What is Ethiopia skate and what does it stand for?

Ethiopia Skate is a family of skateboarders. We are still young and we organized ourselves so that street kids can use skateboarding as a road to their dreams. Since skateboarding is interesting, daring and cool it attracts more kids than any other sport and it helps those street kids to have a group of friends, a place to practice our art, and access to more than we ever would have accessed. They do professional stunts and they are still under 18. So that’s who we are a family who sticks together and do what we love, skateboarding.

When did Ethiopia skate start and why?

We started in 2013, but we have been skating for a while before that. We loved skateboarding but only had a handful, so there was a need for a skatepark and skateboards. The organization facilitates donations of boards and it facilitated our parks construction. Ethiopia skate is our backbone and it empowers us to push harder and stronger; “We just want to skate”.

Who are you and how are you involved with Ethiopia Skate?

I’m Yared Aya and I’m involved with Ethiopia Skate because I truly love the sport skateboarding and I truly love Ethiopians. So it made sense to help this amazing thing grow.. We have spread skateboarding all over the capital, but more importantly all over Ethiopia. So it’s a passion to spread skateboarding. We really skate every day with 100% enjoyment and passion for the sport so a day in our lives are priceless doing what we love; skate boarding. It’s our Identity.

What are the future goals for Ethiopia skate?

Ethiopia skate usually accomplishes its goals, so we believe the same will happen in the future. We need to supply skate boards to many more Ethiopians than we do now, so self sustainability in manufacturing skateboards here. We also need to make a skatepark in every major town in Ethiopia. It only takes cement, steel, land and labor. So we hope to get govt help in our future endeavors.

Would you like to tell something about your experience with Ethiopia Skate and your own goals?

Idk. I live life a day at a time. So moving from Washington DC to Ethiopia for no real reason, I found an amazing university and a great family (Ethiopia Skate) so life couldn’t be better. Life is natural.

What is a personal message that you would like to tell others?

We use skateboarding to show who we are. We speak through the board and let out our emotions and thoughts through how we flip and ride that board. Everyone has something they love to do. Find that thing and cling onto it. Work hard at it and it will be so reward full. If it’s skating like us. Cool, let’s skate in Africa!!!

All images are from @ethiopiaskate and @yaredaya

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''This is the story of a group of kids in Ethiopia bringing the world of skateboarding to their homeland. With only 7 boards between 25 kids they ask for help from the world community of skaters as they enter a new frontier of skateboarding. We just want to skate.''