Pounding the Pavement: A Day with Kwami Adzitso
Calm, cool and collected: That’s the best way to describe Kwami Adzitso. He’s a humble dude just looking to have the most fun he can, doing what he loves––and that is skateboarding. Kwami is the kind of kid who would get as hyped on nollie heel flipping a ten stair as he would on half cabbing a parking block. If it involves skating, Kwami is there, and chances are, he will be rifling off tricks one after another. With sponsorships including Akomplice Clothing, Haberdasher Clothing, BC Surf and Sport and ADO Lifestyle, Kwami is well on his way to coming up in the industry and making a name for himself. I got a chance to sit down with Kwami and talk skateboarding. From the past to the present, and with some speculation on the future, Kwami and I covered it all.
SLUG: Where are you from and why did you start skateboarding?
Kwami: I was born in Ghana, Africa and lived there till I was 11. I came to the U.S. in 2001 and lived in Buffalo, N.Y. for just under a year till I moved to Kearns, Utah, where I have been ever since. My homie Matt, who was a little bit older, would always be cruising around our apartments on a skateboard. I never even saw one before, so one day I was like, “Yo, what is that?” and he let me try it out. Later that week, my mom got me a board from Kmart and that was it.
SLUG: How was it growing up and living in Ghana?
Kwami: I don’t remember much from my childhood, but I got the chance to go back there in 2010, and it was crazy. There are houses up and down the street with people selling food and things out front all the time. There’s not really a city or anything like that––it is still very tribal. Luckily, education is one thing that is in place and pushed upon children. I still have a lot of family there.
SLUG: Is your family your biggest motivation right now?
Kwami: Yes, I want to take skating to the point where I can help my family. I want to one day be able to take skateboarding to Ghana and show everyone what it is all about. They don’t have much over there, and skating would be a great thing for the community. I own land there, and one day I am going to put a skate park there. I’ll have anyone and everyone come through: If you’re down for the cause, you’re coming to skate my park!
SLUG: You recently put out a clip on the Akomplice website. How’d you get hooked up with them?
Kwami: John Morse, the team manager, hit me up on Instagram and said, “Hey man, I like what you’re doing, and I like your style. Send us some videos and if we like it, we’ll send you some stuff.” Since then, they’ve been hooking it up, keeping me fresh!
SLUG: Who do you skate with?
Kwami: My boy Sergio, Rickey Chavez and Mitchell Shultz—that’s my filmer.
SLUG: You were recently in the Element: Make It Count contest down in Arizona. How was your experience?
Kwami: It was so much fun. We didn’t place (the dudes I was with or myself), but I was psyched on my skating, and I got some tricks I wanted to. The park, Caesar Chavez Plaza, was amazing. It was like the Street League features, just smaller, but so much fun. I got to meet the winner, too, Deshawn Jordan, and that kid rips.
SLUG: Do you plan to keep on with the contest scene?
Kwami: Definitely. I want to do every contest I can and travel and just get my name out there. Judges like to see familiar faces at contests, and it is a good way to meet other people in the industry. My next contest is the Phoenix Am this month.
SLUG: Besides contests, what else motivates you to push yourself skateboarding?
Kwami: DGK [Skateboards]. I follow that team and love what those guys do: guys like Keelan Dadd, Lenny Rivas, Stevie Williams, Marquise Henry and all those dudes. Kayo It’s Official is my all-time favorite video, so it’d just be sick to be a part of that one day.
SLUG: What is your favorite part about living in Salt Lake?
Kwami: I love the diversity. There are so many different kinds of people here and so many different cultures. It’s crazy, all the people that you can meet here that are from all different backgrounds.
SLUG: What’s your dream skate session in Salt Lake?
Kwami: Ho damn! Probably Keelan Dadd, Stevie Williams, Lenny Rivas, Deshawn Jordan, my boy Sergio, my boy Rickey and myself all skating Park City skate park. That’d be a dope session right there!
SLUG: What are some tricks you are working on right now?
Kwami: Nollie tre-flips and nollie-heel crooks. Nollie-heel flips are one of my favorite tricks, so I got to step it up and throw it into a crooked grind now.
SLUG: What does the future hold for you as far as video parts?
Kwami: Well, I’d like to get a part done for the beginning of the summer, and another for the end of the summer. BC has asked me for a part, and Akomplice said that if I make a part, they would help me promote it, so I am hyped on that. I’m taking a trip to Cali this summer to San Clemente and maybe hit up San Diego to do some skating. I put out a part from Herriman Skate Park not too long ago for the homies to watch and keep everyone excited.
SLUG: What are some of your other plans for the future?
Kwami: I want to get through school and eventually move to Cali and just skate all of the time. I’m majoring in business management and I want to own my own company one day. Just like guys like Terry Kennedy and Stevie Williams, I want to be a businessman and a skater.
SLUG: Any last words or anyone you would like to thank?
Kwami: Definitely! First, I’d like to thank my big homie, John Morse, for hooking it up with Akomplice. All my sponsors for keeping me laced up. I’d like to thank my girlfriend for supporting me and having my back with everything. My homie Sergio, Mitch, my boy Julian “Juicy J” and my family for supporting me with everything!
With some serious goals to shoot for and the determination to put in the hard work to get him there, Kwami is one of the most focused skaters I have ever talked to. His ability on a skateboard speaks for itself and his fun-loving personality leaves an imprint on the people whom he comes in contact with. It is inspiring to see how much he cares about what he is doing and the people whom he wants to affect in the long run. People like Kwami are what drive the skate community toward constant progression. You can check out Kwami’s videos on YouTube at iFilmSLC’s channel, his commercial for Akomplice at akomplice-clothing.com and follow him on Instagram and Twitter at Kwami_Flexx. You can also catch Kwami cruising the mean streets of SLC any given day—or temperature—of the week.