The story of surfing in Africa has been told from foreign eyes. Since then, and aside from the rich surfing scene which has been flourishing in South Africa for decades, African surf culture has been conveyed through an outside lens. A new book hopes to change that narrative.
AfroSurf, a 300-page tome of photos and stories documents surf and related street cultures throughout the African continent’s vast coastline – from Morocco to Somalia, Senegal to Mozambique, South Africa, and beyond.
Selema, cofounder of a surf band Mami Wata in an interview states the impelling force behind the book. “The impetus for this book was how the world sees and defines surf culture. It’s through this very limited scope – mostly as a Southern California thing, or an Australian thing, and with a sprinkle of native Pacific Islander influence.”
According to the writers, Africa is a continent that has arguably more surfing coastline than anywhere. It is the perfect time to tell these stories of the places that are adopting surfing as their own and then injecting their culture into it.
“I think that for surfing to survive, the narrative has to expand. It increases what travel looks like, it enhances the influence on style and progress. It’s a perfect time to be showcasing the totality of what our landscape looks like.” Selema added.
There book hopes to open the eyes of the world to yet another wonder of Africa, the African surf culture. It wants people to get excited to go to Africa. To weigh Africa in the same way they do other places when they think about their next surf trip. Through this book, it will be evident that there’s no other place like it on earth.