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Looking Back: Nebula Skateboarding At The Kumba Skate Plaza

Over the course of November-December at the Kumba Skate Plaza, we were fortunate enough to have our good friend and Cape Town native Rayne Moses join us as a guest skatepark manager and spread good vibes through his program, Nebula Skateboarding. Rayne has been active with his program in Cape Town over the last few years, and earlier in 2015, we reached out to him to spend some time at the Kumba Skate Plaza in and conduct his program for the Kimberley  youth; starting KDC’s relationship with Rayne & Nebula. Rayne rejoined us in November of 2015 to continue his program and reach out to the youth of the area.

Nebula’s focus is empowering the youth to follow their dreams and reach their potential, using skateboarding as a vehicle. Nebula also focuses on artistic expression, entrepreneurial activities, and other group exercises/activities that promote teamwork and leadership skills. Interacting with mostly underprivileged youth, Rayne was able to reach several of our Kumba Skate Plaza locals and inspire them to identify their future goals and help them brainstorm on what actions must be done to reach those goals. 

Rayne and his program touched several lives over the course of a 6 week period and we’re super grateful that he was able to join us and spread the love in Kimberley. Check out a couple of photos from the Nebula program at the Kumba Skate Plaza for a little insight into what we got into over the holiday season along with a short interview from Rayne regarding his experience.

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Rayne introduces the Nebula program to a new group of Kimberlaaities.NebulaRecap_14

Youth volunteer, Siphiwe Kheswa, interacting with some of the younger skaters during a Nebula group activity. 

KDC: To recap, what is the mission statement of Nebula and what was your main objective when setting out to connect with the Kimberley youth, and how was that achieved in the end?

Rayne: Nebula’s misson is to inspire young people to do what they are passionate about and follow their dream. My main objective was to give them the experience of what that means by having them set a goal – a vision, a dream – and show them how to make it a reality. We achieved that by planning the “Nebula Fun Day” and starting small businesses to raise money.

KDC: Explain a few activities and exercises you did with the group and their purpose.

Rayne: Music is always a good way to connect with people regardless of differences. I believe this is also key to create an inclusive environment for learning. That is the purpose of drumming sessions. We played games that requiresd planning and teamwork which is essential for achieving anything as a group. I also had mentorship and coaching sessions with the Musketeers teaching them about the practical, necessary and administrative side of entrepreneurship as well as exploring where they want to be in the future.

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Rayne engaging in group activity explaining the connection between skateboarding and entrepreneurialism to the children to prepare them for future endeavors.

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Youth volunteers demonstrate proper washing techniques to the laaities as the kids prepare for the Kimberlaaities Car Wash to take place the following weekend. 

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Youth volunteer, Charles Shephard, shows the kids how it’s done on the house Golf.

NebulaRecap_2Rayne amidst a group discussion discussing the importance of artistic expression before breaking down into a drum circle.

NebulaRecap_18The crew indulges in artistic expression as they gather around for the drum circle. Plenty of laughs and good times were had! 

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Young Thepo washing a car at the Kimberlaaities car wash. Proceeds from the car wash went towards the Nebula Fun Day which including swimming and skating.

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Kimberlaaities engaging in entrepreneurial activity and selling jaycees (frozen treat) at an event at the campgrounds adjacent to the skatepark. Proceeds from the funds went towards the Nebula Fun Day and the exercise taught work ethic to the youth.

KDC: Was your approach to reaching the children any different to that of which you would use in Cape Town? If so, how?

Rayne: Yes and no. I always thought that being in a different city, or space, with the intention to run a programme with kids requires one to first get a sense of how they interact with each other and build rapport. In 2012, I did that for a year in Cape Town, haha. But my time was limited (t)here so I had to work within those contraints. I also took a more organic approach to running the programme, designing activities according to what was happening at the time as opposed to having a set plan up front – that doesnt always work. I have learned a lot since I started Nebula, and running the programme at the Kumba Skate Plaza was like a culmination of those lessons.

KDC: What was your favorite part of working with the children? What activities/aspects of the program do you feel the children enjoyed most?

Rayne: The kids really enjoyed the games we played as well as the music and dancing. We saw some unheard and unseen talent from the kasi! What I enjoyed most was working with Siphiwe, Samkelo and Charles – The Musketeers. Those guys are awesome! They were passionate and driven about business and the fact that they were older allowed me to connect with them on a deeper level.

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Rayne engaging the children in a motivational speech. 

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Siphiwe Kheswa gets in a 5050 in the Kimberley streets during a Nebula street outing.

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The man himself, Rayne, puts down a nose manny at an abandoned Kimberley train station. 

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Skaters cooling off and enjoying themselves at the public pool during the Nebula Fun Day. The group paid for entrance fees using money that was raised at the car wash and from selling jaycees.

KDC: Where do you see the level of skateboarding and the skate community compared to the rest of the country? What is special about Kimberley and the scene here, if anything?

Rayne: Okay, let me list the rippers. Young OG Warrick Delport, Brad Balie, Siphiwe Kweshwa, Alec Balie Mj Seleoane and Damian Bramley are the ones that stand out the most. With upcomers like Clinton, Benjamin, Gift and Tsepiso – I’m forgetting one or two others! Warrick will rock up to the park once or twice a week and put things down while warming up that take most a good few hours or even days to land. Brad Kickflips the big 4 first try… During a comtest! Siphiwe and Alec come through with steez and tricks progressing faster than anyone I’ve seen. Damian kills tranny and vert, pushing through the park like its his own. And MJ always pushes himself to the next level going for harder tricks on every obstacle… This the team! If you know what I mean! (Haha, yeah I rap too!). Since the skatepark is relatively new, the thing that makes the scene different compared to Cape Town, Jozi and Durban, is that all these dudes are young and in school. Besides Warrick, he is much older and working. If there was a ever a skate company to come out of Kimberley, don’t say I never told you who to put on the team.

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Rayne presents young Wadu with a certificate of achievement for his participation in the Nebula program. 

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Rayne presents local skater, MJ, with a certificate of achievement for participating in the Nebula Program at the Kumba Skate Plaza.

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Rayne presents Kumba Skate Plaza skaters with certificates of achievement for their participation in the Nebula program as well as some extra goodies for those who performed above and beyond during the course of the program. 

KDC: Are there any children who you feel you truly reached and that you feel your interactions and workshops resonated with?

Rayne: The Musketeers were really involded in the programme, from setting up for business, running it as well as skating hard. With the right support and guidance, I believe they can really go far together. As mentioned earlier, they are older so it allowed for us to have different conversations compared to the younger kids. Their lively spirit and constant cracking of jokes and rhymes adds a great flavour to the daily operations of the skatepark. At the end of it all, the kids who received certificates particpated the most in the programme, getting to fully experience what it takes to make a dream a reality. They know whats a Nebula Skate of Mind and I believe there is something special about each of them, inside and outside of skateboarding.

Words: Mike Chinner

Photos: Erwin Lyon

Thanks: Rayne Moses/Nebula Skateboarding

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