27 August, 2013 27 August, 2013

Waves of Change – History Made at Monwabisi

While the country’s best juniors were fighting it out for cash and glory across the Cape Flats and over the mountain at Long Beach this past weekend, history was being made at Monwabisi Beach – where the first-ever surf contest for Khayelitsha township was going off.


Hosted by the non-profit organisation Waves For Change, the event was in celebration of the one year anniversary of the opening of their centre at Monwabisi – which borders the township of Khayelitsha and the Kuyasa district.

Using surfing as a means to engage with disadvantaged youths from some of the Cape Flat’s townships, Waves for Change has been slowly getting the community hooked on surfing, while also helping to educate or dispel myths on important life issues – like HIV or gangsterism.


With a growing crew of surf-stoked members from both Masiphumelele and Khayelitsha townships, a competition was called to find out who’s progressing quickest, which team had the smoothest cutbacks, or who boasts the sickest style.

Actually, it was mostly just about good, clean fun, and everyone was a winner.

“It was such a fun day and a great way to celebrate the anniversary of the Khayelitsha programme and the little centre we’ve built up there” said Waves for Change co-founder Tim Conibear about the the event.

You can read more about Waves for Change here, then check out the report below as they describe the historic day.




Waves for Change made a little bit of history this past weekend by holding the first ever surf competition for Khayelitsha Township.

One of the biggest townships in South Africa, surfing had never previously existed in the community until last year when Waves for Change opened a beach centre at Monwabisi beach, which borders Khayelitsha and the Kuyasa district.

The competition celebrated the 1 year anniversary of the Waves for Change centre at Monwa and offered a chance to bring together friends and supporters of the programme as well as offering an opportunity to engage more meaningfully with community members and stakeholders to show them first hand what Waves for Change is doing locally.

The event also drew several surfers from the Cape Peninsula to this forgotten stretch of coastline, and it was fitting that this historical day was shared by surfers from across the Cape Town surfing community.

On the day 20 surfers from the Waves for Change programme in Masiphumelele and Khayelitsha took part in a tag-team event.


The swell pumped and the sun shone providing great conditions for the surfers and spectators alike, who cheered loudly over the PA blaring house music and commentary courtesy of Waves for Change coach and co-founder Apish Tshetsha.

Both teams drew heavily on ex-gang members and it was encouraging to see the positive reaction from the visiting community members and parents who praised the impact the Waves for Change programme is having on the young adults in their community.

One of the main goals of the day was to promote Waves for Change further within the Khayelitsha community – with the sun shining, the surfers charging fearlessly into the waves and the music pumping, this was a classic first taste of surfing for the many newcomers.

In the end it was Waves for Change Monwabisi who took the trophy, using their local knowledge to negotiate the tricky drop.


However, in keeping with the spirit of the day, every surfer received a gold medal in recognition of their part in a historical day for surfing in Masiphumelele and Khayelitsha, and for the Waves for Change programme.

We look forward to repeating the event next year, as it becomes part of the Waves for Change programme.


Huge congratulations to the Waves for Change coaches for pulling off what was a community owned and run event.

We would also like to extend our sincere thanks to all our partners around the world for supporting Waves for Change. Without you, the programme simply would not exist.


We would also like to send our special thanks to Wavescape for sponsoring the sound system, medals and trophies for the day. To the City of Cape Town and Law Enforcement for laying on extra weekend patrols on the beach. To Reef Wetsuits and Surfing South Africa for the prizes and their ongoing support and commitment to Waves for Change. To Pick ‘n Pay and Vimto for sponsoring the food and drink, to Rory of Share the Stoke Foundation South Africa for gifting three more boards, and also to all the judges who volunteered their time on a weekend to be with us.


See more photos on www.waves-for-change.org


  1. Ross Turner
    27 August, 2013 at 6:25 pm · Reply

    Well done for covering this inaugural event, Zag! It’s a much-appreciated perspective. Let’s see major surf-brand involvement in development surfing!!

  2. AlohaChica
    3 September, 2013 at 12:23 pm · Reply

    Great stuff, good to see articles like the above.
    Keep it up Z!

  3. billabongin00
    13 November, 2013 at 8:32 pm · Reply

    More articles like this please!

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