It’s a hot April Saturday afternoon in Surulere, Lagos. A collection of BMX riders, rollerbladers, and dancers are earnestly practicing on the uneven concrete surface of a foyer at the National Stadium. Rookie bikers collide into rollerbladers and vice versa as they navigate make-shift obstacles that have been erected to spice up their routines. To the left of this cramped space, a small group of skateboarders try out kickflips and ollies. 21-year-old Boluwatife Omotoso sits on the periphery of the frenzy, observing the action after spending the last 20 minutes working through a series of tricks on his skateboard.
Affectionately known as Bvrna to his friends, Boluwatife has been skating at the National Stadium since 2021 after a fallout with his pro football team left him disillusioned with team sports. “It’s my own thing,” he says on his decision to get into skating. “When you are skating, it’s just you and your board. You don’t have to answer to anybody, you don’t have to follow anyone else’s schedule. You can skate anytime you want to. You can have fun and do whatever you want.”