born on the belief in the Power of African surf


  • April 7, 2021
  • Wardrobe
  • By: Andrew Williams

Ride a wave across the Atlantic and crash ashore at Britain’s southwestern edge in Cornwall, U.K., against the ‘Mami Wata’ outpost, a language derived from West African pidgin English that translates as ‘Mother Ocean.’ She’s proclaimed as the African water spirit who appears in the shape of a mermaid. She’s “a symbol of fertility, a protector of women and children, a guardian of sea creatures and natural environments.”

The premium brand, launched in 2017, emerged from a deep love of surfing, Africa, and affection for the African surf, through a three-fold mission focus:

First, through its commitment to designing and manufacturing products in Africa; second, through its support of Waves for Change, “a world-leading African-surf therapy organization, reaching 1,000 kids a day”; and third, through its promotion of African Surf tourism.

Far away from the Pacific Ocean’s iconic surf breaks and the Maui coast’s legendary he’e nalu or “wave sliding” in the Hawaiian language, the Mami Wata (and its growing legend) is stoked to honor Africa’s rich beauty and unique surf culture—fully unleashing it from the shadows of the blue-eyed, blonded-hair narrative of surfing, popularized in the 80s.

The spirit of Mami Wata is matched only by its vibrant color palette of black, blue, red, yellow, and pops of green, colors recognizable as proudly representative of Pan-Africanism.

It’s a powerfully liberated expression of Black freedom, punctuated by the compelling visual storytelling presented in its online journal. The journal documents and “shares The Power of the African Surf with the world” through profiles of a cross-generational swath of African surf pioneers, spotlights of films and documentaries, interviews about the African Surf, and a rad Senegal Surf Guide, among other surprises.   

And, if you want to support or embody the Mami Wata spirit, the brand offers a badass collection of stylish, stand-out gear. 

There’s an eye-catching lineup of branded surfboards; men’s and women’s apparel, including tees, board shorts, sweatshirts, and short sleeve button-downs; prints; hats; and other accessories, all featuring African-inspired prints and swagger that deliver the essence of Mami Wata the world over.