"Surfing is still not a mixed sport. No matter where you surf, the waves are always dominated by men. For the most part Women are pushed down the pecking order as their male counterparts push and shove their way onto the best waves of the day. Women surfers are gaining in number, but there's a long way still to go with a culture that is still slanted greatly towards Male participation. Waves for Change is based in communities where surfing, and in particular surf culture, has never existed before. We see it as our responsibility to create a culture that is responsible, inclusive and educational and this year, our second year in existence, we are looking to bring girls closer into the fold. In 2012, 30% of our participants were women. This year we want to see it hit 50%! It's the year of Ladies First - and here are two of Waves for Change up and coming female stars blogging about what Waves for Change means to them"
I’m Noncedo Mabhunu and I am 16 years old. I live in Masiphumelele Township and i joined Waves for Change in January last year.
I surf because surfing makes me feel free and it’s a challenge. Every day when I surf I learn something new. Every wave I catch teaches me that nothing is impossible if I can make the right choices in life. Surfing encourages me to show my community that black people in South Africa can achieve new things and that there are new opportunities there for us.
When I started with Waves for Change I didn’t know what to expect. But after a while I started to learn the basics and ride waves. Waves for Change has made a difference in my life and is teaching me to make the right choices.
Waves for Change has taught me a lot more than I expected. Now, no matter how tough the road ahead is, I have the ambition of making the right choices. I have learned that commitment is a great equaliser and that my background, my wealth or my poverty doesn’t matter. If we hold true to our commitments we can make our move, we can pursue our dreams and achieve our goals.
Michelle Sibongiseni (16 years old - Masiphumelele)
Oh Surfing, surfing, surfing. What can I say about it? I love it and I can’t even help myself from it! Surfing is so much fun, once you’ve started you won’t be able to let go. Ever!
When you are at the beach, caring for your surf board and riding the waves, you’ll forget all the things that are happening in your community. You will feel free, like never before!!
My advice to people out there is that surfing is interesting. You can express yourself freely and be positive. When you come surfing with us you will feel happier and fulfilled. And when you have a positive attitude your life will be stronger than any of the risks that you are faced with, like smoking, alcohol, teenage pregnancy and a bad lifestyle. Surfing is Bananas!