What did we do in Mongu?
For some Mongu may be a small city in the western province of Zambia but for skateboarding, Mongu is a great opportunity. With a great historical importance for the region, Mongu lies right on the edge of the Liuwa plains famous for its seasonal animal migration. The city may be far less populous and glamorous than the capital Lusaka but it still entertains an incredibly strong and united community of young people. As soon as we got in touch with the guys from We Skate Mongu, we just knew this is the place where we want to go next.
We bought a 1200m2 land plot in the south of Mongu. We built a public skatepark and an adjacent cabin right next to it, connected to water and electricity. The kids have a place to hang out, relax, skate, dance and attend lectures in the prepared program.
Is the skatepark for skaters only? Of course not! While skateboarding is an important tool for us and our projects, we make sure that the space can be used for multiple purposes. After all, We Skate Mongu is a community of skaters, dancers, artists and people of all interests. The place is open to screenings, exhibitions, talks and other events.
We connected with a bunch of local CSOs for a greater impact. Any CSO can use the entire space as a platform for seminars, workshops and other activities.
Why did we want to go to Mongu?
To put it simply, our local partner We Skate Mongu was doing outstanding work and we really wanted to support them in their mission. We have to mention Johnny - the ever smiling leader. He and his team had been providing street education for the underprivileged kids, initiating activities for the youngest and bringing skateboarding to the lives of the people in Mongu for years. The focus of We Skate Mongu had not gone unheard in the skateboarding community. We decided to bring to life a 700m2 concrete park and we brought a ton of boards with it.
45% of the population in Zambia is younger than 14 years of age. While this might not be the highest youth bulge number in Africa, it is still pretty high. Supporting the youngest is the main goal for us!
We connected with Člověk v Tísni (People in Need), an established Czech NGO. They mostly target malnutrition, youth empowerment, HIV/AIDS and other issues like child rights protection. Together with We Skate Mongu they are currently working on a tailor made educational program in the skatepark.
The skate scene
Zambian kids are naturally talented but it was a bit more difficult for them to have proper conditions. They make their own boards from old suitcases and pieces of wood. Still they perform crazy tricks with elegant style and you have to wonder about their progress with a real board and a real skatepark now standing.
Fighting malnutrition has been a long term objective of the local government and other bodies. And we want to help. We aim to use the remaining space around the skatepark for purposes related to the educational activities centered around farming.
This is the park!
Lukabe Hande skatepark
Our good friend Johnny Kalenga came up with the name, explaining that: “Lukaba Hande can be translated as we will be allright! We went with this name particularly because when We Skate Mongu started we only had one skateboard and 15 students. We didn't really worry about what we didn't have at that time because we always said: Lukaba Hande!
Zambia is the fashion
We produce our own merch to celebrate the cultures of Africa, of its countries and people. You can find all of our pieces here.