Nigeria’s premier skate brand, formerly known as WAFFLESNCREAM, recently underwent a facelift and has emerged as waf. The outfit has undergone significant changes in the last year – possibly triggered by a potential Instagram account hack. And like a metaphorical caterpillar unveiled this past weekend, waf. hosted some of its biggest events ever – its new store opening and the GO SKATE DAY LAGOS skate contest. Aiming to create a benchmark with a first-of-its-kind event is no small feat; factoring in the uncertainty of Nigeria and COVID significantly diminishes most chances such a venture might have for success. Yet, waf. managed to pull that off, flying in about ten skaters from around Africa to integrate with the skate community here and compete for prize money of half a million naira ($1215). Bundling the opening of their new creative studio/clothing and skate store, waf., with the surprise first screening of their new short film, Mango (shot by South African filmmaker Jonathan Pinkhard), the brand managed to pull a diverse crowd of Nigerian and African talent to the event and mark an important moment in our collective story as a ubiquitous community.
Appearances from Odunsi the Engine, Tec from SDC and Zamir helped highlight the growth they have achieved over time and just how relevant the brand has remained since its inception nine years ago – another milestone they recently celebrated. The store opening coincided with the release of their limited-edition collaboration with Jungles, the Australian clothing brand out of Melbourne. A portion of the proceeds from this partnership will go towards the wafflesncream skate fund – an initiative that will allow skaters in the city of Lagos to purchase skate parts discounted at 50% off. Other coveted pieces of the latest release were on display and available to cop, ranging from the skate decks to the new panel caps.
The highly anticipated GO SKATE DAY LAGOS event that was initially slated to occur the day following their store opening by 1 pm at the Surulere National Stadium, was disrupted by a persistent heavy downpour. However, it was rescheduled for 4 pm at a makeshift venue located at Ikeja, the city’s capital. Despite the venue change, approximately 200 people were in attendance, featuring standout performances from some of the highlight participants – Chenai Gwandure, Kagiso Paul, and Fahd Bello.
Sponsored by abeg, Bounce, Power Horse & supported by DSTV Nigeria, the event was cleaved into three acts, the roller skaters kicking things off. After frantic showings from about six roller skaters, the teenage Benedict Agazi emerged as the winner. The BMX riders maintained the spirited momentum before the skaters closed the event, taking it to the next level. After turning up as winners in their various groupings, Fahd Bello, Chenai Gwandure and Kyle Keshwa battled it out in a zestful final showing before the 24-year-old South African Kyle Keshwa emerged victorious, winning the prize money of five hundred thousand naira. Managing to secure strategic partnerships for GO SKATE DAY LAGOS has positioned the brand expertly and ensures that they maintain a grip on the sport’s future in Africa while pushing the boundaries of African streetwear.