Following their 2020 Fall collaboration, streetwear giants Daily Paper & Off-White are once again partnering with Ghanaian surf and skate collective Surf Ghana in order to build the country’s first ever skatepark. The Freedom Skatepark in the East Legon region of Accra, the nation’s capital, will serve as a refuge for youth culture and creative expression by offering a massive 500m2 infrastructure to service the local budding skate scene that has been bubbling in the cities cultural underbelly for the last few years.
Daily Paper’s brand ethos revolves around reflecting the creative wealth and colourful curiosities of the people of its motherland. This intimate relationship between their roots and their creative vision has resulted in a yearly tradition titled ‘Africa To The World’ in which Daily Paper return to Ghana for an exclusive pop-up experience and to foster Accras growing underground culture. This latest endeavour with Surf Ghanan arrives just a year after the release of their first capsule collection with Daily Paper and Off-White, a collaboration that in retrospect signalled the start of a much more long-term and impactful relationship.
Every inch of the park is designed to reflect the character of the country with elements of their evolving cultural story embedded within the concrete. The Ghanaian Adinkra “Fawohodie” sign lays at the centre of the park, symbolising the cornerstone ideas of independence and freedom present both in the spirit of the construction of this park and in the spirit of skateboarding as a whole. It will be open daily from 9am to 7pm for free in order to relinquish and worries of financial restraint inhibiting anyone from joining the Surf Ghana community. To that end, free skate lessons will be on offer daily as well as women-only skate training sessions that will allow future female shredders to practice freely without judgment.
When asked about the significance of the Freedom Skatepark for Ghana’s cultural sector, Jefferson Osei (Co-founder of Daily Paper) stated, “With this initiative, we hope to evolve the skate culture in Ghana to the next level and give locals a platform to grow their talents within a space that will hopefully become their biggest training ground to date”. He later added, “More than board sports, the park will be a creative hub for young Ghanaians to come together, exchange ideas, inspire each other and build their futures through recreational activities. They now have a place where they can be themselves.”
Freedom Skatepark will open its doors to the masses on December 15th with representatives from the wider Off-White and Daily Paper families as well as local creatives all in attendance. Off-White have formed a crucial component in bringing that dream to fruition, never once waning on their involvement despite the tragic loss of their founder Virgil Abloh just last week. Instead, Off-White has said that Virgil’s legacy will live on in Ghana through the Freedom Skatepark, as it was his own production company Alaska Alaska that designed the parks logo. In a year where skateboarding made its debut to a global audience during the Tokyo Olympics, it’s amazing to see Ghana receive the much-needed investment to allow talent from all crevices of the skate world to one day flourish and emerge on a global stage.