Surfing as leisure and a sport has historically been associated with whites in South Africa, though that’s not necessarily true in practice. In fact a few documentary films (for example, “Taking back the waves“), the new feature film “Otelo Burning” and the work of photographer Richard Johnson (scroll to the right) have pointed to a long tradition of surfing among young black people in South Africa’s coastal cities.* So, I always wondered when some creative director would pounce on the idea to commodify that history and struggle for recognition. Well, Cell C, a mobile/cell operator has done so now as part of its “Be Now” campaign targeted at young people with an ad focusing on”budding” semi-pro surfer Avuyile Ndamase from the Eastern Cape province.
* The recent documentary, “Whitewash,” interrogated similar themes in surfing in the United States.