Many of the streets in Kampala, Uganda are potholed and traffic-clogged, with cracked sidewalks and open manhole covers - not the ideal place to go skateboarding. But that's not stopping some local residents from hopping on their boards: the sport has grown in popularity in Uganda over the last few years, and both the New York Times and the BBC have sent photographers to get some awesome shots of skaters in action.
One of the the guys spearheading the sport in Uganda is Jackson Mubiru. Back in 2006, Mubiru met a European skateboarder and set himself the task of building Uganda's first skatepark. Along with his brother, some local enthusiasts, and Brian Lye, a friend from Canada who offered technical advice, Mubiru set to work building a skatepark in Kitintale, a suburb of the capital, Kampala, using cheap mortar, left-over bricks from the neighbourhood, and their own hands. To avoid paying a construction fee, they told the authorities they were building an enclosure for a pet crocodile.
Mubiru also founded the Uganda Skateboard Union, an organization that aims to occupy youth in the country who don't have enough to do. The Union's goal is "to combat idleness and boredom among the youth of Uganda by providing a new, positive and fun outlet for them. This outlet is skateboarding". When the organization started it had only 5 members; today there are 52, and 35 skateboards donated from abroad that members can use.
Check out some images of Ugandan skaters doing their thing below, and visit the Uganda Skateboard Union site to find out more about the organization. They're seeking donations at the moment to help rebuild Jackson's original skatepark, which has become damaged after being used by many local skaters.
Earlier this year, we had skateboarding legend Stacy Peralta on the show. Check out that interview below:
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