Brixton’s stunt queen & martial arts superhero: The Samurider
Following a road accident, Shaina West reinvented herself as a cartoon-inspired martial artist and Instagram star: The Samurider…
‘My motorbike accident was four years ago now. I don’t actually remember it, but from what witnesses said, I was splitting lanes and a van pulled out to the right and cut me off. I was pretty badly concussed, fractured my neck and broke my thumb. My boyfriend at the time broke up with me before I even had the chance to leave the hospital. Because I couldn’t fulfil my contract at work, they had to let me go. It was a low point in my life, but thinking about it now, it was absolutely necessary. I don’t think I would have been able to muster up the same motivation if I hadn’t had that setback. Growing up, I was always really into comic books, action movies, video games and all that superhero stuff. After my accident, I was stuck in the house for weeks on end and binge-watched anime shows. I had this feeling that I wanted to become a real-life anime character. Something inside me said: You know what? I’m going to get up from my bed and start teaching myself martial arts! I literally taught myself in my bedroom, using YouTube and other internet tutorials. I started off by training with a couple of plastic knives. My mum, who is quite traditionally Ghanaian, was worried to say the least! After being in my room for several weeks, I suddenly had what probably appeared to her to be quite erratic and extreme hobbies – though she’s completely on board with it now.