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Wrist game

Mrs. T Majiya said this game involved holding another person’s hand at the wrist and waving it loosely to and fro.

The person consulted

Mrs. T Majiya gave the explanation about this game which is played almost in the same manner as the one preceding it.

Who play this game?

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

What is used to play this game?

Children use their hands to play this game.

When is this game played?

This game is played at any time, day or night, throughout the year.

Where is this game played?

This game is played anywhere where children are together.

How is this game played?

Children play in pairs. One of the two would hold the other by the wrist and swing the wrist to and fro saying:
Ingebe ngebane
Isandla somntwana
Ithanda bani?
Ithanda bani?
Ithanda uFana

The one holding the hand loosely would think of names such as mad person which are not nice to the other child. If she calls such name, the one being held by wrist would tighten his/her wrist. If she/he calls a nice name, the other one would make the wrist loose thus easily swayed. If by mistake the one whose hand is held loosened his/her wrist on a bad name call, the rest of the children would laugh at him/her saying that he/she likes the bad name. children would continue playing the game interchangeably.

Custom associated with this game

Although this is a very old game, it has no cultural background. However, it teaches children to love all kinds of people without discrimination as it is not expected to see the child crying just because others claim that he/she like the bad name call if he/she mistakably loosened the wrist.


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.