Introduction | Jonathan Labez @JMLabez
Words | Dan Ogbogu @Ogbogu_dan @Shinobi_Blading

Watching Dan Ogbogu and the scene around him flourish over the last year offers a hope that rollerblading stands a chance. The genuine enthusiasm and love for the sport he exudes should be something we should strive for amongst ourselves as a community at large. We do what we love and in turn, offers us love in return. In Dan, you can see this exemplified in the way the blading community galvanized to fund skates for him (thanks to former editor Ryan Loewy’s Fundraiser) or FTS and Patrick Ridder funding Dan so he would be able to travel to Ghana to blade. We feel his exuberance via his posts and see how positively he feels about blading. From an outsider’s view, we can sense how his attitude influences others around him and that should give us all a reason to help others realize the dream of blading in their lives. One that goes beyond sponsors, earning a living from wheels under our feet, and the cynicism we collectively carry. It should be from the unmatched joy that keeps us strapping time and time again.

As Be-mag wraps up 2019, we’d like to present a series of snapshots of the lives of the blade community throughout the year, starting off with Dan.

Where did you start 2019:
I started 2019 in the city of Lagos with a positive outlook towards life and my general well-being. I decided to dedicate more time to rollerblading more than anything else and exploring other terrains and scenery on blades. 

Where are you ending 2019:
I am ending 2019 with a sense of fulfillment. Looking back at all I have achieved this year, it’s something I can proudly say I deserved every bit of what came to me and I am grateful to everyone who supported me and gave me the platform to showcase my skill.

I look forward to more success and challenges in the coming year.

Favorite memories from 2019:
My first favorite memory from 2019, has to be gracing the cover of the French lifestyle magazine voyageur du monde. It was a great achievement for me and rollerblading. Having to showcase blading in a non-blading magazine is actually a good boost for blading as it helps create awareness about the sport and let people know blading still exists and it’s waxing strong in today’s society.

Shot by Hugues Laurent for Vacance Magazine @voyageursdumonde

My second favorite memory has to be skating a park for the first time in my life. Huge shout out to Chris van de Merwe and Christian skaters Africa for giving me that opportunity. 

And the best of the memories is having the opportunity to host Caleb Smith, Brian freeman and Dom West in Nigeria and showcasing my rollerblading scene to them. They all inspire me and their coming out here added to my growth as a blader and as a human. It changed my perspective towards life in a very positive way. 

Dan, Brian Freeman, and Dom West in Nigeria

Dom West and Dan shooting in Lagos

Spots traveled to in 2019:

1. Place Lenine/ Cotonou Benin Republic  

2. National theatre/ Mile7/ Accra Ghana

3. Ybf skatepark/ Johannesburg 

In February, I traveled to Benin Republic with two of my best buds Henry and Samuel. We went to skate some cool spots in Cotonou/Benin Republic .

In July, I went on an expense paid trip organized by Christian Skaters Africa  to Johannesburg and skated the YBF skatepark.

In August, FTS and Patrick Ridder did a fundraiser to enable me travel to Ghana and shred with the locals there and explore the city on blades for about a week.   

Best friends Henry and Samuel on the street in Place Lenine/ Cotonou Benin Republic

Henry and Dan at a restaurant in Place Lenine/ Cotonou Benin Republic
Dan on his trip to Ghana
Dan skating in Ghana

3 video picks you watched over and over in 2019: 

1. Victor Galicia’s ‘welcome to Haitian Mag’

2. Fts/ Peel

3. Sean Darst pro model for 908s

Photo of you or by you that sums up 2019: 

Goals accomplished in 2019:
Going for my National youth service Corp. Getting better at blading. Exploring other cities in Nigeria and beyond the shores of the country. 

Something in 2019 you wish you had done:
Saving up more money.

Something that kept you going throughout 2019: 
My faith and believe in the things I do. 

What are you looking forward to in 2020:
Getting done with my National Service in November. Traveling the world with my blades, and getting to check out rollerblading contests in the diaspora, saving more and inspiring others to be the best they can be. 

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