A dream to own a skateboard company became an aspiration to help disadvantaged people through skateboarding.
Rayne Moses, the founder of Nebula, a non-profit skateboard company, dreamt about owning a skateboard company while walking home from the basketball courts at the Observatory Community Centre. Watching kids in the skate parks was the seed that grew into Nebula, a company built to help others using skateboarding.
Moses told Redbull Amaphiko: “In my final year of studying, we had to do a practical. When I went to study, I already had a plan. I went there with a mission. For my practical’s, I started a Nebula.”
A nebula is a cloud of interstellar cloud and dust.
“I guess I was thinking so hard that my thoughts went out there, went to outer-space. Some people say that that’s where stars are born, and I guess that is what I want to do with Nebula. I want to create stars, to unlock the potential of young people. I’d like to teach people to use skateboarding as way of developing new ways of thinking,” said Moses.
Launched in 2012 Nebula has already hosted 4 skateboarding events and launched its Youth Development Programme in Gugulethu in Cape Town where the youngsters are taught to skate while also helping them with their school work.
According to Moses as much as Nebula’s project in Gugulethu is its primary focus, the organisation intends to build a skateboarding brand that is rooted in social change and designed to inspire youth to discover and use their highest potential to realise their dreams.
The ethos for “The Nebula Skate of Mind” is summed up in three points:
- Having a dream that you are passionate about,
- Self-belief that you can achieve the dream, and
- Commitment to achieving that dream.
Moses said: “Nebula started out by hosting a skate competition, Nebula’s Game of SK8, at skate parks around Cape Town, and selling branded merchandise to raise awareness. This expanded into an after-school programme in Gugulethu that was one hour of tutoring sessions, to help kids with their homework and an hour of skateboarding. It has evolved to include a development programme.
“The programme focuses on the history and basics of skateboarding, personal development and self-awareness, career development, leadership and emotional intelligence, and skateboarding as a form of physical self-expression.”
A ROCKY START
Moses was able to get money to start the project, but Nebula is a threadbare operation
He explained: “We started out with twelve kids in 2013, but we were down to three by the end of the year. The kids dropped out for different, complex reasons. Some of them didn’t like the homework part, they just wanted to skate. And we were unwilling to waive that.
“We believe that education is very important, especially when you come from where I come from. We can’t run a programme where the kids just come to have fun and we ignore the education part of it.”
GOING BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD
Although his dream has had obstacles thrown at it from the beginning, Moses has went back to the drawing board to refine his dream.
He said: “The plan with Nebula’s Game of SK8 is to award the winners with either a bursary, payment of school fees or a fund directed at realising a dream or passion. Expanding from the single venue in Gugulethu, an additional location has been secured in Valhalla Park for Nebula Youth, working with twenty young people in each township.
“The skate facility dream still exists though. Ideally, it would contain a skate park, a store and workshop space. It’s a long way away.”