“It is simply the best thing in my life. I love everything about surfing and I think about waves all the time”.
best thing in my life. I love everything about surfing and I think about waves all the time.” Since she and her cousin were the only girls doing the water sport, their parents were a bit suspicious, and people around the village frowned upon their new hobby, believing that girls shouldn’t do such an extreme activity. Their families asked them to stop surfing, so after a big argument they gave up.
Khadjou was numbed with grief. For two years she yearned for the waves and stared at the ocean every day, almost losing hope that she would ever step on a board again. But then something unexpected happened. She met Marta, an Italian woman who needed a surf instructor for a surf school that she ran with her Senegalese husband Aziz, at Yoff Beach in Dakar. Khadjou’s family approved her wish to start working as a surf instructor, since she would start to make a living and her new boss was also a woman. She couldn’t have been happier to return in the water. Unfortunately Astou wasn’t so lucky, she never returned to surfing after the conflict with the family.
Now after seven years of working in Malika Surf Camp, Khadjou enjoys surfing more than ever and is taking it more seriously than ever before. She has started to train with the best surfers of Senegal, in preparation for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo 2020. The Surf culture in Senegal has improved fast since the pioneers started to catch waves with the boards left behind by Western tourists in the ’80’s, and West Africa’s popularity as a surf travel destination is rising high. Winter is the busiest season for the camps, which is no surprise since the constant swells of Atlantic Ocean bring high
From the little harbour of Ngor Village it is easy to spot the conditions of the waves
The house of Khadjou is usually busy with her family.
Khadjou found the balance between the traditional Senegalese woman and modern surf girl