Aims to Nurture a Flourishing Skating Scene in the Heart of Kenya

Skating stars RolleRouge & Alono Span in Kenya for the East Africa's first roller rink grand opening

Piece by: PAUL AMUKO

• RolleRouge and Alono Span, hailing all the way from Canada & Chicago, recently arrived in Kenya for Sk8city, East Africa's first roller rink grand opening.

Rolle Rouge & Alono Span
Image: Courtesy

Two esteemed skaters, RolleRouge and Alono Span, hailing all the way from Canada and the U.S, recently arrived in Kenya for Sk8city, East Africa's first roller rink grand opening.

The duo brings their extraordinary talents and passion for skating to Nairobi for a thrilling 6-month adventure, dedicated to establishing and nurturing a vibrant skating culture in the city.

Embracing Unprecedented Opportunities

RolleRouge, who was in Scotland at the time, received an unexpected DM message from a stranger inviting him to Kenya for an extraordinary opportunity – to be part of the first-ever skating rink in Africa.

''Obviously over DM you’d think things are very sketchy but over time we all like comforted each other like yeah this is legit and it’s an opportunity of a lifetime''

After engaging in video calls and reassuring communication, him and Alono Span decided to take the leap, setting their sights on Nairobi.

The prospect of fostering a budding roller skating culture in a continent that has yet to fully experience the wonders of the sport was an opportunity they couldn't resist.

Rolle Rouge
Image: Courtesy

In an exclusive interview, RolleRouge expressed his amazement at the warm welcome and support she received in Kenya.

''You guys are honestly treating me like a King out here i feel valued as a creator as a skater and just as a human being." he beamed.

The skaters were deeply impressed by the sense of community and camaraderie among Nairobi's skating enthusiasts, contrasting it with the more individualistic approach they were used to in their home country.

''I see riots but you guys are nice people like you guys work together for a common goal, you care about each other where we come from the world  is really self centered, they teach to just do everything by yourself but here people know what they are good at and what they are not good at and are willing to play a role and be a gear, and that's what eases my heart''

They now see their mission as not just promoting skating but also nurturing a sense of togetherness and support among the community.

Planting the Seed for a Thriving Skating Community

Rolle Rouge and Alono Span view their presence in Nairobi as an opportunity to "plant the seed" for a thriving skating community.

With the Sk8city Rink serving as the epicenter, they are determined to teach various skating styles and provide guidance to newcomers who are experiencing the sport for the first time.

''We wanna help make it a good experience potentially to grow a community around this this isn't just a business it's not just a place where people come to work or come to think its a home,'' RolleRouge

The novelty of the first skating rink in Kenya opens doors for boundless possibilities, allowing them to build a fresh and inclusive culture from the ground up.

Rolle Rouge highlighted the accessibility of skating as a sport, emphasizing that it welcomes people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds.

It's not about how someone looks; it's about the joy, freedom, and self-expression they find on wheels.

Alono Span aka Look at Lono
Image: Courtesy

A Global Journey of Passion and Dedication

For  Alono Span, the journey to Kenya marks his first time traveling outside the United States.

''My name is Alono Span Aka  look at Lono  from Chicago, a JB skater am here to bring the culture to Nairobi, so we  in Africa, i have never been outside the country, it's been great i don’t know if am going back home, am loving my first time in Kenya.''

He embarked on his skating journey four years ago, dedicating himself fully to the sport. What began as a hobby soon transformed into a way of life, with skating becoming his daily job and passion.

''I got into JB skating which is a style from Chicago, i started learning about it when i was 20 , i was a server at the time  then i found out about the culture, so i went from working everyday to skating everyday, like skating is my job its crazy i skate every single day.''

Having conducted workshops in various states across the U.S., this opportunity to teach and skate in Kenya is unlike anything he's experienced before.

His devotion to skating and his eagerness to explore new territories have him eyeing future destinations like the UK, Japan, Australia, and Barcelona, eager to share his love for the sport with the world.

The Future of Skating in Nairobi

As the 6-month journey unfolds, RolleRouge and  Alono Span are poised to leave an indelible mark on Nairobi's skateboarding landscape.

Their commitment to cultivating a tight-knit community and instilling the love for skating in Kenya promises to ignite a passion for the sport that will ripple throughout the country.

Sk8city Rink, once just a dream, is now a home, a haven where skaters can gather, grow, and celebrate the exhilarating world of skating.

The next six months will undoubtedly be a thrilling ride as Nairobi's skateboarding culture takes its first giant leap, all thanks to the dedication and inspiration brought by RolleRouge and  Alono Span.

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