Into L’ Culture: SkateGhang

A submovement within the wider crew of SkateNationGH (@skateghang) – Into L’ Culture.

(Jay Ganjobi at Trade Fair before the arrival of the new 2017 skate obstacles)

By: Dyllan Ahinful; Image By: Jay Ganyobi


Into L’ Culture gives an in depth perspective of subcultures through Ghana

and the whole world we find interesting or that we identify as the Koboe culture.

SkateGhang is a sub movement within the wider crew of SkateNationGH

(the original, main skate crew in Ghana founded 5 years ago with 4 people).

They’ve been slowly collecting members and bringing skateboarding forward.

We met Cameron, the founder of SkateGhang and a member of SkatenationGH

through Social Media. We had a few words with him and asked him

about Skateghang and if he could collect some info about a few members.

 

Cameron: I was born in England, but am a Ghanaian at heart.

I had never seen Ghana and visited Ghana for the first time in

June 2017 for 11 weeks and fell in love with the country.

I started a project to raise money to take as much skateboard

equipment over as possible. When I arrived I found more skaters than

I expected (about 30) and others involved in making a name for

skateboarding in Ghana. All of us linked up and now we are working

on events like competitions and demonstrations. When I go

back to Ghana on the 1st of January we will be going on a skate tour

around Ghana to  promote, sell, donate and teach skateboarding! SkateGhang

or Ghang is our subbrand.

 – Jay Ganyobi (Leader of SkateNationGH)

Where are you from and how did you first get into skateboarding?I’m from Labadi (Ghana, West Africa). When did you first start Skateghang, and what sparked you initially?  I first started SkateNationGh somewhere in 2012 with 4 friends. We normally

go around communities with the aim of finding and teaching other people

how to skate especially the young ones. I was sparked after watching

several skate videos on tv and I loved how they travelled around, moving from

place to place just to find and skate something new.
How is skating perceived by non-skaters in Ghana?
Skating here is not a big thing and since its a Western culture people here
see it as something weird. Alot of people see it to be dangerous and a waste of
time when ever they see us skating, i grew up in a community of soccer players so
me doing something different, people felt like its a waste of time. I had alot of people
saying  I’m good for nothing because i choose to be a skateboarder rather than
something else, because someone’s making a living from playing soccer & i was just
skating without anything coming out of it.

What’s the Ghanaian skate scene like and what direction do you

think skateboarding in Ghana will go in the next ten years?The Ghanaian skate scene keeps getting bigger and better, because now we

have a lot of people coming in every week just to practise and have a feel

of how skateboarding works. Some are attracted to it by how the community

of skateboarders hang out and always do something different, they feel connected

especially when we cheer each other up after a trick, to them it’s fun and to us

it a motivation  to do more. The only problem we are facing now is lack of facilities

like skate parks and skate shops so we hardly get what we need and at times

we end up skating at public/private places and sometimes we are been kicked

out by security or authorities and that way its killing the scene slowly.

But we still believe that in the next 10 years, skateboarding in Ghana will be

bigger and better like any other sporting activity we have here, if only we get

people to invest and help grow the sports.

Aside from skating what do you enjoy doing?Putting skating aside, I enjoy: traveling, taking pictures or watching skate

videos and movies.

Which music do you listen to while skating?I normally listen to hiphop or hiplife (Ghanaian) music whenever I’m skating.Where would you say is the best place for skateboarding in Ghana?The best place for skateboarding in Ghana is the Ghana International Trade Fair,

where we have total comfort to skate in peace anytime any day without worrying

about us getting kicked out by security.
 – OG

Where are you from and how did you first get into skateboarding? I’m John, known as OG. I’m Ghanaian.When did you first start Skateghang, and what sparked you initially?When I was 7 or 8 without any idea of what a skateboard was, I tried making

a skateboard with traveling bag wheels and a piece of wood but it broke 2 days later…

When I was 14 I started working in my uncle’s Internet cafe so I had access to YouTube..

Then I saw a skate video in the suggestion list and that was the start I got really interested.

3 days later I saw some kids with a board and I bought it from them and the life started..

I joined Dead Presidents in 2016.. And they linked me to Skate Nation GH that same

year and SkateGhang in 2017.

How is skating perceived by non-skaters in Ghana?
 Non skaters in Ghana consider skateboarding to be immature but some also just see
you with a skateboard and just love you for being a skateboarder
What’s the Ghanaian skate scene like and what direction do you
think skateboarding in Ghana will go in the next ten years?To be honest skateboarding in Ghana is really expensive, and most of the skate spots are
also far from where I live and I’ll say “sad” cuz the only skatable stairs and other street
obstacles are on private properties. With the look of things I think skateboarding will be a
very big sport in Ghana when the government and other hands start to see things our way..
I personally want to add Skateboarding to school sports
Aside from skating what do you enjoy doing?
Aside from skating I’m into: music producing, art and industrial works
Which music do you listen to while skating?
I normally listen to soulful trap music, and those motivational kinda songs
Where would you say is the best place for skateboarding in Ghana?
Mile 7 is the best place to skate in Ghana.
(OG outside El Wak stadium)
  – Gustelly

Where are you from and how did you first get into skateboarding?

I am from Gabon and I got into skateboarding when for the first time of my life
a friend of mine brought a board into school. I was amazed by the way it is shaped
and I fell in love with the tiny wheels that are on it. Before, i was moving seated on it
and it took me a while to start getting up cause we didn t have anyone to teach us
the right way to skate.

When did you first start Skateghang, and what sparked you initially?

 I started in 2011 when I went to Ghana to further my studies. I was looking for
skateboarders in the town and i met Joshua Ganyobi, member of Unity Skate Club
(a combined roller skate/skateboard organisation) and leader of SkateNationGH
at this time which I became a member of instantly.

How is skating perceived by non-skaters in Ghana?

They perceive it as a risky game. Anytime we skate in the streets some people

shout: “hey, be careful ooo!!”

What’s the Ghanaian skate scene like and what direction do you

think skateboarding in Ghana will go in the next ten years? Actually it is not well known but in ten years time it would be really developed.

The pace we are having right now to move skateboarding forward in Ghana is

not going to be slowed down.

Aside from skating what do you enjoy doing? Aside from skating I like swimming!

Which music do you listen to while skating?
I don’t listen to music while skating. I like being aware of what’s happening around
me and from my perception,unless you are skating alone,it is not really polite to wear
earphones while skating with friends unless there is a good sound system, yeah,
in this situation, listening to music is fun. I like all kind of music as long as it
sounds good in my ears.

Where would you say is the best place for skateboarding in Ghana?Inside the university of Legon and Mile 7

(Gustelly at Mile7 DIY Skatepark)

– Dominique

Where are you from and how did you first get into skateboarding?I’m from a small country in Central Africa called Gabon. I bought a board just because of the

culture, I can’t remember how I lost it. Then we had a cultural day for our country and I saw

a dope guy taking pictures and a lot he was selling boards, I hit him up the next wednesday,

we were together at Mile7, since then I’ve never stopped learning i’m in love with

skateboarding since I’m a loner.

When did you first start Skateghang, and what sparked you initially?

I started in SkatenationGh i think August of this year and till then I stuck to the fam,
I love them all, they are full of diversities. They flex they just skate they don’t care
about the rest i love free minded persons.

How is skating perceived by non-skaters in Ghana?

As a woman some people will just stop and look at me, some will throw insults
like “instead of being in a school or getting married see what you are doing,
a car go knock you one day one day” Some will smile and encourage me!

What’s the Ghanaian skate scene like and what direction do you

think skateboarding in Ghana will go in the next ten years?Wow in the next ten years! Let’s just say the next year is going to be mad

I’m training hard ill make sure the spirit brought here lives on forever, I thank

Gustelly (the Gabonese guy that introduce me to everything skateboarding in Ghana).

Aside from skating what do you enjoy doing?I enjoy Art, Night Life, Rap, Dance, Entertainment, Money, Business and of course

my family, my country, my continent
 Which music do you listen to while skating?
ooh lol my mood my music. When I want to think and plan for the next move
i’ll put some emotional music on, when I’m done planning i’ll put some motivational music on,
now I’m more into the latest generation, the new school but always Tupac is around,
Lil Snuppe, Khalifa, Stonebwoy, Shatta, Niska, Damso, Eminem, Rihanna, Breezy,
Darkovibes, Kojo Kubii, my songs and crews songs we are really dope.

Where would you say is the best place for skateboarding in Ghana?

I love skating at trade fair I think it’s more safe over there but the best place for
me is LEGON the roads there are really smooth!

(Dominique) – Cameron

Where are you from and how did you first get into skateboarding? I’m from England, I first started skateboarding around 2 years ago, it was

very easy for me in the UK to start skateboarding compared to Ghana, me and a

friend decided we wanted to skate….the next day we went out and bought a

board and havent stopped since.

How is skating perceived by non-skaters in Ghana?

I visited Ghana for 11 weeks in June 2017. Before i arrived i searched for a skate
scene in Ghana and found one guy, Jay Ganyobi. I started a small project to raise
money to buy and take as much skate equipment as possible over with me.
When i arrived i found a lot more than expected! there was a very small but
flourishing scene, consisting of about 30 skaters overall and a core group of
very passionate skaters. I joined SkateNationGH as soon as i linked up with the
crew the first time in June, they were being supported by some individuals from
Europe who were putting on a big skate competition at a local festival, it was very
successfull, and since then we are all working together to push skateboarding
in Ghana through promotion, fund raising, competitions, demonstrations and a
national skate tour. I founded SkateGhang, a submovement within SkateNationGH by
the time i left at the end of August.
 Skating i think is missunderstood in Ghana, many people disregard it and
think it is too dangerous and a waste of time because it leads to ‘nothing’, but they
dont understand the passion we have for our skateboarding and the positivity it
can bring to individuals and to the community. Others however are fascinated
and we drew large crowds at the demonstrations we put on.

What’s the Ghanaian skate scene like and what direction do you

think skateboarding in Ghana will go in the next ten years?

The Ghanaian skate scene is small but passionate and dedicated, we are all
focused on making skateboarding the ‘norm’ in Ghana! The only way is forward
from here…soon we hope we can commence plans for building the first official
skatepark and as time goes on the Ghang will only get bigger and bigger….within
the 3 months i was there, at least 4 new skaters previously unknown to the
ghang had joined us.
 Aside from skating what do you enjoy doing?
Aside from skateboarding i like to make music, video edit, learn languages
and chill….always chill!
Which music do you listen to while skating?
I don’t usually listen to music while skating….but when i do it will be Hip Hop,
UK Drill/Grime and Funk/Soul
 Where would you say is the best place for skateboarding in Ghana?

There are 2 main spots for skateboarding…

Trade Fair – a relatively large square area infront of an old tradefair centre

(which has just recently recieved the ramps and obstacles that had been built

for the festival competition), the spot is shared with roller bladers and has

obstacles such as grind rails, bricks and wood (to make ollie obstacles), a box,

a high jump bar and half a mini ramp

Mile7 – a large area underneath the motorway with a drain running through

the middle, this spot possesses 2 grind rails, a small box, a big box, and a

broken ramp, also a small bank around the edge plus the drain to ollie in the

middle (the spot has recently been covered in graffiti by one of the skaters

who is also an artist)…..this is my favourite spot

then there are other spots such as at East Legon University Campus

and West HillsMall but here you are often disturbed by security

(Cam at Mile7 DIY Skatepark)

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