Indigenous Games – Dr Dawn Gould


Many South Africans are sport enthusiasts  – sports that have evolved from mostly western European countries.  But in recent years indigenous sports have come to the attention of the general public.  In September 2003 promotion of the first Indigenous Games was launched at the Basotho Cultural Village, Free State and have continued since them.  There are nine indigenous game codes.


DIBEKE : is a running ball game played by six girls and six boys. The attacking team attempts to kick the ball away from the defenders while the other side tries to use their hands to gain the ball.


DIKETO:   often played by young girls.  Stones are thrown up in the air with the players trying to catch as many as possible in one hand.  It is said that variations are found among Khoi San.


DRIE STOKIES:  is a running and jumping game with two teams of five players each.


JUKSKEI:  was originally a game from the Cape Colony with references to the Afrikaners of the 1700s. An attempt is made to knock over an upright stick with the jukskei which is the wooden pin used in an ox wagon’s yoke.


KHO-KHO:  this game is said to have originated in the Indian community. It is a tag by teams attempting to make sure they are not touched by the opposing team. Each team has nine players.  They kneel facing each other, a coin is tossed deciding which player becomes the chaser.


KGATI:   a rope skipping game. Two players hold the rope at each end with the third person skipping in a variety of ways, singing and chanting.  At the 2012 5th World for All Games in Lithuania, Kgati team of won gold.


LINTONGA: a stick fighting game by boys herding livestock in rural parts of South Africa. The one who hits the hardest surrenders and becomes the winner.


MORABARABA:  a two player strategy game something like chess and said to have been derived from Sesotho.

(Beautifully carved sets were on show for sale at Spier quite a few few years back and the board very similar to a chess board)