It’s official: Kitintale, a working class suburb in Uganda, now has more public skateable terrain than Seattle. Now what they need is some skateboards.
In April of 2006, Ugandan Jackson Mubiru and his South African friend Shael Swart, built Uganda’s first ever skate ramp with bricks and supplies they cobbled together using their own resources. With only two skateboards for the entire community to share, the new ramp suddenly became the focal point of the community’s youth activity.
Any of this sound familiar?
With some help from a Canadian named Brian Marshall Lye, some donated boards came through. Then Jack, a Kitintale ramp local (!) and Brian got motivated and with the help of caring folks from all over the world, they expanded the mini into a full blown skatepark with a nice little street section. The contributors are not named on the website, with the exception of design help fromWest Seattle’s own Grindline.
The Uganda Skateboard Union website tells an engaging story of a small African community that not only found skateboarding as a positive way to enrich and motivate their community’s youth, but they did it in a third world economy with little or no resources. This example set by the USU really highlights that many of the barriers and hurdles we face in Seattle, as hard as it may seem, are nothing compared to what these skaters face in their every day lives. Yet somehow through positivity and hard work, they prevailed.
Check out the site and send them a donation. They apparently would like some Sabbath and Maiden too.
(Thanks to Dean Itzen and Dave Addington for the tip on this inspirational story.)