Skateboarding sultan flies on four wheels
Imagine being just 11 years old when two big companies agree to sponsor you - allowing you to "ride forever".
This is what happened after Jean-Marc Johannes's friends signed him up to compete against professional skateboarders.
Johannes ran circles around the competition despite their greater age and status .
That day, with a clothing and skateboard sponsorship in the bag, life changed dramatically for the Cape Flats youngster.
"I couldn't believe what had happened.
"I thought it was a joke when they called out my name," said Johannes, now 21.
Today, he is the only skateboarder sponsored by Red Bull in South Africa, and is setting the local and international scene ablaze with his trickery on the board in mid-air.
Other sponsors include Volcom, Nixon, GoPro, Almost Skateboards and VonZipper.
It was difficult, at first, for his parents to accept their son's path. He decided not to enter into tertiary education despite performing well in matric.
"Skating is about goal-setting. If you are focused on mastering a new trick, you have to work hard at it. It takes determination and that is what helped me at school."
His hard work paid off this year when he was ranked in the top 50 in the prestigious Damn Am international skateboarding competition in Amsterdam.
He also took sixth place in the "Best Trick" category when he performed a "double big spin flip" down 10 steps and landed perfectly on his board.
"I didn't even know I landed until I looked up," he said.
He started skating at nine after watching boys on their boards in the street.
His mother dug out her old skateboard and he has been rolling ever since.
"There are so many stereotypes when it comes to skateboarders. Some might think they are rebellious, but to me it is the most free thing [you can do]. You can ride forever, you can do just about anything on the board."
Growing up in Penlyn Estate, neighbouring the crime-infested Hanover Park, he watched gang life swallow "so many friends".
He refused to follow in their footsteps.
"If in a class of 30 children, just one - just one - decides to take up skating and stay away from that life, we can - very slowly - put an end to the darkness," he said.
Former professional skateboarder and businessman Amin Grey said Johannes is at the top of his game and that he is "South Africa's skateboarding future".
"I have always been amazed at Jean-Marc's insight into the technical side of skateboarding, not to mention his sheer determination at pulling off a trick that he has concocted in his head," said Grey.
"I am certain he will continue blowing minds and breaking new ground in skateboarding."
Tomorrow, Johannes will compete in King of the Grind, a skateboarding showcase for the youth on the Cape Flats. Competitors will grind on burning rails for the finale - a feat Johannes cannot wait to pull off.