Sadat Kawawa
Photo credit: Kokatat/Steve Morrow

‘King of the Nile’ Kayaker Joins Kokatat Global Paddle Team

Meet ‘The King of the Nile’ — a role model for budding BIPOC whitewater kayakers and paddlers.

Kokatat announced that it has signed Ugandan paddler Sadat Kawawa to its Global Ambassador Team. Kawawa is from Jinja, Uganda, near the banks of the Nile River. He began paddling just a few years ago, and last year he won the 2020 King of the Nile competition.

“I’m proud to be a part of the Kokatat Global Ambassador Team and hope other black men and boys around the world will see me and know that paddlesports are possible for them too,” said Kawawa.

profile photo of sadat kawawa outdoors

Before Kawawa got into whitewater paddling, he received lessons and gear in exchange for his services crewing boats for tourist paddlers. He then went on to work as a raft guide. Kawawa spends much of his time teaching youth in his community skills like swimming and the basics of paddlesports.

“Sadat is a great addition to our team. He inspires other young paddlers to follow their dreams through his accomplishments,” said Lisa Kincaid from Kokatat. “And thanks to our partners at Diversify Whitewater, we learned he was in the market for partnerships.”

Diversify Whitewater’s mission is to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in whitewater paddlesports for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) as well as allies. Diversify Whitewater also helps to connect its athletes — whether kayakers, rafters, surfers, or paddleboarders — to possible sponsors.

Sadat Kawawa made his debut in the Red Bull film series “Way of the Wildcard” in 2018.

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Mary Murphy

Mary Murphy is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and serves as the leader of Lola Digital Media’s DEI Committee.

She has been writing about hiking, running, climbing, camping, skiing, and more for seven years, and has been on staff at GearJunkie since 2019. Prior to that, Mary wrote for 5280 Magazine in Denver while working as an outdoor instructor teaching climbing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and mountain biking at Avid4Adventure. Based in Denver, Colorado, Murphy is an avid hiker, runner, backpacker, skier, yogi, and pack-paddleboarder.