Senegal is known among surfers for its good waves. But growing up in Dakar, the coastal capital, Khadjou Sambe says she’s never seen a Black woman surfing the Atlantic swells.

Today, at 24 years old, Khadjou is Senegal’s first professional female surfer and hopes to represent her country at the next Olympics.

“When I am in the water I feel something extraordinary, something special in my heart because you really feel something,” Khadjoy explains. “And also, when you are in the water you forget all your problems. You think you are in another world.”

She also coaches and encourages girls in her community.

“What I say to the young girls who start surfing is that I always advise them not to listen to other people, to block their ears, concentrate, go straight ahead, focus on their training, not listen to others,” she says.

“Because I went through this myself with people talking, and I stopped surfing, which is why I started surfing a bit late.”

Under her guidance, the girls perform surfing drills at the Black Girls Surf camp, which was set up by Khadjou’s mentor, experienced surfer and former US Coast Guard Rhonda Harper.

Source: Al Jazeera