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Dodging game - Indigenous game

Mrs. G Masikane of eMachunwini, uMsinga says that this game is played using a ball stuffed with pieces of cloth. The children divided themselves into two groups. One child goes to the middle. The other ones would try to hit her with a ball and she would dodge the ball. If she is hit she is out of the game and another one will take the next turn.

The person consulted

Mrs. G Masikane explained how this game is played.

Who play the game?

This game is played by girls between the ages of 4 – 10.

What is used to play the game?

The game is played using a ball stuffed with paper or pieces of cloth.

When is the game played?

This game is played during the day if it is not raining throughout the year.

Where is this game played?

This game is played in a cleared open space.

How is this game played?

The girls divided themselves into two groups of equal numbers. The first group begins the game. Only one person of the playing side gets into the middle of the group. Others try to hit her with the stuffed ball. She would dodge the ball and if hit, will drop out of the game and another person will get in. If the one in the middle manages to dodge the ball 24 times, she becomes the winner and then she can pick up the one to follow her. When all individuals from one side are out of the game, the other side takes its turn. The person who succeeds in dodging 24 balls is rewarded by selecting her team mate who has been defeated in the game to re-enter the circle and play. The side which gets the more rewards becomes the winning team.

Custom associated with this game

This game trains children to be able to dodge and duck at dangerous items hurled at them or even gunshots in modern times. It was a traditional African way of life to be able to evade danger at all times.


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.