Accra – Ghana’s first skate park has been opened in Accra. It was named after Virgil Abloh, the late American fashion icon, who managed the project until his death in November.

The park was unveiled by organisers who paid tribute to an American designer of Ghanaian heritage with music performances by local artists and skate sessions for professionals and amateurs. The name “Abloh” is prominently written on the fence at the park. It is one of the names that contributed to the Freedom Skatepark’s funding.

Abloh, the artistic director of Louis Vuitton men’s collections, was 41 years old when he died from cancer. He had been the first major black designer to be recognized in the industry.

Credit: Nipah Dennis

Abloh grew from Chicago’s skate culture and DJ culture to the tops of fashion, first with Off-White, then in Paris with the luxury sector. He never forgot his Ghanaian roots. Kente was a traditional fabric that was worn in Ghana on the Vuitton catwalks earlier this year. The park is sponsored by Off-White, his clothing brand. Surf Ghana, a local collective, helped to create it.

Sandy Alibo is the founder of Surf Ghana. She says that skating is a less-known sport in Ghana. She believes that it will help boost tourism and create networking opportunities for young Ghanaians.

She says that she was not only talking about sports but also about building self-confidence in youth, tourism, and developing youth entrepreneurship. “They connect and share their ideas. Skateboarders bring life to the city and entertain people, which is exactly what Ghana needs.”

Alibo stated that she hopes to see Ghana take part in international skateboarding competitions one day. “Skateboarding was accepted at the Olympic Games, and that can help develop sports in Africa,” Joshua Odamtey, a skateboarding coach, said that the park will also help children to develop a love for the sport.

He said, “We share our knowledge with minors because in some year’s future we won’t be here anymore.” “Skateboarding can be a fun way to exercise and have some fun.”

Last month, African designers hailed Abloh as a role model and a key figure in the global fashion industry.