Remembering Traditional Games

| November 26, 2014 | 0 Comments

New technology plus a variation of lifestyles have a considerable bearing in the disappearance of traditional games such as mantlwaneng and black mmampatile, which were adopted from earlier generations.

Today, children and young people spend most of their time indoors either watching television,playing video games or playing computer games, or Facebooking. A middle aged woman from Kanye, Tuelo Lekgowa becomes nostalgic in an interview when she talks about traditional games.

“I remember the days when we used to play koi (skipping rope), mantlwane, diketo, marandase, bekini, dikonyana, malepa and dibeke, after we were done with our daily household tasks,” she said.

She said every day they would gather as a group and play bolo ya dithini or diketo, she said, adding that the intention of the game was to strike a player in order to put them out of the game.

When a team member had managed to put all the tins with his or her feet in a bucket or a bowl, the group won and those struck out would be saved, meaning that the game would commence till all the members were out.

“In the evening, we would go back home and cook, but later at night we will be back again passing time playing games like black mmampatile (hide and seek), where others will hide till the one who was conducting the game found all of them,” Lekgowe recalled.

Boitshepho Sefemo shared the sentiments. With Black mampatile, boys used to run after girls to hide with them for furtive reasons. She said some partners sometimes disappeared into the dark until the conductor gave up looking for them.

Fifty-five-year-old Kanye-born James Masu, who is an employee in the Department of Agriculture, and also a church leader, during his early days, there were many cost-free games. They played games like morabaraba, mhele, kgai and theledi which were very helpful to them because most children were not school-going.

Even though they were not educated they were able to read, add, divide and multiply because of those games. “We might have not been educated, but nobody could cheat us when it came to adding, subtracting and multiplying. Our games enhanced our intellectual ability,” he said.

The games also helped them to unleash their creativity, as they would mold clay cattle, wild animals, and utensils with clay , he said, adding that he still remembered the clay oxen he used to make. “The games helped us to be respectful to our parents as we played under their watchful eyes, unlike the current generation who play without parents’ attention, he said.

“New technologies and children’s rights have made our children rebel against us,” he said, adding that children were instead controlling their parents. However, some of the public schools are doing their best to preserve traditional games.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Sports

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