Kevin Murage started skating from broken wooden boards at the age of 12 at his mother’s backyard in Nyeri. Discovering his talent by chance, the ever ambitious sportsman has grown from a rookie to a pro, honing his skills along the way. He is now a celebrated skate-boarder in Kenya and beyond. He was selected as a mentor for Safaricom’s BLAZE movement. Edge Magazine sat with him to get his inside story. Here below is an abridged version of the conversation:
Tell us about yourself and what you do?
I am a professional skate boarder based here in Kenya with a group called distant skaters. My interest in the sport grew immensely in 2013 when I watched a video competition featuring an alumnus of our school back then. I envisioned I could do the same and got hooked.
I saved cash from my pocket money to buy a skateboard. With Kshs 2500 I couldn’t buy a professional board since it was costly. So I settled for a basic one in Nairobi Sports House.
Since then I have gradually grown to be where I am today.
What does your work entail?
Skating is more than a hobby to me. In fact, it is my lifestyle.
I’m currently schooling at the University but I skate for more than 7 hours a day. Together with my group, we train a number of individuals, among them seven girls.
Have your parents been supportive in view of your interests in skating?
At first they were sceptical about the whole thing. But they later started to support me, even buying for me a number of sporting gears.
What were you doing before becoming a skateboarder?
I was just the normal chilled out kind of guy in school. I used to think skating is for kids from rich families. I tried all sports while in high school but always turned out average.
What does it take to become a professional?
I started skating as a rookie and grew immensely in three years. I am now the third general in our group. I made mistakes but I was eager to learn from them and succeed. So one has to keep on trying and practice without relenting to become a pro.
Highlight some of your successes
The partnership with Safaricom for BLAZE was my greatest breakthrough. I have gotten so much exposure and now working with many clients.
Partnering with Safaricom for BLAZE has been my greatest success. It brought me to the limelight and gave me more exposure. I’m more like a celebrity. The financial benefits have been awesome to say the least. I’m now a mentor at Safaricom’s BLAZE summits which has helped me build my brand.
Together with my group we participated for an international competition and won half a million shillings. It gave me global exposure and I’m now a partner with Skaters for Christ.
What are your future plans?
I am on a journey to find happiness with the sport. I earn and live from this sport.
I have learnt a lot online, mostly self taught. I have also learned to network to gain skills and dealership.
I am on a journey to find happiness through the sport. Being self taught, I aim to learn more online, network and build my brand.
I also bought a piece of land where I want o build a skating court. I am concerned by the lack of a pro-kit in Kenya. Shipping it is even expensive. As such, I want to set up a shop where I would ship skating merchandise in bulk and sell it in the country.