From Community Memory
The person consulted.
Mr. Ntuli, 70 of KwaMaphumulo explained about this game.
Who plays this game?
This game is played by boys and girls between the ages of 4 – 10.
What is used to play the game?
No equipment is needed to play this game.
When is this game played?
This game is played during the day if it is not raining.
Where is the game played?
This game is played in an open cleared spot where children would not step on each other.
How is this game played?
This game involves a lot of children. One child becomes the mother. One child becomes the hyena. The group of children stands on one side, the mother on the opposite side and the hyena in the middle. The mother shouts:
Umama : Bantwana, bantwana, wozan’ ekhaya (Mother: Children, children, come home)
Abantwana : Siyesaba (Children: We are scared)
Umama : Nesabani? (Mother: What are you scared of?)
Abantwana : Izimpisi (Children: Hyenas)
Umama : Wozani izimpisi sezahamba. (Mother: Come hyenas are long gone)
The children start to run towards the mother. The hyena would try to catch the children. Those who are caught become hyenas. Those who escape are safe. The mother would start the game again and they would continue playing. This second time around more children would be caught because the number of hyenas would have increased. The game continues until all children are caught.
Custom associated with this game
Traditionally, hyenas were feared animals in KwaZulu that is why children were running away from it. Otherwise there is no cultural orientation associated with this game.
From a Masters dissertation by Victoria Mkhize for the School of IsiZulu, University of KwaZulu-Natal. Supervised by Professors P.J. Zungu and V. Prabhakaran.