Senegalese Oumar Seye (pictured) has the distinction of being the first African to sign a professional contract for surfing. In a recent interview, Seye speaks on his surfing
career as well as his commitment to making sure that Africa becomes a leader in the sport.
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In 1997, when a French journalist visited Dakar on vacation, he offered his surfing board to Seye.
And that fateful day would usher in an array of professional and personal blessings in Seye’s life: for the next 16 years, three brands would sponsor him as he honed his craft at some of the most-prestigious surfing competitions in the world.
Of surfing Seye says, “Surfing is my passion. It is like a drug to me. I cannot live without it.”
Addressing some of the discrimination he experienced as an African surfing, Seye says, “In my early days, someone said surfing was not a sport for Blacks. It also feels like in some countries, they do not accept Blacks.”
But Seye, undeterred, knew better, “Surfing is for everyone. Surfing knows no borders, and everyone can succeed with a board and enjoy the waves.”
Today, Seye has made good use of his career with a slew of businesses, including a complex, shop, restaurant, and surfing school. Of his current goals, he adds, “All the nice things I’ve experienced abroad I want to achieve them here at home.”
“Today, I am my own boss, and I want to help young Senegalese.”
Not surprisingly, Seye trains the next generation of surfers at his Rip Curl Surf School in Dakar. His students include Shariff Fall who Seye describes as “the best surfer in Senegal and the second-best surfer in Africa.”
Seye adds, “I want to show the world what African surfing is all about.”
Watch Seye’s success — and legacy — here: