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Skateboarder Jean-Marc Johannes is breaking world records and inspiring the youth

Photo: Lyle Minnaar

Photo: Lyle Minnaar

Published May 5, 2022


Our backgrounds might be the biggest definers of our lives, shaping who we are and the choices we make.

This is certainly not the case for professional skateboarder, world record holder and HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones brand ambassador; Jean-Marc Johannes who neglected what his background deemed possible and followed his passion and love for all things skateboarding.

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Growing up on the Cape Flats, Jean-Marc developed an avid passion for skateboarding at the age of 10 and went on to win his first accolade at the age of 15 where he ranked as one of the top 10 skateboarders in South Africa.

Years later Jean-Marc continues to make a great success of his life. We caught up with him to share his most recent achievements and how he has been striving to inspire those around him.

Keeping up with the digital world of skateboarding

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Jean-Marc is arguably the most awarded skateboarder in South Africa to date. After winning the first ever international gold, silver and bronze medals for skateboarding and as the winner in the sports category of The Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young in 2021, he has competed in competitions across the globe taking his passion to unimaginable heights.

He recalls having started his career by sharing his videos on digital platforms and later going on to win a global digital series in 2020.

As an ambassador for HMD Global, he shares his skating adventures with his supporters across the globe using the innovative features on his Nokia device and uses his profile and achievements to empower others.

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Skateboarder Jean-Marc Johannes. Photo: Lyle Minnaar

“As a skateboarder filming, editing, and sharing videos online is very crucial to the success of one’s career and I am thankful for my partnership with Nokia to make this possible. My Nokia X10 is my companion, I use it to capture and share all my stunts and flips and I really believe that it has added to the growth of my career,” shares Jean-Marc.

Having the power to own his content and being an ambassador for a brand that believes that mobile technology can enhance the lives of everyone around the world has helped him stay relevant in what has become an increasingly digital world in the field of skateboarding.

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“As athlete’s we must keep up with how the world of skateboarding is progressing. Digital media has become a big part of our careers and capturing entertaining video content is fast becoming a norm in the industry”.

Breaking world records and impacting his community

Breaking seven world records is no feat to be downplayed and is not one that Jean-Marc takes very lightly and as South Africa’s most awarded skateboarder he takes pride in all his achievements. Having competed in the US, Indonesia, China and Europe, Jean-marc is determined to grow his passion for skateboarding by enriching the community where he was raised.

Commenting on his love for his hometown he believes that like him, young children should be given the opportunity to explore skateboarding as a professional career, “I really enjoy teaching young children about skateboarding and making parents aware that there is a future in the sport.

If I can impart this knowledge through community programmes and upliftment opportunities, then I really believe that I would have achieved one of my most important goals,” he adds.

With accolades reaching far beyond world records and gold medals, Jean-marc has recently been selected as an official judge for the upcoming World Cup Skateboarding contest in Lagos Nigeria along with BMX Professional, Courage Adams.

Coined as the biggest annual skateboarding and BMXing competitive event, it not only supports and promotes skateboarding culture in Africa but also gives amateur skateboarders an opportunity to engage with professionals in the field. “From taking part in the competition to being a judge is really a pivotal moment for my career. I am really looking forward to the event and judging alongside the world’s greatest skateboarders and BMXers.”

What’s next for Jean-Marc?

With his skateboarding career in full swing Jean-Marc is looking forward to what the future holds and growing his personal brand is one of his key priorities. When he turned international pro-skater, Jean-Marc was granted the opportunity to distribute his own branded signature skateboarding pro-wheels in various counties across the globe.

“I am very excited for what’s in store for the year, and even more for what’s ahead for my partnership with HMD Global. There is a lot of exciting content coming down the line most of which has been shot on my Nokia X10 device,” he says.

For more action an inspiration follow Jean-Marc on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter as he makes strides in his career. Also keep up with the latest offerings from HMD Global the home of Nokia phones by following Nokia South Africa on Instagram and Facebook

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