Amidst congested streets and unpaved roads, the birth of Nigeria’s first skate scene seemed impossible. The WAFFLESNCREAM skate crew and lifestyle brand, however, has defied these odds by building Lagos’ first skate park and connecting skaters across the continent.
WAFFLESNCREAM was founded in Leeds in 2007, and since then has worked tirelessly to cultivate a skate and BMX brand that authentically embodies African cultures. The brand is led by a small but passionate team of athletes, artists and friends, proving that African youth have the ability to put themselves on the map.
As Bainjor Joiner, WAFFLESNCREAM’s photographer, describes their goal: “We want to present a different African and Nigerian perspective, one that is conscious of but not limited to the cliché African narrative; showcasing the creativity, variety of interests, subcultures, and untapped potential [of] African youths possess, while presenting a fuller and truer picture of life here.”
Despite being a small company, they have achieved more than anyone could have imagined. In June, they hosted the first Go Skate Day on Lagos Island, showcasing the sport with local skaters on International Skate Day. The blossoming community is also connecting local graffiti artists, painters, rollerbladers and BMXers, converging multiple scenes that would otherwise never have come together. As Joiner says, the scene is not “just a means of uninhibited self expression,” but also provides a “better quality of life for the overlooked youth.”
As part of the Dry/Harmattan ’17 collection, they offer a wide variety of boldly printed ‘Uncle’ shirts, trousers and tees. Inspired by the vibrant culture in Lagos, this collection is WAFFLESNCREAM’s first official release since opening its doors in Victoria Island. They also stock skateboards, allowing the cultural experience to travel from inside the shop to the streets outside.
However, their breakthroughs are far from over. The company is determined to build more skate parks in Nigeria and West Africa, where the flourishing skate scene can be recognized from all around the world. Next month, they will be hosting a pop-up shop in Ghana from the 20th to the 21st of October at Lokko 08 in Osu, providing one of many upcoming opportunities to connect local skaters and creatives. The company continues to cultivate spaces celebrating a better life for burgeoning cultures- of brothers, friends and new faces.
For Joiner, WAFFLESNCREAM was never just a company. It is a lifestyle, a community and a chance for skaters to take their future into their own hands. “All that’s happening right now, all the people that are here and part of this…what we’re trying to do is create a platform for this and say ‘this is real.’ This is where it’s going. Give these skaters a chance, give these people a chance.”