In April 2006, two friends built the country’s first and only skateboard ramp. The ramp, constructed out of locally made bricks and cement, was built over the period of a month in Kitintale, Kampala. On the day of the grand opening, a local department store donated two skateboards.
Four months later, work began on building a small course beside the ramp and after months of fundraising the community built the park by hand.
11 years later and skateboarding is thriving in Kampala. Community initiatives like The Uganda Skateboard Union have launched and young skaters now have their hearts set on competing at the 2020 Olympic Games.
News channel CGTN Africa, recently visited the skate park to find out how skateboarding has changed the community:
Kampala is the capital and largest city of Uganda. It was recently named the 13th fastest growing city on the planet and homes over three million people. But Kampala suffers from severe poverty and a large percentage of the population lives in what is known as Kampala’s ‘one big slum’. While measures are being put in place to ease the problem, the problems behind Kampala’s slum are rooted deep and the government have yet to implement real substantial solutions.
But initiatives like this one are helping the community by offering young people and their families hope. While some may consider it as just a hobby, skateboarding has brought the community together. Uganda is now home to two skate parks, another has just opened an hours drive from Kampala in Mukono Town.
If you’d like to find out more head on over to the Uganda Skateboard Union’s website.