Thabang Tsillo: What’s My Story?

Thabang is a local skater at the Kumba Skate Plaza who has been coming to the park for about 2 years now. He spent the entire past year borrowing and riding our loaner boards every single day. Even though at some point there were only a few boards available to share amongst a group of 30 kids, he still never gave up and kept coming to skate. Now he may easily be identified as one of the best up and coming skaters at the plaza.

We caught up with Thabang to chat about his experiences in this installment of “What’s My Story?”

Thabang TsilloThabang Tsillo comes to the skatepark every day to stay away from his peers who get caught up with bad things in the location and has been making a name for himself after only about a year and a half on the board. See what Thabang has to say about skateboarding here on our site: http://kimberleydiamondcup.com/2016/03/thabang-tsillo-whats-story/#kdcskate

Posted by Kimberley Diamond Cup on Thursday, March 10, 2016


                                                Thabang puts down a boardslide on the A-Frame rail.

Give us your full name, age and where you’re from and when did you start skating.

My name is Thabang Tsillo, I’m from Kimberley, I’m 16 years old and I’ve been skating since 2014.

How did you find out about the skatepark?
I was playing soccer with some friends and one of them said “Let’s go to the skatepark”. I didn’t know where it was or what happens there, so I went with them and have been skating since that day.

How did you acquire your first board? Before that you had to rotate a few loaner boards amongst you and 30 other skaters, tell us about that.
I got my first board at the Skateboarding For Hope event here at the park during Midway Mayhem 2015. Sharing boards amongst all of us wasn’t fun; some guys didn’t want to share and would want to skate alone all day.

What do you like the most about the skatepark?
I like that it’s a good place to make friends and it’s safe. And I got to get out of Kimberley for the first time to go to Kuruman. I’d never been out of Kimberley before that.

How do you acquire extra parts, like decks, bearings and such?
If I need anything I ask Chinner and he gives me something to do around the skatepark to earn what I need.

          Thabang pivots on the bank to wall.

What do people in your community think about skateboarding?
They don’t really like it, even my friends at school. When I talk about skateboarding they tell me I’m gonna break something.

What about your family? What do they think of skateboarding?
They approve of me skating. My brother always tells me to keep skating and stay away from my peers who get caught up in bad things in the location (township).

Hippie jump over the rail. Skateboarding is fun.

What do your peers normally do in your community? Those that don’t skate
They play soccer, but most of them are in gangs and they mug people.

Have they ever tried to bother you at all?
No, I stay away from them; Even if they make fun of me for skating.

Any Thanks?
I wanna say thanks to Chinner, Erwin, my parents, and all my friends here at the skatepark.

Words by Erwin Lyon

Photos by Erwin Lyon and Mike Chinner

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