Unique traditional games popular in the North Eastern part of Botswana
Co-author of Setswana traditional games book, Metshameko ya Setso Kenneth Tebogo Middleton says they will be featuring more traditional games popular in the North Eastern part of Botswana in their second edition of the book. Middleton discovered that there were more traditional games played in other parts of the country that were not covered in their first edition when he attended the annual African Traditional Games Competition of Botswana tournament hosted on new year’s day along the banks of the Nkange river in Senete village.
“It is at these games that I found out there are more traditional games that are quite different and popular from the ones we are used to, more especially in the southern and central parts of the country,” Middleton said .
In Senete, Middleton also discovered traditional games such as Tjimi, Kwiri, Nxai and Dengenzela among others which will be featured in the new book. The book will give a full description of what one needs to play, how many players are needed, the rules and what is needed for one to participate. “In Dengenzela players need to race with a bucket full of water and it is taken to the extreme ; where one rides a bicycle carrying a bucket on their head, another full bucket on the bicycle carriage, while the player has a baby doll on their back. With Kwiri a player has to hit a moving target with knobkerrie,” he explained.
According to Middleton African Traditional Games Competition of Botswana’s is safeguarding these indigenous games so they do not go extinct. “People from nearby villages usually attend in numbers. Historically indigenous games played an important role of socializing the youth, promoting cultural practices and keeping communities active and healthy and all this is captured at this tournament,” he said.
Under Setso Publishing together with his two partners Batswana Basimolodi and Kgafela Williams they published their book dubbed Metshameko Ya Setso which covers the documentation of traditional games such as mhele, skonti ball, koi, black mampatile, diketo and morabaraba amongst others.