How Blessing Ewona’s Dencity Is Fostering Community for Queer Female Skaters

“I really wanted to see girls skating, and that’s what I wanted to be a part of but there was none."

Blessing Ewona was used to being the lone female skater on the rink. When we last spoke to the 27 year old creative, she was at a fascinating tipping point; ushering in a new generation of female skaters–with all the brawn and brain required to dominate the local turf. “When I started skating I would only find about 2 to 4 guys at the National Stadium, or I would have to call them or even skate alone sometimes,” she shared on the set of our Pride 2021 cover.

Nowadays, Ewona is rarely the sole female face on these grounds. Since 2021, Ewona and her close friends have been building Dencity, an all-female skate group born out of a need for greater representation. With over two years of experience leading the skate group, Ewona has nurtured her growing passion for opening the door and breaking glass ceilings for more women who look and talk like her. 


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“I really wanted to see girls skating and that’s what I wanted to be a part of but there was none. I had to do the best I could to introduce more girls to the sport,” she shared candidly during our interview in March. Despite the challenges that arise from chasing your dreams and building from the ground up, Blessing kept her eyes on the prize as she built Dencity – a community of queer female skaters in Nigeria – one stunt at a time. 

“One day, I woke up and said I wanted to start a female skate community and I didn’t even look at the timing.”

The creative industry’s glass ceiling for Black girls and women begins and ends with tokenisation but Ewona is actively working against this. When she talks, she speaks with the clear conviction of someone that has always had a tremendous amount of self-belief in herself and her abilities and by extension, the abilities of young women just like her. Throughout our interview, Blessing thinks back on the life she abandoned to reach this moment.

Before she joined Nigeria’s premiere skate brand and shop, WAF (previously known as WafflesNCream), Blessing tells us that she was actively working in another field: nursing. At the time, she graduated with a degree in Psychiatric Nursing from Cross River State and made the move to Lagos to seek out employment opportunities. However, that experience turned out to be a scam; which left her feeling destitute, alone in a big city and in need of community. “The thing about me is I know life comes with good and bad so I don’t let the negatives outweigh the positives,” she says. 

Soon enough, she found this community through WAF, a space she felt welcomed by its founder, Jomi Marcus-Bello. Through WAF, she learnt the ropes and made new friends who would become life-long partners. She also utilised the internet and social media to learn more about the world of skateboarding; picking up tricks and tips that would expand her knowledge as a natural leader.


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In April 2021, Blessing created Den City. She tells the NATIVE that her first community event for Den City was a disaster. “Roughly 5 to 6 people turned up. I just said ok, that’s fine. We just started anyway, it’s still new but that doesn’t mean that I have to stop,” she shares candidly. However, this experience did not deter Blessing as she was only more motivated to bring more women into the fold. She began reaching out to female skaters in neighbouring cities such as Port Harcourt and Abuja, who soon became part of what she was building. 

Running a skate club in Lagos is no easy feat. “I think one of the problems we have is getting skateboards in Nigeria. It’s really expensive and not everyone can afford it so I was very happy when we got those,” she shares about the lack of access to equipment and skating materials. Her work with WAF also affords her access and discounts to skate gear, which she shares with the women and girls of Den City as well as girls looking to try out the sport.

“There are some times where I’ve felt down and unsure of what I was doing. I get pressure from my family a lot as well,” shares Blessing about her journey creating the community and brand. In the past, Ewona and the Den City team have had to take matters into their own hands and raise funds for capital. She shares that she’s held more skate sessions, created merch and scheduled skate torus in order to raise funds needed to stay afloat. 

Despite the inroads that Ewona and her crew are making, they still face discouragement from wider society. In Africa, skating has become more recognised across the years through the actions of the youngest generation who now recognised the sport as a viable creative endeavour. I know some of the reasons people don’t let their children come out to skate is because it isn’t safe. People have asked me to call their parents or send a flyer to send to their parents to show it’s legit because we haven’t built a skatepark in Nigeria yet. I even want to be able to afford people’s transportation to enable them to come out and skate,” says Blessing.  

This hasn’t deterred Blessing and her crew who are still receiving sign-ups from women and girls both within and outside Lagos. For Ewona, this is what the future of skating should be: more women taking up space as they please. Recently, Den City just welcomed Success, its youngest member. Blessing speaks fondly of the 10-year old skateboarder saying, “When she came out to skate the first time, I was surprised by what she could do. The second time she came, she was in her school uniform. She was that serious. Because of her, I started coming out everyday to skate so I could give her my board. In less than a week, she could do some stunts I took a month to learn. It’s insane.” 

As for what’s next, Ewona and her crew are keeping the focus on what matters–raising funds for Nigeria’s first-ever skate park. She says,”This country is honestly hard enough. If you can find something that gives you joy, you’d really want to hold on to it regardless of what people say. It’s amazing to see that I’m not alone. There’s people that do the same thing.”

Featured Image Credits/The NATIVE