Welcome to Etcetera. A collection of so-so journalism with poor grammar aimed at proving that there are people doing much cooler shit than me. I’ll be posting Playlists, Interviews, adventure musings Etc.GET IT!
RIDE 2 playlist
Another playlist of uptempo jams for ridin round on your bike or whatever. Artwork by my dawg Shithouse Mouse 🤘 Shuffle play for maximum enjoyment .
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Closecall Skateboarding Kenya
Closecall are a group of young skaters from Lodwar , Kenya who came together to help other vulnerable young Kenyans in the villages, orphanages , and streets . Their aim is to nurture, mentor and empower the youth through skateboarding.
I first met Julius last February via IG , we started talking and I offered to send him out a package . I put some things together and it only took 4 months to get there🙃 so our friendship had some time to develop over the waiting period. At the time he was studying project management in Nairobi but told me to send the package to a place called Lodwar.
Tell us about your hometown Turkana, Kenya
Turkana are a niltoic (indigenous to the Nile Valley) people native to the turkana county in northwestern Kenya. They migrated from South Sudan and settled at turkana river where they take care of their livestock.
From what he tells me, skateboarding was pretty non existent there up until a few years ago, but Julius and his friends are doing their best to change that.
My first time skateboarding I found it hard pushing and getting the balance with the beginners tricks. But I was able to interact with other skaters who were so friendly and through that bond I got to learn some basic skills and meet the happy people. My favorite skaters are Nakel Smith and Robert O’Neil and my favorite companies are Vans and Creature.
How does closecall operate and what are your main goals?
We visit street kids and orphanages teaching kids how to skateboard, giving them a new hobby and saving them from the streets. Our main goal is to build a skatepark in Turkana.
I am really influenced by the skateboarding going on around the world. It has taught me various skills such as overcoming pain, coordination and the ability to focus during moments of fear. Also the growing brands around the world are helping and supporting the emergence of new organizations in Africa by helping in terms of skateboard donations and building skateparks and this is leading to the growth of skateboarding community in Africa.
What kind of support is most needed ?
We are most in need of skateboards, skating shoes and protective gear for the protection of the young kids and youth through their journey in skateboarding. We are mostly in need of a skatepark.
How has skateboarding changed your life?
To me as an individual skateboarding has changed my life in different way, mostly by the growth which I have carried all along since I started skateboarding. It’s helped me build interpersonal relationships with other friends who skate, and also with depression , increases confidence, self empowerment , and skill development .
I would like to share a vote of thanks to everyone. Companies, organizations and individuals who are helping closecall skateboarding to grow and by providing ideas , donation and sharing the love. Thank you all let's keep the good push .❤️
I speak with Julius regularly and he’s always so positive about pushing the culture and repping “Anti Hate”. In our convos we have always had the idea do to a fundraiser collab and recently they sent me this design that they drew for a tshirt.
I immediately sent it over to “el maestro “ Andy McAlpine to redraw into a printable version but then the kids sent this and we both agreed this was the one!
100% of the proceeds from these shirts will go to Closecall and hopefully get them closer to their goal. I’ll keep AHAB afloat by any means necessary if it means I can continue to work on projects like this. As always , your support means the world. - Jacques’
“Music To Yak To”
You don’t always need a playlist when you’re out on the water, but when you do I got y’all covered. A fine collection of musics for when y’all wanna 🛶and 🥶while you 🍸 and 💨 feat the stylings of many a homie. Ease back in the cut as you glide along with some homies or maybe even by your lonesome. So many smooth jamz to keep you company 🖤🖤
Artwork by Shithouse Mouse original #yakbois extraordinaire 🏴☠️🐀
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Peter Himzco of Skateboarding Solwezi
(Peter)Hi my name is Peter Himwiinga ( I go by Peter Himzco ). I'm a skateboarder from Solwezi Zambia Africa.
I just want to start this lil interview by saying THANK YOU A-HAB! I really appreciate this opportunity you have given me, it's a dream come true. Much Love for helping my community out. Now let's start..
) I first met Peter back in September of last year. While working on the We Skate Mongu project I came across this IG page @Skateboarding_Solwezi.
After giving a follow I got this message :
From there we began our friendship. Peter told me he needed help getting a broader audience to check out his project and I was immediately drawn in by the positivity and magnetism of this 16yr old doing everything he could to help his community.
Tell us a little about Solwezi, did you grow up there?
I was not born in Solwezi Zambia. I was actually born in Kabwe, which is located in the Central Province of Zambia. I consider myself lucky cause I was born with this awesome person who is my twin brother. We moved out of Kabwe when we were just like 3yrs old cause my father found a job in Solwezi. Since then, I have never been out of the North Western Province of Zambia in Solwezi, Yes I have been brought up in Solwezi my whole life!
Solwezi is mostly common for the local minerals it is blessed with. North Western Province is rich in minerals like Copper and Gold, even though we have all these minerals here, Solwezi is still not developed like other cities in the country. It's considered to be one of the undeveloped cities. Despite that, Solwezi is actually a cool place with good people who have really good cultural values. I literally love it here!
How did you get into skateboarding?
Tell us about your first skateboard
It was just somewhere around June-July 2020 when COVID hit in the whole world. Schools were closed in Zambia due to COVID, I had literally nothing to do at that time. Busy surfing in our small town Killin time,,, then luckily I got my first ever small pay Job in a Mobile Money Booth that was located near the main road of Solwezi. On a normal work day I sat in the Booth being bored looking at the cars moving in the road, then I saw this guy with a skateboard riding in the road, it was a weird feeling I experienced in my body I can't tell, lol. It was so cool the way he was riding it, immediately I said to myself I must get a skateboard, because it looked so very cool. I knew a shop at the mall that sold some skateboards ( I think there what you call Walmart boards?) I planned to get a skateboard at that shop when I got paid, suddenly one of my friends got a skateboard in that same shop, then I was like I gotta get one too. I did the same, I bought a skateboard, I don't think it lasted for 2 days. Oh My I can't remember how I felt riding a skateboard for the first time.
We had lots of challenges just to have a good quality skateboard. I went on to research about Skateboarding cause i was kinda in love with that wood with 4 wheels. My friend met up with some old skaters in Solwezi, we were getting connected slowly. But it was very difficulty for me to buy a good quality skateboard cause at that time I stopped the job I had since school had resumed. I spent most of my time watching skate videos because I felt a little bit better, it was like I was skating in my mind. I went sad and sad for a few months, you would understand what I am saying if you ever had a feeling of not being able to afford something that means a lot to you! It was a little challenging but I made my ways and got a second hand beginner skateboard from Lusaka.
What is the scene like in Solwezi? Are there skate spots? Or do you make your own?
The scene in Solwezi is a small skate scene growing into one of the best in the country, I would say it is the second or third biggest in the country. Most of the kids in the Solwezi Skate scene are between the ages of 9-15 yrs. We have more boys than Girls. Still working on getting more girls into skating. The people of Solwezi really get surprised with what we do, they don't see skateboards anywhere else apart from TV sets or phones and other devices, they get surprised when they see us going to skate and a lot of us!
Solwezi lacks concrete in general I would say. There's literally nowhere you could go skateboarding if it's not apart from the only two Malls in town and the busy roads that are very risky. It has been a different battle being allowed to skate at the mall once in a week ( Saturdays only) for 4 hours only! So yes you guessed it right, it's hard to progress in Skateboarding if you are just allowed to skate once a week for like an hour ( we are too many, we are not allowed to skate all at once, so we make groups skating like an hour each or less). And Yes it's hard to grow and maintain a skate scene here, some people come and go because they get tired or just give up of only skating for a few minutes and with lots of rules at the mall, but real ones have been here since day one and they come to stay.
(Jacques') "KIMYE KYETU" is a phrase Peter taught me and it means "It's our time, nothing can stop us!". The general attitude Peter has towards skating and life really resonated with me and caused me to reflect on how growing up as a young skater in Florida I never even considered sharing my experiences with others who were less fortunate. I found that feeling and chased it whereas he immediately thought " I WANT EVERYBODY TO FEEL THIS". That's what makes him so special. I asked how else I could help and he told me that the kids mostly needed shoes, they were skating barefoot and that hurt his heart. So I set out to find some skate shoes and send them a package. It took three and a half months and we almost lost hope!
How often does the club meet? And how many children are there?
The Solwezi Skaters meet once in a week for a few hours. It's so unfortunate right now that no kids are allowed to skate at the mall, because the mall management never allowed us to be teaching the kids at the mall. When Jeremy (@caravanskate
) came to Solwezi he helped us get permission to be skating at the Mall, but the mall made it sure that they don't want to see any kids skating there cause there are afraid of anything that would go wrong. So the kids just come to skate when there is no security, it is a huge risk I know, the mall said they could kick us out if the kids start skating there, but the kids want to skate too. So they don't come to skate these days, I feel so bad for them.
We are a lot of us! I can't say the right number I will Just estimate we are something like 200-300+. We have at least 100 people that show up in a day of skating.
(Jacques') I should add that Jeremy from Caravan mobile skate shop actually traveled to Zambia to bring decks and gear to the kids AND he sat down with the mall manager to broker a deal for them to be able to skate on certain days with no hassle. He currently has a fundraiser going to raise money for a skate park in Solwezi!
What do you see for the future of Skateboarding in Solwezi?
I see Skateboarding saving and changing lives in Solwezi! I'm not so sure how yet but all I see is a world class skate park in Solwezi with lots of kids spreading love in it. I see it promoting talent in Solwezi. I see skateboarding being a stress free drug for the older ones and younger ones going through difficult times. But most of all I see a skateboard bringing lots of big smiles to a lot of kids in Solwezi.
(Jacques') When the package of shoes finally did arrive, Peter organized a raffle to give away the shoes. These are some of those smiles he was talking about
My only wish is that I could have sent more, and I will! Currently trying to figure out the logistics of sending a bigger package. KIMYE KYETU as Peter taught me! If anybody out there has experience or connections with DHL etc. please reach out. Also any skate shops, brands, or anybody just inspired by this story that wants to help. holler!
Lastly,If you could travel anywhere in the world to skate where would it be?
It's definitely the United States of America. The main reason is because I have a lot of friends I want to meet and skate with there. And ever since I was a child I had dreams of me being in the US. I don't know if I will ever get such an opportunity in my life but you know CANT STOP WONT STOP whether I do get or not to have such an opportunity I will still keep dreaming.
I just want to take this moment to say Thank you Most importantly to God for giving me this opportunity to fight for my lil dudes and I say Thank you to everyone that has been in support and encouraging me to keep going! I will keep on doing it for the kids! You know it Jacques my man, CANT STOP WONT STOP and yo it's KIMYE KYETU!
(Jacques') Thanks to Peter for being such a driving force of positivity in the Zambian skate scene and for always fighting for the kids. Hopefully someday we can make that dream come true for you.
BIG LOVE FROM FLORIDA HOMIE
“RIDE” Playlist 🚲💨
Artwork by my main dude “Shithouse Mouse”
These are songs I bump on my weekly bike rides to keep me moving. I rode the same Kilo TT single speed track bike for 10 years and loved the stripped down speedy style of it . Recently I purchased a State 4130 All Road “Joshua Tree edition 😎” because I wanted something with more versatility and the capability to carry some shit. I’m in love with the new whip and ride as much as I can. Once a month with a small group of friends we plan longer rides to push ourselves and prepare for a 350 mile bike packing trip this September. More on that later. This playlist is fast paced and a mixed bag of genres from all over the world. I suggest you shuffle and ride hard🤘🏽