Durban – In these tumultuous and baffling times, there have been so many restrictions on sports and on sportspeople, be they professional or amateur. Skateboarding has also felt the restrictions. Skateboarders have also experienced the frustrations and the anxiety that so many of us have dealt with.

One of the country's top skateboarders is Durban-born Khule Ngubane. Khule, who spends much of his time overseas or in Cape Town, made it back to his home town of Durban before hard lockdown. He has dealt with the lockdown and the restrictions with surprisingly good spirit. Although he is just as ready as the rest of us to see some more easing of Level 3 and the related constraints, life's not too bad for the young professional skateboarder.

With so many people looking up to him, Khule is well aware that he has to carry himself with a certain level of strength and aplomb, no matter what the circumstances. The Monster Energy athlete has done just that and is an inspiring ambassador for skateboarding in South Africa and the world.

For most of the lockdown, Khule has been in Durban.

I've been staying in Durban during the lockdown period as it is my hometown. Usually, I'd be in Cape Town because there's more happening with skateboarding down in the Cape, but due to COVID, it was just safer to be at home. Being on home turf is just that much easier than being in a suitcase life.

The lockdown, as mentioned, has been challenging for everyone. Khule's life was also turned around.

It was hard mentally not being able to travel and not being able to do what I'm used to doing during the lockdown. During the last few months, I have worked hard on creating new habits and new thought processes, and that helped me a lot to stay sane. There's a lot of uncertainty in the world right now. A lot of people have lost their jobs, and some have passed on due to the pandemic. You can feel this different energy in the world. It's different energy on the whole planet. We're going through this thing as a race, as the human species.


Khule has taken a different approach to deal with the situation.

I've taken this time to focus on self-care. I've not done that in years, because I'm so used to a busy schedule. I'm always travelling, attending contests, have media events to do, or community work, that I'm doing that I never get the time for myself. It has been good to be still, to meditate, and to read a lot, just working on myself. Getting to know me and not having too many distractions and not watching too much TV and worrying about the rest of the world. For me, to be the best athlete that I can be, I also need to be in a solid headspace, body space and a good spiritual space.

Health is always essential, and Khule has maintained that level of awareness throughout this time.

I'm an athlete and have no choice but to be fit, first of all. During the lockdown, I also focused on my health. I'm very conscious of what I eat. It's mainly vegetarian food with a bit of chicken and fish. At the start of the year, I also decided that I didn't want to drink anymore, and I have stayed that way, even after alcohol sales opened up. Not just consuming and partying and that sort of lifestyle, so I'm happy with that.


The future looks bright for a person like Khule.

I see a lot of positive things in the future, as we emerge from the lockdown and the pandemic, through skateboarding, because I will always be a skateboarder first. I see myself launching towards an independent type of standpoint, where I'm skateboarding because I'm an athlete, and that's where my passion lies. Still, I'll also be doing community work, with the Back To The Roots project - that was unfortunately cancelled this year due to COVID. I hope to get back to the States and finish off a lot of skate projects, and there are a lot of influential people there who want to help me expand the Khule Ngubane brand.

I also see myself doing more global work representing Africa, because I am an African child who had a journey to get him where he is through skateboarding, and a lot of African kids can relate to that. I also have other friends, white friends and mixed-race people who can also connect to this life. Skateboarding saved my life, and I would love to repay that to other kids and other communities worldwide.

For more on Khule Ngubane


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