Afropolitan Portal

Capture your inner childhood with these traditional games…

On any given afternoon in any country, one is bound to find children playing games to amuse themselves. Zambia is no different, with some games having been influenced by Britain or America.

Traditionally, some games were taught to boys and girls as preparation for future roles such as child rearing—games like ‘vibana’ is an example of where a child goes about playing house, while ‘Nsolo’ is a mathematical game played by boys who traditionally were breadwinners and needed to know how to balance a budget.

Ciato, or ichienga, is a game traditionally played by girls and is similar to jacks played in Britain and North America. In the Zambian version, an agreed number of small rocks are collected. Around them, a circle is drawn. Level one begins, in which a player throws a larger rock in the air, then at the same time remove some of the smaller rocks from the circle using a sweeping motion with their hands, then throw the large rock again and sweep all but one of the rocks are returned to the circle. This is repeated until all the stones have been removed from the circle. If a player fails to do this by dropping the large rock, the other player must have a go. Once all the stones are outside of the circle, level two begins which restarts the process of moving the rocks from the circle, this time leaving two rocks at each attempt. This goes on until all levels based on the initial amount of rocks collected is reached.

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Credit : Mazuba Kapambwe

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