As the third chapter in the 2023 Bal d'Afrique retrospective, a new film in collaboration with South African pro surfer Mikey February celebrates the hypnotic rhythms of surfing in Africa, and the joy and community he creates around it.
“As an avid surfer myself, I understand how the sport situates you within the landscape. Wherever you go to chase the waves, you'll find new cultures and a group of like-minded people. We wanted to spotlight the vibrancy of the surf scene in Africa with new generation icons like Mikey February.” Ben Gorham, Founder & Creative Director, BYREDO.
Born in Woodstock, Cape Town, a year before the end of apartheid and the desegregation of beaches, February grew up next to the water, within reach of surf capitals like Jeffreys Bay. Having picked up the sport since the age of 6, he became the first Black South African surfer to qualify for the 2018 World Tour.
“I've been so fortunate to base my life around surfing and the ocean, slowly but surely realising what an amazing impact it has outside of the sport, realising that it brings joy and happiness to a lot of other people.” Mikey February, pro surfer.
In a film directed by Roberto Colombo, A Juju State of Mind with Mikey February captures February's dynamic movements in the ocean, catching the breaks with his charismatic freestyling, and his role in uniting the sport with the traditions of music and dance. The beat of the waves, the pace of the music – a unique synergy emerges in and out of the water through this poetic montage, detailing his playful interactions with the community at large.
“When you look at African surfing and where the inspiration comes from, it's one part surfing, one part music. I've been to places in Ghana where the kids were dancers before they were surfers, you can see that translate into how they warm up to go surfing, the way they surf and their style.” Mikey February, pro surfer.
Drawing upon the little-known link between the culture of dance and the tempo of surfing, the film captures the unique pace and feel of the waves in Africa. Filmed in February's hometown, he brings music, surf, and community together through their shared flow and energy.
Continuing the story between BYREDO and the world of surfing, a new limited-edition collection will be released in collaboration with British-born Ghanaian artist and social entrepreneur Joseph Awuah-Darko. With his keen focus on the circular economy, the artist's multi-disciplinary practice draws upon autobiographical themes of spirituality and identity, expressed through paintings and tapestry works that often begin through the weaving of found plastic. Now, four of his tapestry designs will be translated into prints on limited-edition surf t-shirts, produced in collaboration with Stockholm Surfboard Club.
Cutting between individual introspection and shared moments, the new chapter reflects the personal connections and collective memories at the heart of Bal d'Afrique. Over a decade since its launch, the evolution of the scent sees it embracing the core of its inspiration — the people, culture, creativity and art across Africa.
Bal d'Afrique – available in BYREDO boutiques.
For 50ML, the fragrance retails at 772 AED. For 100ML, the fragrance retails at 1,096 AED.