What will 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 great historical importance to 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 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. Our plan is to build a public skatepark on roughly half of the land plot and leave the rest of the area for other activities. The kids will have a place to hang out, relax, skate, dance and most importantly educate themselves. And (if we find enough support) we have a space to possibly expand in the future.
Creating a public hub
Is a skatepark for skaters only? Well of course no! While skateboarding is an important tool for us and our projects we emphasise that it can be used for multiple purposes. After all We Skate Mongu is a community of skaters, dancers, artists and people of all kinds. We always make sure we allow our projects to be used by as many people as possible.
We connected with local CSOs and our goal is to unite them for a greater impact. Any CSO can use the entire space as a platform for seminars, workshops and other activities that may help them be heard and followed.
Why do we want to go to Mongu?
To put this simply, our local partner We Skate Mongu is doing outstanding work and we want to help them. Speaking of We Skate Mongu, well you have to mention Johny - the ever smiling leader. He and his team have 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. Truly the efforts of We Skate Mongu have not gone unheard in the skateboarding community. Well that is why we decided to support him and bring some gear and a 700m2 concrete park to Mongu!
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 around 10 local based CSOs under the network of Člověk v Tísni (established Czech NGO). Most of these target malnutrition, youth empowerment, HIV/AIDS and other issues like child rights protection. We would like to create a public hub where each of these issues could be discussed.
The skate scene
Zambian kids are naturally talented but it is a bit more difficult for them to become real skateboarders. 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 how they will progress with a real board and a real skatepark.
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 as a garden for agricultural education.
This is the design of the park
Lukabe Hande skatepark
Our good friend Johny Kalenga, alias the king of big smiles came up with the name and he said: “this 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.