NAME ::: Alpha Berry COUNTRY ::: Sierra Leone
My name is Alpha Berry. I’m living in Burry town and I’m 20 years old. I’m a surfer, I work in Burry Beach surf club and we are the first surfers in Sierra Leone.
I was nine years old when my father passed away. I now only live with my mum and my brother and sister. We are four in the family. So I come from a poor family like most here. I decided to start surfing and now I hope it will benefit my family. I was 13 years old when I started surfing.
What is most important to you?
I think surfing is the most important thing in my life. It is the first sport I ever did. And it made me popular everywhere. It’s my biggest joy in my life.
What has influenced you the most in your life?
I think surfing is the best thing in my life. It changed everything. It made me different, it changed my standard of living. Before I lived with my parents, now I live here. It makes me feel comfortable and makes my life feel easy.
What has been an important turning point in your life?
I think surfing again was my biggest turning point, to start with it. It changed me a lot and my life. When I was working before, things were rough, but this was a huge opportunity to change things and improve my life.
What makes you happy?
Surfing makes me feel happy. I played football, but I think surfing has so much more to it. When I go out and I feel I improve and it takes my worries away. And now it even gives me some money out of it, what helps me with supporting my family.
What are you personally proud of?
I think I feel proud when I get out and I feel I improve with my surfing and when I see how we build the surf club up now.
What have been the biggest struggles in your life?
I must say that I never faced real struggles in my live. It wasn’t easy always, but I never had any big problems, even when we were poor. And since I started surfing life is good to me.
What would you change in your life, if you could change something?
I would not change anything. I live a happy life and I hope that surfing will make me a strong man. The surf club was a big improvement for me and I would not change that for anything.
What do you wish for your own future?
I think my dreams for the future are all around what I want to achieve and how hard I want to work for it. I think it is a lot about the surf club and that future generations will join the club and benefit from it. I hope it could be an important force for the community.
And here is a little short film we made about Alpha Berry and the Bureh Beach Boys, the first surfers of Sierra Leone: