For La Lucia resident Dumi Dlamini, fun and adventure are part of her daily routine, writes Lee Currie.
If you’re in La Lucia or uMhlanga Village early in the morning you may see an attractive young woman on a skateboard doing some expert twists and turns – certainly not an everyday sight. We caught up with a bubbly Dumi Dlamini who travels to work on her skateboard every morning, who was happy to share details of her challenging and certainly precarious daily route.
“I skateboard from my home in Ridge Road in La Lucia to uMhlanga Village, then I jump on to a taxi that takes me on the M41 to Palm View robots. I then jump off and skate along the bridge going towards the business park within Cornubia Industrial Estate where I work.”
Dumi’s three brothers are professional skateboarders, with the eldest brother, Dlamini Dlamini, currently skateboarding internationally, so it’s not surprising that Dumi learnt the sport at a very young age.
“I originally worked about 10 minutes away from home so I thought why not skate to work as it would save me time and effort. I did this – and I really enjoyed it. I then started a job a lot further away, and decided to carry on skateboarding as it refreshes me and helps me process quite a lot. I leave home at six in the morning, and use the time skateboarding to worship and reflect. In a way, it became a win-win for me, and although it can be very exhausting, I love it!”
Dumi is 27 years old, has a five-year-old daughter, and is employed as a warehouse admin assistant for an air-conditioning company.
“Skating in uMhlanga has been the least of my concerns as everyone moves out of the way and people are friendly and often greet me. The kids also get excited when they see a female skateboarding.
“The danger, however, is as I approach the area where I work. I just have to be brave and know when and where to skate and stop! It’s quite a nice road to skate, but I cannot lie, I was scared the first time I did this, but I’ve become more used to it.”
Unfortunately for Dumi, it was in this area where she hit a rock and went flying under a truck. Apart from the shock and being very badly grazed, there were miraculously no broken bones. While she still negotiates the same road, she does so with a lot more respect. “I still get really anxious whenever I think about it,” she confesses.
Dumi is able to drive and is working towards buying a car, but at this stage she’s undecided whether she will drive or continue to skateboard to work.
Where to next? Is competitive skateboarding an option? “I’ve never skated competitively or really thought much about it,” she says with her engaging smile. “I really do this for enjoyment. But if the opportunity arises, well, I love adventure and fun times!”
Pictures: Dawn Rouse