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Ghana’s first skatepark, freedom skatepark, forced to close two years after opening.

Challenges by “Outside Contractors” lead to closure, sparking controversy over Virgil Abloh’s legacy.

Ghana’s inaugural skatepark, the Freedom Skatepark, reportedly shut down two years after its opening, facing challenges attributed to “outside contractors.” The skatepark, owned by the late American-born Ghanaian fashion designer and entrepreneur Virgil Abloh, encountered controversy as a cement wall was built to obstruct skaters’ access.

Wole Olosunde, a New York-based designer, shared the closure on social media, expressing dismay at the fate of the park that became a home to many Ghanaian skaters. He alleged that a business owner erected the cement wall, blocking skaters for almost a year. Despite the closure, local skaters improvised a temporary park to sustain their passion for skating and community-building.

Olosunde questioned the silence of authorities and the public regarding the closure, given Virgil Abloh’s substantial investment in the park. The closure, initially reported in May 2023 due to a land dispute, has stirred concerns among skateboarders and the local community. The land dispute emerged when a party claimed ownership, building a wall without notice, jeopardizing the park’s future.

In addition to the land dispute, tweets from Rightify Ghana suggested that an anti-LGBTQ+ group, the Islamic Youth for Peace, accused the venue of serving as a headquarters for the gay community. The group called on the police to intervene, creating further controversy surrounding the closure of Freedom Skatepark.

The fate of the skatepark raises questions about preserving Virgil Abloh’s legacy and the importance of community spaces for youth engagement and healthy activities in Ghana.

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