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Mrs. Ndwandwe of Ndundulu, KwaZulu claims that girls were set to hold each other and wrestle until one falls. The one who manages to bring down the other is regarded as the stronger one.

The person consulted

Mrs. Ndwandwe of Ndundulu, KwaZulu gave an explanation about the game.

Who play this game?

This game is played by girls from the age of 4 years to 12.

What is used to play this game?

Nothing is used to play but the girls just play.

When is the game played?

The 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 grassy area with no stones.

How is the game played?

In the afternoon when the boys have returned the cattle from pastures and when everybody is indoors, children went out to wrestle by the kraal’s entrance. Sometimes this game would be played in the river when girls go to fetch water. The bigger girls chose a cleared spot with no stones so that the wresters would not be hurt if they fall. That is why even in the homestead children chose the kraal’s entrance because it had manure and not stony.

The oldest girl chose girls of the same age and paired them to wrestle each other. The girl which falls first is the defeated one. In this way it became clear who is stronger between the two. If girls of the same age are many in number girls would wrestle until it is clear who the strongest of them all is.

The strongest of the young girls would wrestle with girls bigger than her. She may even defeat some of these. This girl is recognized as a heroine. This game would not be played in the presence of the adults that is why it was usually played at dusk when the elders were indoors.

Custom associated with this game

Traditionally, this game was played by girls. When girls had to line up for traditional dancing during wedding ceremonies girls would wrestle to be at the beginning of the line. This game trained girls to be strong and be able to defend themselves if they land into difficult situations like being threatened by a stronger male.


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.