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03:23

From the streets to the circus – Lagos youngsters find stability on unicycles

Nigeria, Gbagada
September 11, 2019 at 09:15 GMT +00:00 · Published

Dozens of children and teenagers practised their chosen art-form - unicycling - in Gbagada, Lagos on Friday as a means of finding a purpose - that's according to Olalekan Kuyoro who founded God Knows Best, an academy dedicated to the pastime.

With UNICEF saying over 10 million children aged 5-14 are not provided the privilege of schooling, Kuyoro has placed importance on moving their focus away from life's potential pitfalls such as crime, poverty and abuse to finding a community in which they truly belong.

"We need government support," said Kuyoro as kids practiced in the background. "The main dream of GKB academy is to have more kids, to save kids from the street."

Kuyoro said it hasn't all been straightforward, especially convincing parents that their children are safe and won't "break their legs" performing flips and tricks.

Despite this, the academy has been up and running for six years - in that short time Kuyoro has managed to win Lagos Grows Talent and bring in much needed funds to expand and buy equipment.

However, the income still isn't enough as Kuyoro says he still desperately needs a government-funded space to keep going and bring more kids the joy of unicycling.

03:23
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Description

Dozens of children and teenagers practised their chosen art-form - unicycling - in Gbagada, Lagos on Friday as a means of finding a purpose - that's according to Olalekan Kuyoro who founded God Knows Best, an academy dedicated to the pastime.

With UNICEF saying over 10 million children aged 5-14 are not provided the privilege of schooling, Kuyoro has placed importance on moving their focus away from life's potential pitfalls such as crime, poverty and abuse to finding a community in which they truly belong.

"We need government support," said Kuyoro as kids practiced in the background. "The main dream of GKB academy is to have more kids, to save kids from the street."

Kuyoro said it hasn't all been straightforward, especially convincing parents that their children are safe and won't "break their legs" performing flips and tricks.

Despite this, the academy has been up and running for six years - in that short time Kuyoro has managed to win Lagos Grows Talent and bring in much needed funds to expand and buy equipment.

However, the income still isn't enough as Kuyoro says he still desperately needs a government-funded space to keep going and bring more kids the joy of unicycling.

W/S Child balancing bowls on head while on high unicycle

M/S Child balancing bowls on head while on high unicycle

M/S Child juggling on unicycle

C/U Unicycle *MUSIC AT SOURCE*

W/S Children with unicycles *MUSIC AT SOURCE*

C/U Unicycles *MUSIC AT SOURCE*

W/S Children on unicycles

M/S Children riding unicycles

W/S Children riding unicycles

M/S Children riding unicycles

M/S Children riding unicycles

W/S Children on unicycles

M/S Children on unicycles

SOT, Kuyoro Olalekan, GKB founder: "When I started, it was difficult for me to get a kid out of his or her parents because of - for instance, now they say, they are familiar with football, they are familiar with dancing, they are familiar with other sports, other arts stuff, but here it's a thing. Unicycle is a different thing entirely."

M/S Unicycle

M/S Child jumping on unicycle

M/S Child jumping on unicycle

W/S Child jumping on unicycle

W/S Child jumping on unicycle

SOT, Kuyoro Olalekan, GKB founder: "We need government support, we need government helpers, we need a lot of people to come to our aid. Like, now, because the main dream of GKB is to have a proper academy, to have more kids, to save kids from the street. So the government could commit by, for instance, now you know, there are basketball courts, there are football pitches all out there, so the government could give us a space too. Because unicycling is also a sport. They could give us a very good space, very spacious, so we can use that for our sport, instead of, we've been here, like, here is just a free garden for anybody, so it's not too good."

C/U Unicycle

W/S Child on high unicycle

C/U Child on high unicycle

W/S Child jumping over someone's legs on unicycle

M/S Child jumping over three people's legs on unicycle

W/S Child using skipping rope while on unicycle

SOT, Martins Abayomi, unicyclist: "When I started, it was very difficult that my coach came to come and teach me, I was falling down, but now, I am great now. The challenges I have, my mum told me that I shouldn't do the unicycle because it was very dangerous, that many people break their legs. And I said no, that I want to do it."

M/S Child juggling while on high unicycle

W/S Children jumping on unicycle

W/S Children riding on shoulders on unicycles

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