Khadija Sambe: Senegal’s first female surfer | Inspiring Story

Khadija Sambe: Senegal’s first female surfer | Inspiring Story

Khadija Sambe is an inspiring woman. She shows that in life you have to fight to make your dreams come true. And that perseverance and hard work pays off one day.


Who is this exceptional young woman?

Khadija comes from a fishing village. She is from Ngor, a surfing island near Dakar. At a very young age, she became passionate about surfing and wonders why there are not enough girls in this sport.

On France Info, she says :

“I often passed by with my kayak next to the surfers. I’d see all these surfers and I’d think, “Where are the girls surfing?”

Listening to her heart, from the age of 13, she secretly goes to the beach to surf and face the waves. Every day, she works tirelessly and perfects her passion.

It disregards people, customs and society. Because very often in Africa, women are supposed to be at home and sport is reserved for men. Khadija believes in herself and wants to be a surfer. She takes up surfing despite the doubts of her family and community. She feels fulfilled when she surfs. When she is in the water, she is in a beautiful world, where all these problems have disappeared.

She explains :

“When you are in the water, you forget all your problems. You think you’re in another world, in an extraordinary place.”

She spent her teenage years surfing with her uncles and cousins.

Living from her passion.

She works very hard. And little by little, she manages to make her mark in this sporting environment, which is often reserved for men.

Her efforts are paying off. Today she has become the first professional Senegalese surfer.

It is a great victory and an example of hope for all those who have dreams.

Creation of a surf school in Senegal

Her ambition does not stop there. Khadija founds a surf school for girls in Dakar, thanks to the help of Rhonda Harper, the founder of “Black girls surf”.

Who is Rhonda Harper?

Rhonda Harper created Black Girls Surf, an association that aims to improve the representation of black women in sport. At the same time, she trains black women to become professional surfers.

Khadija and Rhonda Harper

Objective: the Olympic Games

Khadija and Rhonda recruit other African women in their school who dream of becoming surfers. Their goal is to compete in the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

Photo credit:

  • Khadija Samba


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