Private Project

Wa Guejj Gui - Ocean People

When discussing surfing, most people consider the sole origin to be by the Polynesians and the first known account to be the 1700s in Hawai'i. More recently, anthropologists and historians have now challenged this theory opting for the knowledge that the 'wave riding culture' was also developed independently around the world, including the West Coast of Africa hundreds of years prior.

  • Clé Hunnigan
  • Clé Hunnigan
  • Clé Hunnigan
  • Meredith Ruskin
  • Gabor Harrach
  • Miguel Merino
  • Emily Steven
  • Babacar Thiaw
    Key Cast
  • Cherif Fall
    Key Cast
  • El Haj
    Key Cast
  • Khardiata Sambe
    Key Cast
  • Kevin Dawson
    Key Cast
  • Imane Signate
    Key Cast
  • Robin Rivera
  • Barnabas Kelemen
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes 41 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 24, 2023
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Distribution Information
  • Corona Studios
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Clé Hunnigan

Clé Hunnigan is a Black filmmaker from Jamaica. His main collaborator for this film, Robin Rivera, is a Black cinematographer from Puerto Rico. This is the fourth short film by Clé Hunnigan for Corona Studios, and the second collaboration with Robin Rivera.

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Director Statement

We explore the notion that surfing developed in West Africa, independently of and simultaneously with other parts of the world, through an old practiced form of wave riding using wooden planks for bodyboarding and surf canoes. Assumed by youth, and passed down through oral stories and clues in culture, we are able to examine the past, consider the present (through practice, competitions etc) and look to the future of West African surf culture. This practice in a sense, is not new, but signals the rebirth of surfing in West Africa.

Our Film takes us to Senegal, a West African country with untouched beach breaks - secrets to those who know these Atlantic waters. There, the Lebou Tribe, men bonded to the ocean, have traded fishing for surfing as a way to master the waves.