A trainsurfer strikes a pose in the Matrix style while leaping and hopping along the top of

the moving train. While keeping his balance is key, he also has to keep a constant lookout for the

dangerous electric cabling running above his head. Photo: Ziphozonke Lushaba, The Star
A trainsurfer strikes a pose in the Matrix style while leaping and hopping along the top of the moving train. While keeping his balance is key, he also has to keep a constant lookout for the dangerous electric cabling running above his head. Photo: Ziphozonke Lushaba, The Star
A staffrider jumps between the coach and the platform several times before ending up inside the train. Photo: Ziphozonke Lushaba, The Star
A staffrider jumps between the coach and the platform several times before ending up inside the train. Photo: Ziphozonke Lushaba, The Star
A school exam question paper is used to crush mandrax pills which the young trainsurfers take before their stunts. Photo: Ziphozonke Lushaba, The Star
A school exam question paper is used to crush mandrax pills which the young trainsurfers take before their stunts. Photo: Ziphozonke Lushaba, The Star
A staffrider prepares to jump between the coach and the platform several times before ending up inside the train. Photo: Ziphozonke Lushaba, The Star
A staffrider prepares to jump between the coach and the platform several times before ending up inside the train. Photo: Ziphozonke Lushaba, The Star
A trainsurfer, high on adrenalin, does the 2020 as the train roars through the open veld at high speed while he clings onto the outside of the coach by just his fingertips. Photo: Ziphozonke Lushaba, The Star
A trainsurfer, high on adrenalin, does the 2020 as the train roars through the open veld at high speed while he clings onto the outside of the coach by just his fingertips. Photo: Ziphozonke Lushaba, The Star
A trainsurfer strikes a pose in the Matrix style while leaping and hopping along the top of

the moving train. While keeping his balance is key, he also has to keep a constant lookout for the

dangerous electric cabling running above his head. Photo: Ziphozonke Lushaba, The Star
A trainsurfer strikes a pose in the Matrix style while leaping and hopping along the top of the moving train. While keeping his balance is key, he also has to keep a constant lookout for the dangerous electric cabling running above his head. Photo: Ziphozonke Lushaba, The Star
Staffriders prepare to jump between the coach and the platform several times before ending up inside the train. Photo: Ziphozonke Lushaba, The Star
Staffriders prepare to jump between the coach and the platform several times before ending up inside the train. Photo: Ziphozonke Lushaba, The Star
A grinning trainsurfer, high on adrenalin, does the 2020 as the train roars through the open veld at high speed while he clings onto the outside of the coach by just his fingertips. Photo: Ziphozonke Lushaba, The Star
A grinning trainsurfer, high on adrenalin, does the 2020 as the train roars through the open veld at high speed while he clings onto the outside of the coach by just his fingertips. Photo: Ziphozonke Lushaba, The Star
A trainsurfer strikes a pose in the Matrix style while leaping and hopping along the top of

the moving train. While keeping his balance is key, he also has to keep a constant lookout for the

dangerous electric cabling running above his head. Photo: Ziphozonke Lushaba, The Star
A trainsurfer strikes a pose in the Matrix style while leaping and hopping along the top of the moving train. While keeping his balance is key, he also has to keep a constant lookout for the dangerous electric cabling running above his head. Photo: Ziphozonke Lushaba, The Star
A staffrider prepares to jump between the coach and the platform several times before ending up inside the train. Photo: Ziphozonke Lushaba, The Star
A staffrider prepares to jump between the coach and the platform several times before ending up inside the train. Photo: Ziphozonke Lushaba, The Star

When Ziphozonke Lushaba met DYZ and told him what I wanted to do, he laughed. “You have to be joking,” he said. “Why would you want to? Do you know how many young kids die doing this?” When he realised that Ziphozonke was serious, he said, Zipho would first have to learn the language. “There are many different styles. Matrix, 2020, Svandals. The one we’re going to do is Sbhujwa kuphela.” Trainsurfing or staffriding is a “game” that involves youngsters who dance on the roof of a moving train while avoiding electrocution from the overhead cables. To an outsider, staffriding is pretty daft, as it increases one’s chances of dying young. But there’s an element of macabre grace about it. As the train starts moving, the staffrider’s mates hold the door open for him as he starts running alongside the train, his feet making a rhythmic tap-taptap sound on the platform.

Sometimes, as the train starts moving, he jumps in, and then out, in… and out… just for fun.