There is multiple reasons to our shared interest in this development project. Importantly enough,
being MA students of African Studies at the University of Copenhagen, we need to conduct a field
work as a part of our degree. That gave us the incentive to develop a sustainable project
that aims on children and uses skateboarding as a tool. Both Africa and Skateboarding are close
to our hearts so we did not go far for the inspiration.
Our three main solutions to the situation in Mozambique.
Skateboarding as a tool
The concrete skatepark will consist of all kinds of obstacles varying from curbs, rails, banks, to a bowl and a more open space for practicing tricks on the flat ground. Within the open space a basketball court will be built for ball sports.
When finished, our partnering association of Mozambican skateboarders called Maputo-Skate will facilitate regular skateboard lectures and competitions.
The goal of the project is to make a small but significant impact on the lives of children in Maputo and offer them a playful and creative way to learn and make friendships.
Exhibitions of all kinds
The very walls of the skatepark will serve as an open canvas to both artists and kids who wish to try new techniques of painting.
The contiguous youth center will provide a safe zone for hosting video premieres, concerts, workshops, photo or art exhibitions and other.
The centre will also host irregular skateboard demos of professional teams, organized by our partners ASM and Skate-Aid.
Learning through play
Having the opportunity to connect education with games and joyful activities, we have decided to launch a partnership scheme with an NGO operating in Mozambique, that would regularly hold seminars in the youth centre together with Maputo-skate that will follow with a skateboard lecture.
We have not yet made the agreement with a particular organization, but it is a hot topic in our current agenda.
To link up the construction with an academic research. Three main research perspectives will be
developed by the master’s students from Copenhagen University.
These projects will differ in specificity but will be centered upon the challenges faced by the
youth in Maputo.
The outcome of this research will be made open source so that further research can be conducted
along these lines and provide new insights into youth culture in Maputo.
“My research will focus on the transfer of artisan skills between generations. Being involved in
this project will be of great benefit for my research as it will create a space of interaction.
We can get local ties who could provide us with an insider perspective around our different
“My intention is to elaborate on the question - how does skateboarding as a western phenomenon develop in an African context, with regard to the history of Euro-African interaction.
The period of realization will produce a perfect setting for surveying, interviewing and drawing conclusions based on personal experiences.”
“A study of the youth bulge that currently faces Maputo can potentially provide insight into other trends among youth not only in Mozambique but also throughout the region.
Specifically, I will investigate the participation of male youths in Maputo’s growing international drug trafficking underworld. This experience will provide immeasurable benefits for my academic, professional, and personal development while pursuing my passion for Southern Africa.”
Our park has not been built yet but we already have plans on how should it look.
See what people that helped us to work on this project have to say.
Africa’s future development is dependent on the opportunities offered to its youth.
An American from Philadelphia, PA, earned his Bachelor of Arts from the
University of Toledo (Ohio) with a major in History.
Having already finished a Master’s Degree from Norwich University (Vermont) in
World History, Brendan is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in African Studies
from Copenhagen University.
As such, his academic background is in history, with a specific interest in
Southern African history.
We need a place to skate
For many years we have been trying to get some support from the government to help us build a public skatepark, but our voices were never listened to.
Maputo is developing fast so I really think it is the time to build a skatepark too. After all, it is a regular element in the city planning.
I am pretty excited for this to finally happen!
It brings me joy.
My first experience volunteering for a skate NGO was in 2014 when I traveled to Jordan within my studies.
At that time, now a well-established organization Make Life Skate, was planning to build a skatepark for underprivileged children in the Jordanian capital, Amman, and I got the unique opportunity to be involved in the project.