My first name is Nkosana, otherwise well known as ‘Ashley’ Mthembu. I am a 25 year old amateur skateboarder with the belief of going ‘Pro’ from South Africa, in the Northern Free State from a town called Sasolburg. I started skateboarding 13 years ago with the intention to just learn how to kick-flip being the most awesome I have seen at that time.
During my teen years all I dreamt about is working in the skateboarding industry, either as a professional skateboarder or behind the scenes in the production of products. I then finished High School and went on to study further and obtain a bachelor’s degree in business administration. However, I still struggled to get my foot into the skateboarding industry after I had completed my studies. I began to skate competitively and filming in the streets of Sasolburg in 2013 came out with my skate first edit early 2014 and met Chris Stylianou, Nathaniel Minaar & Frank Smit from Sicktrixs Skateboards.
In February 2014 I applied for sponsorship and have been on the team for a good year & 8 months to date, funny story that being a sponsored skateboarder was my main goal during my teens and I actually achieved it an odd 10 years later in my life. The opportunity allowed me to see skateboarding not from just a rider’s perspective but the owner’s perspective as well in terms of skateboarding development as a whole. It showed me the various careers one can pursue in conjunction with skateboarding.
The opportunity has also inspired me to revive Premium Blend Skateboards, which was a crew I had formed with a close friend back in 2005. Back then it was just 4 dudes skating throughout the entire town, today Premium Blend Skateboards consists of 15 skaters and the number of interested youngster want to try skateboarding or their parents want to get them into skateboarding but although Sasolburg is full of resources, it doesn’t yet fully support skateboarding as a sport to invest in. Premium Blend Skateboards mission & vision is from crew to well-known skate brand.
At the current moment we as Premium Blend Skateboards are in talks with the local municipality for the erection & construction of a community skate park. The vision is to develop and nurture talent, not having kids have to worry about entrance money to do so. This has shown me that skateboarding is not just entertainment but can have a vital social impact on our surrounding community.
Skateboarding has also enhanced my creative side; I have been creating my own and other skateboard/non-skateboarding related edits. Videography, especially of skateboarding is one aspect I am currently exploring to enhance the experience of watching local dudes shred gnarly spots. One of my recent edits is a Premium Blend Skateboards Skate Video called ‘Blending in the Burg’, YouTube link is as follows: https://youtu.be/8eM2KCCXkFU . This edit was a combination of my filming efforts and Nathan Daltons creativity & together we formed ‘Abstract Films’, as a platform to spread creativity in any way possible.
Vaal Skateboarding- VSKB is another initiative that brings about spreading the skateboard talent & pushing development within the Vaal Triangle, earlier this year I got an invite from a talent youngster named Paul Melato to work on a young VSKB edit called ‘Up N Comin’. It made me realise that we are skate paving a legacy from the following generation to follow or enhance & it is vital to support the younger generation as older more experienced skateboarders. YouTube Link to the edit: https://youtu.be/qlRKxFFu42M .
This is my journey in the shortest form I can explain how far back my passion for skateboarding goes.
Nkosana Ashley Mthembu