How Do You Say ‘Gnarly’ In Amharic?
In 2010, 12-year-old Nathan Eyasu became one of the first skateboarders in Ethiopia.
He bought an old board off a guy on the street for a dollar, learned some tricks off YouTube, and proceeded to shock his neighbors like Marty McFly in Back to The Future.
“They’d be like, ‘Is there a magnet in there?’ ” Eyasu says, laughing. “Nobody knew what skateboarding is.”
Today, he has plenty of company. In April, Ethiopia opened its first skateboard park, on the grounds of a government youth center in Addis Ababa, where Eyasu lives. The country is hoping to one day take its share of the $5 billion skateboard industry.
But for Sean Stromsoe, a 22-year-old photographer from California, the park is also a return to skateboarding’s roots.
In 2013, Stromsoe came to Ethiopia on assignment and ran into Eyasu and his friends.