Uganda’s Skateboarding Scene ~ Big Air in Kampala
By Julie Bosman, NYTIMES ~ Before Jack Mubiru, a father of the skateboarding scene in Uganda, could build a half-pipe in his native Kampala in 2006, he had to avoid paying a construction fee, so he fabricated a story about building a private enclosure for a pet crocodile.
Most local officials — and neighborhood residents — had never heard of skateboarding. Six years later, the sport has spread from the skate park to the streets, attracting children as young as 5 and adult women.
Its profile is growing throughout eastern Africa, with skate parks built or planned in neighboring Kenya and Tanzania. Proponents of skateboarding say it gives participants a welcome leisure activity in countries where there are few other options. ‘‘There is not much else for younger people to do,’’ Mubiru says. ‘‘So many people want to skateboard.’’