When Andraè was younger his peers took to referring to him by his last name, Bird. A fitting name for someone who was and still is preoccupied with the idea of freedom and community. For Andraè, skateboarding is where his curiosity for fostering a sense of freedom began but it’s when his big brothers got a bike that a different kind of propensity for flying was sparked.
Through cycling, Andrae has found a vehicle for his community-driven sensibility and can often be found looking out for those around him and inviting them to cross boundaries and untangle themselves from their daily routines. As a born and bred Capetonian, it is easy to feel disillusioned with the well-renowned beauty of the city and its surroundings. But Andraè feels encouraged by the new eyes he is granted on each ride: a Sunday morning cycle through Rhodes Drive on Kirstenbosch has a different life in the twilight of a Thursday evening but nonetheless, on a Sunday morning you will find him threading through those lush, green twists. A stop at Noordhoek can be an Instagram moment on one day and deeply meditative on another, and Andraè will show up for each of those facades in earnest. An ever-changing, ever-challenging, and ever-encouraging landscape such as Cape Town serves as an endless source of inspiration for this creative whose work philosophy is to always prioritise joy. From childhood, he did not fantasise about what he wanted to be, but how he wanted to feel.
Now being a small business owner, designer, and artist means that a lot of Bird’s time is spent with his nose to the grind. But he continues to honour his childhood ambitions by weaving joy and freedom into how he commutes and how he interacts with others, making him a story of thriving and not just one of surviving.
Bird would be described by many as someone who is solution-orientated with a low tolerance for people and spaces that are discouraging, discriminatory, and undermining. He is always seeking ways to encourage his community and beautify his surroundings, and through skate kids programs, artistic interventions, and fundraising events has managed to do so and hopes to do so much more. His ambition is to share the gift of cycling with others from his community so that they might benefit from the peace of mind that he has so often found on the bike.