NextGen: WAFFLESNCREAM Leads the Way in Expanding Nigeria's Urban Youth Experience
Nigeria's first skate crew rethinks what community building looks like among the creative youth.
DIASPORA—Over the course of July we'll be publishing short profiles, essays and interviews on the theme of "Afrofutures." Together these stories will be a deep dive into the way African and diaspora thinkers, technologists and artists view a future for Africans in the world and outside of it.
Take a look at our introduction to Afrofuturism here.
Throughout this month, we'll also highlight and celebrate young, leading talents who already put into practice what a future with black people look like through their work in our daily profile series, 'NextGen.'
In our 12th edition, meet Nigeria's first skateboard collective, WAFFLESNCREAM.
In many ways WAFFLESNCREAM embodies what it means to shape the future of community in Africa. As Nigeria’s first skateboard collective and store, they are creating spaces for young people in Nigeria to explore their skills and embrace their creative selves.
Photo by Amarachi Nwosu.
Originally founded in 2010, WAFFLESNCREAM is made up of a community of passionate skateboarders, BMX riders, graffiti artists, photographers, musicians, and directors that aim to expand the urban youth experience in Nigeria and connect street wear, skate and social impact. Beyond being the country's first in this creative space, their team is working towards building the Nigeria's first skate park. They want to help skaters develop their skills and shape a better future for kids who want to join action sports.
Photo by MAJDEL.
The collective has also been recognized by publications like CNN Africa, Al Jazeera and VICE. In order to connect to their international audience, they have also curated pop ups in cities like New York and Accra, and worked with brands like Red Bull and Vans. When speaking with 16-year-old member and artist Leonard Iheagwam on his perception of Afrofuturism, he mentions that “Afrofuturism to me is simply the future of black people and where the future of black culture and art lies. That is me and my friends doing things to make black or African culture progress into a very rich cultural future.”
In many ways WAFFLESNCREAM has been able to help young people who are interested in activities outside of Nigerian traditions have an outlet to express themselves. “As a skater and artist, I want to shape the narratives of African people by shedding a light on how African kids can be involved in something like skateboarding or creating of any form without relying on the western world for recognition. Essentially, for Africa by Africans,” he says.
While this notion will take time to develop, what we do in the now is what shapes the quality of our future and the kids at WAFFLESNCREAM have surely set the tone.