'I am Thalente' skateboarding documentary makes it to iTunes


'I Am Thalente' follows a once homeless South African street youth on his journey to be a professional skateboarder. Filmmaker Johns, who had grown up in South Africa, had been working on projects involving human interest and social change when she met talented skateboarder and street kid Thalente Biyela through friend Tammy-Lee Smith. By Lori Huck

Thalente (pronounced “Tal-uhnt”) was known as the “mayor” of a group of homeless skateboarding kids in Durban, South Africa. Immediately Johns saw that Thalente was driven to rise up from the streets to find a meaningful life as a skateboarder.

This wasn’t some pipe dream either. Thalente had talent; coaches at the Durban Skateboarding Camp had scouted him. He had already met famed boarder, Tony Hawk during a South African visit. Although Thalente was a street kid with a literacy level of a 9-year-old, he says in the film that, “if you skate with good people it’s got to happen, the influence is good.” Read the full story here: