A ONCE-NEGLECTED part of Port Elizabeth came alive at the weekend when residents flocked to watch skateboarding and biking action, as well as enjoy food and good music, under clear blue skies.
The third instalment of the Donkin Downhill Dash attracted all sorts – from creatives and adrenaline junkies to the young and old – to Port Elizabeth’s inner city on Saturday, when competitors took up the challenge of negotiating the skateboarding track in the city’s Route 67.
Two special guests from Johannesburg – Instagrammers South Africa founder Gareth Pon and Alessio la Ruffa – were also part of the day’s festivities, which included seeing the Donkin’s sail-shaped seats getting a new lick of spray paint.
The event, a joint venture of multiple parties including the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) and Numb City Projects, had Central buzzing and was emceed by hip-hop artist Schaik Hewitt.
Beautiful beats added a chilled summer vibe to the inner city, a space most residents would normally avoid.
MBDA chief executive Pierre Voges said: “The Downhill Dash is another initiative to make one of the poorest parts of the city come alive.
“It is one thing to refurnish a place with brick and mortar and quite another to have people coming into that space. It was nice seeing people from all walks of life coming onto the Donkin and enjoying the inner city.”
Numb City Projects is a collective of young Port Elizabeth residents who choose to remain in the city to “make things happen”.
Numb City Projects’s Brett Jackman, a software developer by day and artist by night, said: “We are tired of living in a boring city and want to bring more fire to Port Elizabeth.
“The Downhill Dash is one of the many ways in which we plan to do just that.”
Meanwhile, Jason Brown was crowned the new king of the hill after he won the open class competition in a record 1min 11sec and bagged himself hampers and a R1000 cash prize, one of the organisers, Amy Shelver, said.
Graffiti artists Thembalethu King, Steven Joff Carter and Nathan Sannan gave the Donkin’s sail-shaped seats a makeover, which was sponsored by RVCA, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and the MBDA. – Xolisa Phillip