Antidote: Remedy the Scene

For a while now Antidote Skateboarding, makers of Antidote skateboards, has become much more present in the skateboarding scene in North, West and South Africa, Tanzania in East Africa, especially with their key members Obi Owusu, Danny and Anthony who through their instagram page have inspired inspires many Tanzanians to get on board with Skateboarding as a means of promoting good mental health, fashion style, a new way of life that the new generation of African kids can look up to. Due to the emergence of the Antidote crew, the popularity of skateboarding has boomed like never before through meaningful recreational insentives and creative workshops.

In this exclusive interview withAntidote Skateboards in collaboration with Skating is Risky!™️, the Tanzanian skateboarding team try to clarify their mission statement in the skateboarding industry, as well as discuss their emergence in the scene as one of the few emerging companies that produce skateboards in East Africa.

Hello Antidote Team! welcome to Skating is Risky!

Please briefly introduce yourself, your name and age, and also tell us what got you interested in the Skateboarding scene. 

DANNY: I am 29 years old. So my interest in skateboarding came from watching music videos (hip-hop) and movies while I was growing up. Remember that Eminem song (No Love) there was a kid with a skateboard, just seeing that I thought this was cool.  I also kept seeing skateboarding in different videos and movies too.

At what age did you start skateboarding and how long have you been skateboarding?

DANNY: I started skating when I was in my last year of high school. So when I was 19/20, it is about 10 years now.

Does Antidote Skateboard have team riders, if so, who are they?

Antidote has a total of 3 official riders in two different countries. 

Antony Mwangi from Nairobi, Kenya

Obi Owusu from Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

Michael Benjamin from Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. 

And, there are a few others in Arusha still in grooming. We also have two members who film, Anwar from Dar Es Salaam, and Skitty who is from Nairobi, Kenya.

A lot of kids look up to you when it comes to skateboarding as a professional sport, do you think you will one day become a skateboarding coach? 

DANNY: Some of the kids look up to me in a lot of things. I am currently working as a skatepark manager at Smallsteps Skatepark. And yeah I’ve been coaching the kids here since 2020. The wild thing is some of the kids that I’ve been teaching skateboarding are now better than me when it comes to tricks (and I saw them land their first ollies and kickflips), but when it comes to skateboarding in general yeah I guess they still look up to me.

Briefly share with us what the benefits of being a sponsored skater are.

OBI OWUSU: I think the best thing about it is I don’t have to worry too much about boards and gear anymore. It was hard getting boards because there are no board companies in Tanzania. The board I got before I went pro for Antidote took 6 months to get to Dar. Even though I don’t feel I’m good enough to be on the team, the fact that I’m on it gives me the motivation to push myself which has helped me work on improving my skating and overall maturity. Being sponsored also gives me an excuse to give to my mom for why I skate so often lol. I get to skate more often and hype the homies to skate new spots and stuff like that. Overall being a sponsored skater allows me to stay on the board consistently without worrying about if a trick down a set will be my last for 6 months because I don’t have a spare board. 

ANTHONY: For me one of the benefits of being sponsored by antidote is that I get the resources to continue my practice, like decks. This helps me to skate without so much worry. It also makes me feel that I’m being productive, especially when we are out in the streets with skitty working on films.

As one of the first skateboard-producing companies in Africa, can you share with the community some of the difficulties you face in making the dream a reality?

DANNY: So there are a lot of challenges, but the best way to put it is, “the biggest challenge is doing more with less”. I cannot speak for every country, but for the most part in Africa, we have less amount of skaters, less capital (companies), fewer skateboarding infrastructures, etc. This directly affects both the skateboarding communities and companies. But we keep pushing no matter what. So, all the people trying to remedy/offset those problems are the antidotes. All the skaters that keep pushing every day, all the new ones picking up skateboarding for the first time. These are the antidotes that remedy the problems of fewer skaters in Africa. Some people are supportive of the culture in one way or another, people trying to build skateboarding communities, and people trying to do something for the scene. “We’re all the remedy whether we know it or not”

To be honest, we were excited to do this interview with you because we just wanted to ask, and also tell us what is your mission statement with Antidote skateboards, when people hear the name „Antidote“ how do you want them to feel, what do you want them to think?

DANNY: Antidote is here to rememdy the scene by providing authentic and affordable skateboards, garments to the EA skateboarding community

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *