Senegal’s first female pro surfer draws others in her wake

Growing up in the coastal capital of Dakar, Khadjou Sambe never saw a Black woman surfing the Atlantic swells. As Senegal’s first female professional surfer, Sambe is now inspiring the next generation to defy cultural norms and take to the waves.

Undeterred by the postponement of the Olympic Games, Sambe trains whenever conditions allow in the powerful surf break near her home in the hardscrabble district of Ngor – the westernmost point of the African continent.

“When I am in the water I feel something extraordinary, something special in my heart,” Sambe said, wearing a t-shirt of the “Black Girls Surf” project (BGS), which helps Black girls and women around the world break into professional surfing.

Khadjou Sambe, 25, Senegal’s first female professional surfer, surfs during a training session off the coast of Ngor, Dakar, Senegal, August 18, 2020. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra



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