Kenya’s ‘King of Skate’ uses celebrity platform to share the love of Christ

As a boy Kelvin Murage took the wheels off a suitcase and the back off a chair then screwed them together to craft a skateboard.

As time passed Murage continued to tinker with skateboards he made himself. When his school received computers and the internet during his last year there, like most teenagers across the world, he discovered YouTube. One day he watched a video about a competition in Nairobi where one of his classmates had taken second place.

Murage bombarded the classmate with questions and then bought his first board for 2,300 Kenyan shillings (about $23), which took several months — and refraining from after-school donuts — to save from his allowance.

When Murage finished school he headed off to the University of Nairobi, books under one arm, skateboard under the other, and quickly found a community willing to accept him — skateboarders.

One day a missionary approached the group because he also was interested in skateboarding. As the conversation progressed Murage heard the gospel and was invited to a Bible study. Sitting among people with open Bibles he finally understood the difference between Christ as his Savior and “Christian” as a cultural label. He claimed a life in Christ that day and left the Bible study a changed man.

Burdened to tell the truth

From that point on Murage wondered how many young Kenyans faced the same struggles he did growing up. How many of his skateboarding friends needed to hear this same truth? As Murage grew in his walk with the Lord he was burdened with a desire for his friends.

In 2016, Kenya’s popular communications company Safaricom launched a television network to provide resources and training for the country’s large youth population. They debuted the initiative with an advertising campaign showcasing a drummer, an artist, a dancer, a Muay Thai fighter and a skater. Murage was selected as the skater and he instantly became one of the faces of Kenya’s skateboarding culture.

He suddenly had an unexpected platform to share the truth of the gospel — not just with his friends in Kenya but through connections in international skating ministries like Skaters for Christ. 

He knows his skateboarding talent is the way God is sending him to herald the good news in Nairobi and beyond.

“We are all gifted differently and it is all for the glory of God,” Murage said. “People need Jesus.” (BP)

How to pray:

  • Pray Kelvin Murage will continue to use his platform to share the gospel with others in the skateboarding community.
  • Pray ministries like Skaters for Christ will continue to reach people and that new chapters will be formed. (TAB)