of the changes they want to see taking place.

Even though I was really pumped to surf Jbay, my focus was soon changed. Don’t get me wrong, they are all still surfers and were super amped to hit the waves, however, they took the time to discuss issues in the culture and are prepared to act on them.

This year’s Christian Surfers South Africa’s annual national conference was themed Growing Deeper, with international guest speaker Brett Davis. Topics such as poverty, justice and upliftment were all key discussion points.

Brett Davis

International Director is of Christian Surfers International Brett pioneered the Christian Surfers movement in Australia as their first National Director in 1983, then pioneered the international movement since 1999. As an unchurched surfer he was reached by a fellow surfer and wants other surfers to have the same opportunity. He is still surfing, diving and adventuring, and has a secret outlet in woodturning and gardening. He believes one of his greatest achievements is his wife Gillian persisting with him for over 20 years.

Check out their website:


Aleph Surf International is a pioneering program that mixes surf coaching and life skills workshops with biblical values and mentorship. This program is rolled into one package that challenges youth on the way they see the world, themselves and others around them. Throughout the process the children learn to surf and ride some fun waves!

It blew me away to hear about and see their passion and vision for the surf community, and inspired me to help bring about change in my own community. It seems that all that is needed to make a difference is a surfboard, waves and a God-inspired love for people and the community.

Don’t let anything hold you back from making a difference!

Art Appreciation

Being an artist from an early age, I’ve been exposed to so many different expressions of art. From drawing to painting, design, photography to film.

Over the years I’ve grown an appreciation for art, being exposed to so many different forms I guess there wasn’t too much time to be judgemental about what I was exposed to.

Experiencing something fresh or new is a great learning opportunity for me and, when engaging in something new, I try not to be too opinionated. Having good judgement I guess does help, good judgement I believe comes from the ability to discern whether something is destructive for an individual or an enhancement or preservation of life.

Forest & Sunrise

As I developed an appreciation for art I soon realised many others didn’t view art as highly as I did! Ok, I know what you’re thinking! I’m probably a narrow minded person to think everyone has to be like me.

Give me sec to explain!

Appreciation is an attribute that can be applied to many areas and not just art. One of the biggest areas I see people not being too appreciative is LIFE itself. Like I experience in art, many people don’t appreciate art like I do which I understand because it is subjective but life is a common gift for us all and nobody wants to be cheated out of their right to live abundantly. Life has its good times and its bad but nonetheless focusing on the bad will rob you of all the new good opportunities. Appreciation helps you to see opportunities instead of problems.

WORD OF ADVICE: Stay away from those COMPLAINERS!

There are so many people who love to complain about everything, it’s like a modern culture disease that we somehow encourage. Life is not that bad. We all are not perfect and are a work in process.

I believe one thing that can advance your life to an exponential level is to STOP COMPLAINING! The world is already filled with so much negativity and personally I don’t want to be a contributing factor to the problem.

We all have gifts and talents for different purposes and instead of fighting to be the best, be the best to help someone else and be thankful with what you’ve got!

I could never be an accountant but do I need someone that does accounting? Yes, and vice versa. All the art and entertainment we enjoy in modern culture are done by artists. Therefore stop the hate game and start appreciating,

We are all different with the gift of life!

Appreciate the Art of Life!

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