South African mountain biker Sharjah Jonsson grew up near Giba Gorge, one of the country’s first bike parks, raced there, and built trails in the park. But he didn’t really know the other side of the valley. Until a childhood friend Mvelo Ntombela, invited him to have a look at the local footpaths of Ekukhanyeni Township.
“I wanted the project to tell a story and to show a side of South Africa that is often overlooked,” Jonsson explained. “Townships are often seen in a negative light in our local media. With the help of Mvelo we proposed my plan to the community and planned the routes. A major concern was how to ensure it was safe and that we weren’t being disruptive to the community members walking on the paths.”
“When we started the filming, I was blown away by the community’s warm welcome and the stoke they showed, seeing me ride their footpaths,” he grinned. “After the filming, it was rad to sit down and learn more about the community from the locals and find out what some of the paths were used for.”