Via the age of 13, Khadjou Sambe had fallen in love with browsing. However browsing is a male-dominated recreation in her house nation of Senegal, and it’s uncommon to seek out girls using the waves. It’s even rarer to look girls of colour, particularly Black girls, browsing—one thing Sambe temporarily turned into conscious about as she started progressing within the recreation. Regardless of the chances, she saved going, fueled via a rising love of being within the water.
Rapid ahead 11 years later and Sambe, now 24, has her points of interest set on competing within the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, underneath the steering of her trainer, Rhonda Harper. After Harper recruited Sambe to compete in a surf pageant in Sierra Leone in 2014, she invited her to California to coach, and from there, the group Black Ladies Surf used to be born, helmed via Harper with the improve of Sambe. In combination, the 2 have since opened loose surf camps in every single place California and Africa, in puts like Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, to encourage and educate different younger women of colour to journey the waves.
We stuck up with Sambe, who’s recently at their surf camp in Dakar, to listen to about her adventure to this point, her Olympic objectives, and what recommendation she has for aspiring surfers.
The place did your love for browsing start?
I am a lady who likes enjoying sports activities, and I began browsing at age 13. The place I are living, the whole lot is surrounded via water, so everyone is going browsing always. I grew up seeing a large number of my cousins and uncles browsing. However I might by no means see any Black women and at all times puzzled the place they had been. That made me need to surf much more, so I may just turn out that ladies can surf, too.
Did you get a large number of improve?
After I attempted [surfing] for the primary time, I fell in love with it. I saved making an attempt till I turned into just right at it, however my folks weren’t happy. Numerous the folks in my circle of relatives would say, “why is she at all times with boys?” I began entering issues of my circle of relatives, so I finished browsing for roughly two years and labored at a cafe. However I would give myself day by day pep talks like, “Khadjou, no, you don’t have to prevent browsing, don’t concentrate to what individuals are announcing, proceed following your desires, struggle for your self.” I went again to browsing.