36 imagesJesper and Sebastian started their business 3 years ago, in 2010. When they received their first shipment of secret spices, the box was printed with skull on it. This would have scared away any reasonable person, they decided to serve it on a hot dog! There are 3 conditions to be able to challenge the spiciest hot dog in the world : Be over 18, sign a disclaimer stating that you take the full responsibility of the consequences this might have on your health, and wear protective plastic gloves. The rules are simple : to win the contest you must finish this deadly sausage within 5 minutes without drinking or adding anything on it. Any spilling will be followed by a red card, sign of disqualification. The winner get a T-shirt certifying their exploit. "We started this 3 years ago and I'm amazed that people still want to buy it!" says Jesper like a bad kid proud of his evil prank.
27 imagesIt’s nearly noon and the scorching sun is high above Kigali. Rwanda is said to be the country of a thousand hills and at the bottom of one of them, on a piece of grassy land, a curious sight catches the eye: sticking out of the dense vegetation and muddy ponds, a small patch of colorful concrete emerges from the green scenery. A dozen kids glide around in joy, all with very different skill levels. Meanwhile, some others rest in the scattered shade of a thin tree planted in the middle of the skate park. That’s where we meet Sedrick, he is the manager of the park for the organization “Skate Aid”. His role is to make sure that the kids train safely and that they take turns on the few boards that the organization provides for them. “We have 10 working skateboards, and 5 new in the store so we’re waiting for that package to come. We are receiving donations from different parts of the world, but in our case Skate Aid is the one donating everything for this project.” Skate Aid is an NGO based in Germany that helps children in Africa and in other parts of the world affected by conflicts or deprivation by giving them a chance to go to school, constructing skate parks, and distributing free skateboards. “With this skate park we’ve created a meeting point for kids and teenagers, who want to have fun and learn from each other at the same time. Origin, religion or skin color doesn’t matter. What counts, is the own motivation to outgrow themselves sports wise, the group coherence and the enthusiasm for skateboarding.” The skate park was built on a piece of land donated by SOS Children’s Villages, another international NGO aiming at protecting children’s rights. Being located nearby one of their school, the children from SOS Villages can easily get access to the skate park, but it is also opened to any other child willing to give it a try. By providing them with the right skating and safety equipment, the organization hopes to help shaping a generation of strong and independent individuals who find a personal development through sport in a country where over 40% of the population lives under the poverty line, putting the children in a particularly vulnerable position. As the afternoon goes by, many more children gather around the park as they come out of school. We meet Debraher, the first girl to have picked-up skateboarding in the whole country. Debraher is 16 and hopes to become a professional athlete some day, and even though a couple more young girls have joined the skate park after she started, about 6 months back, she remains one of the very few among a vast majority of boys. It is now nearly 30 degrees and the thin shade provided by the one and only tree on the skate park has become like an oasis for the children to wait for their turn and cool down. It is time for us to leave, but next day and like every other day of the year, the one and only skate park of Rwanda will fill up with life, bruised knees, and hopes for a better tomorrow.