Q-BEAMS’ BIRTHPLACE OF DREAMS - AIR JORDAN 11 ‘GRATITUDE’

For the celebration of ‘The Year of 23’ and the holiday release of the Air Jordan 11 ‘GRATITUDE,’ LEMKUS tapped Quinton Robertson, a drifting master, pioneer of air suspensions in South Africa, and the owner of Q-Beams Suspension.

For the celebration of ‘The Year of 23’ and the holiday release of the Air Jordan 11 ‘GRATITUDE,’ LEMKUS tapped Quinton Robertson, a drifting master, pioneer of air suspensions in South Africa, and the owner of Q-Beams Suspension. As a legend in the car scene, Quinton faced numerous challenges in sourcing affordable parts for older cars that were accessible to the younger generation.

Without formal education, Quinton invested in equipment to independently produce his own air suspension components, eventually realizing his automotive vision; this earned him recognition as a pioneer of air suspension in the country, and he successfully established a business from the ground up. Q-Beams Suspension and Body Workshop is a birthplace of dreams and expresses the creative grit and determination of the Cape Flats, a region in Cape Town that is rich with culture, as powerful shapers of South Africa’s creative expression.


QUINTON EXPLAINS THAT...

“when I started in the car scene, there wasn’t much accessibility - and there were no hand-outs - I had to figure out my own way to do what I wanted to do with my vehicle. It was tough, the resources weren’t there, and I had to make do with whatever I had. That determination paid off though - today, I’m a business owner and I was one of the first people in South Africa to build air suspension.”


For Quinton, gratitude manifests through drifting, and his team and friends are willing to take risks to be free. Q-Beam’s body workshop is centered on car modification and community, and he explains that...

“the drifting community is an intriguing space. I feel grateful to do what I do - my shop has inspired a younger generation to come up, and I think we are going to see even more growth of the scene in Cape Town, for years to come.”

 

The DIY ethos involved in the car enthusiast scene speaks to a fine-tuning of one’s own life. Specifically with drifting, this subculture is part of a profound and long, intergenerational lineage that maps across South Africa’s Coloured community, in which traditional mechanic craftsmanship and evolving technology have grown in tandem with one another; passed down through the decades. On the experience of drifting - using skill to counteract an intentional loss of control - Quinton says,

“once you pull away from the line, your adrenaline starts pumping - suddenly, there’s nothing on your mind anymore. It's just pure muscle memory and it's just you, your feet, your legs and your arms on the steering wheel. It's pure freedom.”


Although the car scene is traditionally understood as a man’s world, some women have risen through the ranks, often spurred on by the support of their fathers, brothers, and uncles. Aqueelah Sasman is known as the ‘spinning Queen of Cape Town’ and has driven since she was in grade eight. As Aqueelah explains,

“My uncles were part of a spinning team - they would help raise funds for schools through spinning, and I was always either a passenger or spectating on the side. I grew up in this community. I told my father that I wanted to get into it myself - at thirteen years old. He said I could, but that I had to work for it - the condition was that I had to make top 10 in my grade that year for academics. Needless to say, I made it into the top 10! So, I held up my end of the bargain, and so did he.”


 

Aqueelah’s story is testament to the community-forging power of street-drifting and spinning saying that,

“as a woman, it's very important to show that you can do it - whatever it is. I’m actually very introverted - but spinning has given me so much confidence. Once I’m in the car, I’m in my world; I’m free. I hope I can show that women can be part of whatever we want. This sport brings people together - men and women and I’ve seen us grow so much as a community.”

Celebrating the AJ11 'GRATITUDE' iteration marks a significant milestone for LEMKUS. As bridges are visibly forged between Nike, Air Jordan, and the community deeply rooted in the hyper-local history of Nike, particularly Cape Town's coloured community and the drifting scene, it becomes apparent that LEMKUS is playing a pivotal role in ushering in the realization of dreams.

The only way they can express how this feels is through thankfulness—to narrate the stories that hold the utmost significance for those with eyes to see and ears to listen. Such is the power of culture, creativity, and community; this is their mantra.

They are well aware of the richness that South Africa has to offer, and they are genuinely grateful for the opportunity to share it with others.

“as a woman, it's very important to show that you can do it - whatever it is. I’m actually very introverted - but spinning has given me so much confidence. Once I’m in the car, I’m in my world; I’m free. I hope I can show that women can be part of whatever we want. This sport brings people together - men and women and I’ve seen us grow so much as a community.”

WHERE TO BUY

The Air Jordan 11 Retro “Gratitude” drops on Sunday, 17 December 2023 at LEMKUS.


CAST:
Quinton Robertson @quinty_qbeams
Aqeelah Sasman @aqeelah_sasman
Julien Scott @scottslide
Elton Lotz @eltonlotz197
Ingo Dresselhaus @__ingo___

CREW:
Production: @lemkus_
Director & DOP: Imraan Christian @imraanchristian
Stills Photography: Calhoun Matthews @calz6453
B Camera Operator: Levi Niekerk @yashworldwide_
Producer: Qaanid Hassen @qaanidhassen
1st AC & Focus Puller: Thaakir Ackerman mo1stac
FPV Operator: Andrew Murray @me3wfpv
Key Grip & Gaffer: Alan Thorpe @thorpe_photography_02
Grip & Gaffer: Hanru van Zyl @hanthebehemothman
Sound Tech: Justin van Rooyen @artbyja._
Sound Design: Keenan Joshua @itskenjay__
Edit & Grade: Graham Hunt @grahamhunt_
Hairstylist: Juan Visagie @onezo_
Styling: Qaanid Hassen @qaanidhassen & Reagan Paulsen @reagan_paulsen
Copywriter: Holly Beaton @hollybellb
Transport: Chief Shuttles @chiefshuttles


 

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